Thursday, May 16, 2013

Google unveils music subscription service at I/O conference

Google has revealed the Google Play Music All Access music subscription service at its I/O developer conference in San Francisco.

According to Google, the service will give access to streaming millions of songs, in addition to the company's existing music store and locker. The service will cost N1, 600.00 (9.99 USD, pending on the rate of Dollars) with a free trial for the first month. Users who start their trial by the end of June will pay only USD 7.99 a month.

In other developments arising from the conference, it was stated that the special Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone handset will support LTE and be offered for USD 649 on Google Play.
Google introduced the new Google Play games services for Android app developers to integrate more social features in games. It also launched new location APIs, Google Cloud Messaging enhancements to improve device-server communications, and cross platform sign-on, which lets users sign into an app once for all their devices, using Google+. It also previewed a new Integrated Development Environment (IDE) called Android Studio, developed with Java specialist JetBrains.

The company also previewed a number of upcoming web products, including the next-generation video codec VP9 for faster video-streaming and the requestAutocomplete API for faster payment over the Chrome browser. The Google Wallet has also been integrated with Gmail to facilitate person-to-person payments.

The social network Google+ received a re-look to facilitate moving between mobile devices and the desktop. Other new features add to the online photo experience, including automatic back-up of photos from mobile devices and an 'awesome' editing option. The Google+ Hangouts feature has been upgraded to support unified messaging across Android and iOS devices as well as computers. The new standalone Hangouts app supports communication with text, photos and videos for groups of up to 10.

In search, Google has added the possibility for users to set reminders by voice and previewed "spoken answers" on laptops and desktops in Chrome. The company also previewed changes to Google Maps to offer more individualized maps. Building on starred and recommended places, the map updates with each click to incorporate personalized and local information relevant to the user. The updated Maps are currently available by invitation for preview.