Google I/O Features Developments Aimed at Connecting the Web

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Google’s developer conference, Google I/O brought together professionals from across the tech ecosystem this week at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.

As former PC Magazine EIC Michael J. Miller mentioned after attending Google I/O 2013, that it’s often no longer a single upgrade or product that changes everything anymore; it’s incremental improvements moving the platform forward. What we’re seeing is more connection between technologies, devices, the web, and other elements to develop an ecosystem.

True to form, several of the announcements this week have aimed to bring disparate elements of the internet and the real world to provide a more connected experience.

Cloud Test Lab

Google has announced a service that gives developers automated reports and scaling support for their Android apps. To be officially released later this summer, Cloud Test Lab checks how mobile apps work on the 20 most popular Android devices across different countries, as well as an even large library of device emulations. Google aims for this as a virtual way to replace the “device closet” approach to testing where developers test their applications on physical devices in-house. It also provides the ability to run tests across multiple devices simultaneously to simulate how the application runs at scale before launch.

Google Polymer Library

Google’s Polymer code library is designed to make it easier to create reusable web components. This week, Google released version 1.0 of the Polymer core library, which features a rebuilt code base with improved speed and efficiency. The catalog of elements includes animations, buttons, icons and wrappers for third-party libraries which can be easily incorporated into Web apps.

IoT Operating System Brillo

Moving deeper into the Internet of Things world, Project Brillo for linking apps and real-world devices. Derived from Android, Brillo provides a way for devices on different platforms to communicate. Google’s home automation division, Nest, will be an initial Brillo user. To grow the ecosystem around Brillo, Google offer its “Weave” program, which aims to certify devices from various manufacturers. devices will also use Weave, so they can easily and securely interoperate with devices from other manufacturers.

New Google Cast Developer Tools

With the success of Android-based TV product Chromecast, the first Google Cast device, Google announced that it’s providing new developer tools (specifically for mobile app and game developers). This will allow developers to bring more graphically intensive apps and games to TV screens using Android TV and other connected devices.

YouTube Offline and Offline Maps

Somewhat ironically, there are more developers building offline functionality into internet-connected devices. Google showcased offline functionality built into YouTube, Chrome, and Google Maps location search and directions.

The vision of the future Google presented at Google I/O certainly sees more connected devices and APIs, but also the potential of disconnected devices.

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