Google I/O 2013: Android Development, Chrome, Music All-Access

Google I/O developer conference had a strong focus on developers. As it should. — Six thousand attendees sat patiently awaiting the Google I/O 2013 keynote presentation from Vic Gundotra and Sundar Pichai in San Francisco. As usual, there have been lots of pre-conference rumors and speculation. Will there be a new version of Android announced? What cool device will be shown off? Developers will get free swag for attending. Our John C. Dvorak also has a view of the keynote presentation, mentioning for one there were a lot of crashy demos. Here’s my take.

The keynote today had some interesting items that will truly be an advantage to developers. This could in turn be a benefit for consumers. As expected, other Google products were addressed in the keynote. Pictured below, Sundar Pichai.

pichaiImage credit: Ant Pruitt for

Here on, we enjoy interacting with our readers via Google+. The social platform has continued to grow in popularity and features. Today Google announces over 40 different updates to the service. New layouts for the stream, intelligent hashtags, animations and new Hangout features. The new features will roll out today across the iOS, Android and web platforms. The group video feature is especially interesting. At any time, group video chat is available from a post. Anyone in the conversation of a post is automatically added as an attendee. Are there security measures in place to limit this from happening?


 Image credit: Ant Pruitt for

Photography is beautiful on Google+. Higher pixel density is now offered on photos shared in Google+. Super-easy photo-editing tools are available allowing anyone to make their not-so-great snapshots look even better. Google is also offering an Auto Motion feature that creates the (in)famous animated GIFs.

Google boasts more usage of its Chrome browser over the year, now up to 750 million users. Search on Google Chrome now has an intuitive voice search capability built in with GoogleNow.  The search engine is offering many more answers that users can put to use. The demo was quite impressive as it was completed on a laptop. Laptops typically have microphones that pick up tons of ambient sound. Quite impressive in the demo. Other features for GoogleNow, such as reminders, sharing and tasks are being launched, too.

Chrome Growth

Chrome Growth

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The Play Music app and service has now been upgraded to a subscription model. Similar to popular services such as Spotify and Pandora, Google has launched All-Access for music lovers. This service allows you to not only play your currently cloud-stored music, but also play radio-like channels and stream the content. The unlimited streaming plan is set for a $9.99 per month fee. The mobile app and web UI have seen changes in their look and feel, too.

Play Music

Play Music     

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Google’s developer conference didn’t have the same feel of excitement and wow that I’m used to experiencing, but this year’s keynote was still interesting. Too bad there wasn’t any mention of a new OS version. No mention of Google TV. Fortunately, there were strong mentions for developer tools. This may be what helps the Android ecosystem and consumers. Empowering developers with better tools to create better apps and user experiences allows developers to put their complimentary Chromebook Pixels to good use.

Here’s the live feed from the show.

Based in Charlotte, NC, Ant Pruitt is an IT pro, a columnist and the podcast captain at Look for his Smartphone Photographers Community and Yet Another Tech Show. Follow him @ihavnolyfe or on Google+ and email him at See all Ant’s articles on by following this link here at https://anewdomain.netauthor/ant-pruitt/