May 16, 2013 02:09 PM EDT
It was a feature-filled I/O yesterday when Google rolled out revamps of many of its popular services rather than entirely new API’s. Lets start at the top:
Google Play Music: Music got a lot of love with Google Play All Access service introduced. For $9.99 a month users can listen to “millions of tracks” in the Google Play Store along with personal music libraries which allow you to create “radio stations” of your own tracks and easily modify and get rid of things you don’t like, “radio without rules”.
Google Education: Apps designed for K-12 students to “meet the content needs of educators,” with apps designed by partners like NASA and PBS.
Google Search: Search has been revamped to be more conversational and with Google Now helps assist users to find information they want more easily with Knowledge Graph and voice search has been added so people can say things like “my upcoming flight” rather than typing queries.
Google Maps: Revamped Maps features more detailed search results, public transit schedules and 3D Google Earth imagery. A lot of the focus was placed on the interface and graphic improvements, 3D building images, interior images, labelling of small roads and a nice zoomed out view of earth with accurate stars and planets. These include new default markers, new info window, new look controls for desktops Android and the iPhone. Google map invites are available at: http://maps.google.com/help/maps/helloworld/desktop/preview/
Google +: This is one Google service that has lagged behind the others in terms of popularity. In an attempt to compete against Facebook Google + is getting 41 new features. These include new features for Hangout, photo-editing and 15 GB expanded free storage. Interface and design are a major part of the revamp. Auto-Enhance means Google + can automatically crop and retouch your pictures while dispensing with the bad ones and narrowing down large numbers of pictures to the most important one. Auto-Awesome can create a gif of a series of pictures basically resulting in a short animation, Mix that can create photo collages and Pan which can make panoramic views by stitching pictures together.
Interested in the Google I/O 2013 conference? We’re covering it all week!
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