After many months of speculation, Google’s annual developers conference, Google I/O, is finally here, and we are learning about the latest developments in Android.
With approximately 6,000 developers attending the event, many will be pleased to know that Google plans to work with developers to improve software already on the market, with much attention on Android and Chrome, according to Android head Sundar Pichai.
“It’s going to be different," Pichai recently told Wired magazine. "It’s not a time when we have much in the way of launches of new products or a new operating system.”
Google has definitely thrown a curve ball in its development of Android. Thus far, no new Android operating system has been announced, which leads us to believe that neither the rumored Android 5.0 nor Android 4.3 will be unveiled at Google I/O.
Instead of unveiling a brand new operating system, the company has launched a number of Google and Android apps and services, many in fact designed not only with developers in mind, but also to make various apps and services much easier and more enjoyable for the everyday user. These apps and services include updates to Google Play Services, the Android Studio IDE and Google Play All Access.
In addition, Google has unveiled a new version of the recently released Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone. This “Google Edition” of the Galaxy S4 runs on a stock version of the Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean operating system, completely devoid of the Samsung TouchWiz interface.
Vice President of Android Product Management at Google Hugo Barra showcased the new Samsung Galaxy S4, which brings a user experience similar to what is seen on Nexus brand devices. The Google Edition Galaxy S4 will be available on T-Mobile and AT&T; will come with 16GB of internal storage as well as with LTE support. It will also ship bootloader unlocked and will automatically receive system updates.
Essentially a developer’s edition of the Samsung Galaxy S4, these features will not only allow developers to easily root and modify their S4 handsets, but users will also have more of the device’s internal storage available for personal use, without the large amount of bloatware installed by Samsung.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Edition will be available starting June 26 on the Google Play Store in the U.S., and will sell for $649.
Fionna Agomuoh is a Technology Reporter for the International Business Times, a vegan foodie, and a lover of Electric Dance Music.