With the Google I/O conference officially underway, the tech giant has introduced the world to a variety of new products, the most notable of which was the Google Nexus 7, a seven-inch tablet manufactured by ASUS. During the event’s keynote, Google also took the opportunity to announce that a total of one million Android devices are activated each day. This new milestone is a significant jump from last year when the company recorded a total of 400,000 activations a day.
Google has also announced that a total of 400 million Android devices have been sold thus far. Commenting on this feat, Google’s Director of Product Management, Hugo Barra, said, “Four hundred million is a pretty huge number, but we're definitely not slowing down." A report by CNET states, “The more people use Android, the easier it is for Google to persuade developers to write apps for it, and consequently, the more customers there are for Google services, such as search and maps, that generate ad revenue.”
Activating at a breath-taking rate
Google had also unveiled the latest iteration of the Android OS - Jelly Bean - at the event. Google said that with Jelly Bean, they have made the great things about Android even better with improved system performance and enhanced user features. Google claims that with Jelly Bean, “Improvements include a smoother and more responsive UI across the system, a home screen that automatically adapts to fit your content, a powerful predictive keyboard, richer and more interactive notifications, larger payload sizes for Android Beam sharing and much more”.
Google have also introduced some new APIs that feature with Jelly Bean. They include:
- Expandable notifications: Android 4.1 brings a major update to the Android notifications framework. Apps can now display larger, richer notifications to users that can be expanded and collapsed with a pinch. Users can now take actions directly from the notification shade, and notifications support new types of content, including photos.
- Android Beam: In Android 4.1, Android Beam makes it easier to share images, videos, or other payloads by leveraging Bluetooth for data transfer.
- Bi-directional text support: Android 4.1 helps you to reach more users through support for for bi-directional text in TextView and EditText elements.
- Gesture mode: New APIs for accessibility services let you handle gestures and manage accessibility focus. Now you can traverse any element on the screen using gestures, accessories, you name it.
- Media codec access: Provides low-level access to platform hardware and software codecs.
- Wi-Fi Direct service discoverability: New API provides pre-associated service discovery, letting apps get more information from nearby devices about the services they support before they attempt to connect
- Network bandwidth management: New API provides ability to detect metered networks, including tethering to a mobile hotspot.
Jelly Bean's SDK is available to developers from today and Google will begin dishing out Android 4.1 to devices such as Galaxy Nexus, Nexus S, and Motorola Xoom via over-the-air updates from mid-July.
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