Google Talks Android L, Set-Top Box, and More at I/O Developer Conference

Paul Lilly

It's shaping up to an Android world

Google's I/O developer conference kicked off today and much of the talk so far has been about Android, Android, and more Android. That's not surprising, or even a bad thing, especially if you're a fan of the open-source platform. Based on the keynote, Google wants to expand Android into just about every facet of your life, from your living room to your car and everywhere in between.

Android L

One of the most exciting developments is that of Android "L," the next version of Android (it may still end up being called Lollipop), and its underlying Android Runtime (ART) software layer. Through ART, Google claims Android apps will run roughly twice as fast as they do currently. The best part about that is developers don't have to do anything different with existing apps.

"All your app code gets the performance for free," Android Engineering Dave Burke said, according to CNET .

ART also works on 64-bit chips, though not just ARM-based processors that are so prevalent in mobile today -- it also supports 64-bit x86-64 parts from Intel and AMD, along with the MIPS64 architecture from MIPS.

Just as iOS recently underwent a major design change, so too will Android with its "L" release. You can expect a flatter aesthetic, rounder elements, softer edges, simplified shapes, smooth transition animations, the illusion of depth through elevation and shadows, and more.

On the feature end, you'll be able to interact with notifications from the Lock screen, which will be sorted by relevance and importance rather than chronologically. Endgadget has more on what you can expect.

Android TV (Set-Top Box)

Google has some unfinished business in the living room. As was previously rumored, Google is releasing a set-top box to compete with the likes of Apple TV and Roku. It's called Android TV but unlike the company's failed Google TV platform, it will have an added focus on gaming.

According to The Verge , search is baked into the Android TV experience, as is content from the Google Play Store. It will provide recommendations based on what you watch, and you'll even be able to control the software with an Android Wear-enabled smartwatch.

Android Auto

With your living room and mobile devices covered, Google switched gears to automobiles and discussed Android Auto with a redesigned interface built specifically for cars.

"Android Auto will make it easier and safer to use the connected services drivers want in a card," Google's Patrick Brady said, according to ArsTechnica .

Things like navigation, communication, and music will be front and center so you don't have to fiddle around looking for the appropriate app. It's also voice enabled, allowing you to keep your hands on the wheel and eyes where they should be -- on the road.

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