Google Takes on Apple at I/O 2013 Developer Conference

Recently this week in San Francisco, Google held its annual I/O 2013 conference, where the internet search giant did its best to woo developers and iOS device owners with its announcements. The entire conference was highlighted by a lengthy keynote, where a list of new features and innovative services were declared that made all iOS users sit up and listen with all ears.

Clearly Google was seen all set to plant an attack on its main competitor Apple, that’s currently the world’s most valuable company. Now with Google trying to stay one step ahead of Apple, the question is will Google with its tablet, operating system and innovation be able to top Apple’s record profit sales? Well that’s one exciting pitch that remains to be played on in future.

For now, let’s take a look and discuss some of the impressions that Google made on us.  

The highlight of the day was for developers, who were also the majority in the audience. With new features and tools announced, Google’s Android software will surely attract more developers, meaning that users will get more choices in terms of apps.

Some of the additions include improved location APIs, made to help find user’s current location, will apparently reduce power consumption. The company also announced new tools for apps to create geofences, which generates the notifications as per user’s location. However, these features are also available in Apple’s iOS system for some time now.

The internet search giant also disclosed innovative APIs for cloud-based gaming features, which will let developers sync game progress across devices, log player achievements and ease tasks related to multiplayer games. With this feature, Google will have one advantage over Apple’s Game Center, which is that it will be available across various platforms such as Android and iOS.

Other additions include development tools such as new code-editor features, which will give developers a preview of how an application would look on different Android devices.

With automated translation system feature that the company announced, developers will be able to look through various translation options, at different price ranges, to get foreign language translations for the snippets of text in their apps.

Other new features for Android developers include better analytics options and the ability for developers to gradually roll out alpha and beta versions of their apps and features.

Google also showed off a Google Play redesign. The most obvious features added in it were algorithmic app recommendations that will give users a quick glance of something they like if they are just browsing the store.

Google Play Music All Access is a $10 per month subscription, which was another highlight of the conference. This new service will give users unlimited access to music and curated playlists. On the contrary, Apple’s iTunes Match comes at a price of $25 per year, which lets users stream music they already own.

With Chrome also, Google aims to make browsing a fast experience for users. The firm said that technologies such as its WebP image format and VP9 video codec will offer users small download times without giving up on the quality. These formats that Google introduced are not supported by Apple’s Safari Web browser.

Another highlight was a new mobile interface for shopping with Chrome browser. Google claims that this will cut the usual 21-some-step checkout process to around three for all Chrome users as it will sync shopping data to users’ Google account. Apple’s Safari has no such feature and needs to look into ways that can make mobile Safari faster and better.

Now Google’s fascinating Maps app has also been revamped with new design and better search results. Google has an advantage over this as Apple has no web-based mapping app.    

Google also showed some significant upgrades to Google Now, its voice-based, Siri-esque personal assistant. There are many features of Google Now that are unmatched by Apple’s such as its cards-based notifications that are built into Android, and available via the Google Search app on iOS.

Other features that can provide contextual alerts based on messages in your inbox and your personal, Google-connected history has no direct match on iOS. Apple as yet does not offer other contextual awareness such as that offered by Google Now.

Now with Google I/O conference over, the wait is for Apple’s WWDC, which takes place next month in June, where the Cupertino Calif.-based company is expected to announce some significant improvements to its development tools. Google’s clear assault on Apple is only expected to trigger off the latter’s competitive spirit, where the tech giant will only be motivated to come up with better and innovative improvements.

So tell us what was one thing that you liked and disliked the most at Google I/O 2013 Developer Conference? Share your views with us.   Read the rest

Read more