Google closed the second quarter of 2014 with their Google I/O conference, an annual, two-day conference for developers and engineers working on projects that will interact with Google technologies in one way or another. Right off the bat, Google Senior VP Sundar Pichai made a series of announcements, as covered by Yahoo! Tech, regarding various Google technologies, most all of which will now be running Android’s operating system.
The upcoming installment in the Android smartphone series, thus far known only as the “L” release, will feature their new “material design,” applying height coordinates and X and Y positions to user interface items. The interface will comprehend this data to determine how items will slide over and under one another.
The material design will also focus more on animations within the user interface. Pichai and his team expressed pride in showing items moving and sliding across the screen at a publicized sixty frames-per-second. Pichai also noted that the Android “L” will avoid employing the flat design that will be featured in the next Apple releases.
Google also divulged more about Android Wear, a project that takes the Android operating system to tech wearables, beginning with watches. This platform will link back to smartphones, enabling the wearable to display notifications and, in certain instances, even assume control of the phone. For mobile app testers, the challenge here will be to meet the same quality assurance standards for wearables that they do on smartphones. This cross-platform functionality will certainly provide a new challenge for mobile app testers, but it will also provide a fantastic way to add more value to your application.
If mobile app testers are up to the challenge of cross-platform app functionality on smaller screens, how about on larger ones? Google has once again developed a new product for the television streaming market, this time unveiling their brand-new Android TV platform. Another product incorporating Android technology, Android TV can be run on a television or on Google’s own set-top box. The platform has included all of the features that already exist on Chromecast, while adding several more. Android TV will allow you to play items from the Google Play store or even receive streaming “casts” from your Android devices.
Google will also be unleashing their new laptop project, the Chromebook. Once again, this technology will harness the Android operating system. A forthcoming update will enable a limited number of Android apps to cross-function on the Chrome OS, allowing users the option to utilize their Chromebook’s full keyboard when typing in a mobile app.
But, why limit Android technology to your living room when you can take it with you in your car? While Google declined to discuss its highly-publicized self-driving car projects at Google I/O, they did announce Android Auto, a system that will allow developers to make their apps car-compatible. With an impressive list of automakers supporting Android Auto with vehicles that will debut this year, mobile app testers will have their hands full attaining app consistency across a multitude of platforms.