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Google Announces Android L, Android Auto, Android Wear & Android TV Versions

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By Sovan Mandal | July 8, 2014 11:56 AM EST

Simple things have given way to complex entities, or maybe this is Google's way of simplifying things. The obvious reference is to the recent Google move to launch specific Android versions for use in televisions, watches and even cars apart from smartphones. The revelation was made at the Google I/O event held in San Francisco.

REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage
Sundar Pichai, Google's senior vice president of Android, Chrome and Apps, speaks about wearables during his keynote address at the Google I/O developers conference in San Francisco June 25, 2014.

As reported in the Sydney Morning Herald, the first cars featuring Android Auto version could be out before the end of this year itself.  Android Auto is designed to work seamlessly with Android smartphone and will aid in messaging, navigation and music with the help of suitable apps. Google is claiming less distraction for drivers with Android Auto, which in turn can help reduce accidents. Google claims to have onboard 40 car makers already.

The Android Wear gets more detailed at the event, with CNET reporting the specific Android version for smartwatches and other wearables to support both rectangular and round designs. Beyond that, the smartwatch running Android Wear will act as a more portable extension of the smartphone, displaying apps, notifications and other information received on the smartphone. Google is also aiming to provide developers a common development environment as applicable to other Android versions. As such, this could well lead to a scenario where apps running on tablet can also be compatible with smartphones or smartwatches.

Besides, Android Wear is also designed to adapt to user behaviors and predict things accordingly. Google is also keen to see its smartwatches being used as remote controls as well while acting as a single key gateway to all connected devices. This way, unlocking the smartwatch will also unlock all connected devices and so on. Right now, there are three smartwatches in the fray running Android Wear - LG G Watch, Moto 360 and the Samsung Gear.

The Google I/O event also marked the return of Android TV, which is designed to allow users a simple UI to search and display content besides also streaming video. The version offers a recommended section while also offering a voice based search interface.

This apart, also on preview was Android L, which marks the next iteration of Android. The Android L promises better power management function leading to better battery times along with more privacy feature. Also on offer will be a function to disable a phone in case it gets stolen. Android L will have more colors and animations and will allow users to have a perception of depth, thereby providing the devices a somewhat 3D like display. Another cool feature of Android L will be its ability to sync across multiple devices running Android. As SMH puts it, notifications can be received in a smartwatch, messages viewed on a smartphone and deleted in a computer. 

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(Photo: REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage / )
Sundar Pichai, Google's senior vice president of Android, Chrome and Apps, speaks about wearables during his keynote address at the Google I/O developers conference in San Francisco June 25, 2014.
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