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    Jun 27, 2014

    Android to feature in areas beyond mobile devices


    GOOGLE wants to be everywhere: in your home, your car and even on your wrist.

    That vision became increasingly clear at the search giant's annual conference for software developers here on Wednesday. The company unveiled plans to expand Android, its mobile operating system, for new categories like wearable computers and cars.

    The announcements came on the heels of Google's recent acquisition of Nest Labs, a thermostat maker, for US$3.2 billion (S$4 billion), which gave the former a speedy entry into the nascent market of Internet-connected home appliances.

    "This is one of the most comprehensive releases we have done," said Sundar Pichai, chief of Google's Android division, in front of a convention centre crowded with 6,000 software developers.

    Google said an upcoming version of Android for smartphones and tablets, tentatively named Android L, would include new features, like smarter authentication and anti-theft software.

    The firm also shared its ambition to push Android deeper into areas beyond mobile devices, revealing details on Android Wear, a special version of Android tailored for smartwatches, which it introduced this year.

    Google also announced a version of Android customised for cars, called Android Auto. The firm said it streamlined the design of the system to keep people's eyes off the screen and on the road.

    It emphasises access to maps, phone contacts and playlists, allowing users to use those features with the tap of a button or voice control. The car system will pair with a smartphone.