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Google Came Out Swinging
By: Greg Dorn
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Not even a day and a half into Google’s annual I/O conference, and the tech giant has revealed and released an impressive array of functionalities, capabilities, and cool new tricks. The Internet has been abuzz about Google’s future plans following the conference opening. And given the fact that no new hardware was announced, that’s quite a feat (we’re looking at you, Google Glass, although major apps such as Facebook and CNN were announced today for the anticipated head-ware at the time of publication).
 
Maybe Google knew they had to up the ante ahead of WWDC in June. Perhaps this served as a preemptive strike against anything Apple will conjure up come June 10. This makes sense, as it’s been rumored Apple will also focus mainly on software. Either way, Google left many developers in awe.
 
First we have the new stand-alone Hangouts app, available this past Wednesday for Android and iOS. I have tested the application, and after all these years, I can confidently say that search for the perfect Gchat app is over. No more fussing around with IMO, eBuddy, or Beejive. None of these services were ever reliable. Not only does Hangouts highlight itself as a viable video chat option for mobile, you can easily switch between face and text. Hangouts is a terrific service that unfortunately remained hidden in the Google+ app. Now it stands front and center for many to hopefully discover.
 
Google also announced some snazzy new features and abilities for their maps, search, and music services. Google Maps has been built from the ground up, adding traffic, street view and weather. Chrome has gone hands free when using Google search on the desktop. Simply speak the words “OK Google” into the computer’s microphone and present your inquiry. Google also stepped on the toes of Spotify and Pandora, announcing a brand new subscription-based music service. Prices are competitive, coming in at $9.99 a month (or $7.99 if you sign up by June 30). These highlights only scratched the surface of I/O 2013.
 
Needless to say, Google’s obvious attempt to lure developers to their ecosystem just received a huge boost. There is a lot to work with here that will keep their loyal fan base happy for quite a while. The only question remains: how will Apple respond three weeks from now?


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About the Author
Greg Dorn is a blogger, writer, and obsessed with everything technology and social media. Greg is absolutely captivated with the recent advancements in mobile gadgets, making our world more seamlessly connected. You can learn more about him on his own blog here
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