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Google's I/O Announcements: Everything You Need to Know

May 16 2013 - 5:33am

When Google holds an event, expect big news to go down. Between the announcement of a streaming music service that combines Google's cloud library with your own downloads to an updated search system that uses conversational speech, the Android crowd had plenty to get excited about during the tech company's Google I/O Wednesday keynote. Here, catch up on what changes are coming to the Google-sphere.

Source: Instagram user popsugartech [1]

Hangouts App

Hangouts, the video chatting feature for Google+ [2], is now a standalone app for Android and iOS and Chrome extension. By eliminating the barriers that stand between users of various platforms, the app just might change the way we communicate.

The New Google Maps

Google announced an update to Maps [3], with a beautiful new interface and more personalized search. You set standard locations, like home and work, but it's the personal landmarks that make the map useful. These landmarks are restaurants or other places you frequent. Maps can suggest similar places to you and get better at recommendations over time.

Conversational Search

With improvements to Google Search [4], you'll be able to speak commands not just from your mobile app, but also from Chrome on desktops, using less-robotic speech and receiving spoken responses from Google.

Restyled Google+

The new Google+ will deliver a modernized stream [5] and new social discovery experience to its 190 million active "Plus-ers." With changes to the stream, photo editing, and the use of hashtags, will this be the push you need to adopt the social network?

Music Subscription Service

Google Play Music All Access [6] is the tech company's take on the growing popularity of services like Rdio and Spotify, which give customers instant access to millions of songs based on monthly subscription models.

Gmail Quick Actions

Oh em gee . . . mail! Google's email client is making moves and taking action with new features that you won't be able to live without. Power emessagers will soon be able to check into their flights, RSVP for events, review movies, and send money right from Gmail [7].

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