Google Inc. (GOOGL - Free Report) , at the annual Software Developers’ Conference announced a bunch of new applications and products based on its Android operating system (OS). After the conference's keynote address, Google shares surged $2.34 to $585.93.
After the phenomenal success of Android OS in smartphones and tablets, the Internet search giant announced its plans to expand it to categories like wearable computers, televisions and automobiles.
Over the years, Google has used the Conference as a platform to attract software developers to easily create applications based on Android, which powers more than one billion devices worldwide. Google’s innovations in new areas have transformed Android from a mere entrant to a pioneering force in the software market.
Highlights of the Conference
Lately, Google is focusing on enhancing Android’s features to maintain its dominant market position and stay ahead of its nearest competitor Apple’s (AAPL - Free Report) iOS. According to Gartner, Android was the #1 platform in 2013, with 62.0% market share, followed by iOS at #2 position with 36.0% share.
Google plans to launch an updated version of Android for smartphones and tablets — tentatively named Android L — with features like smarter authentication and anti-theft software. It will also feature a new cross platform user interface — Material Design — which will offer more precise tools to app developers for making customized typography, grid and color changes.
Wearable technology has become a growing market in the past few months, and several technology companies like Apple and Samsung have joined the race to develop the technology.
Google demonstrated the various functionalities of its Android Software Development Kit (SDK) for wearables such as message notifications, package shipment status or traffic status. The smartwatch is controlled by speaking or swiping the touchscreen. While travelling, the watch will relay relevant information based on a user’s location, such as the local bus schedule and weather.
Google announced two Android-based smartwatches — Samsung’s Gear Live and LG’s G watch — that will be available immediately. Another watch, the round Moto watch from Motorola, will be rolled out this summer.
Google’s Android TV will let users watch live TV or stream content as well as search relevant information like cast details and YouTube clips. Along with the remote control and D-pad, users can also use their smartwatch as control options.
Google’s earlier attempts to enter the television market proved unsuccessful although Chromecast has done relatively well. Android TV is its fourth attempt to push Android into the market.
Google seems to be vying for in-car supremacy. The company announced a version of Android especially for cars, called Android Auto. Android Auto is completely voice-enabled, designed to help developers devise a safe solution to use with connected devices while driving. A user can access maps, phone contacts and playlists, and even send and receive text messages with a tap or through voice command once the smartphone is connected to a compatible car.
The company announced that the first cars running on Android Auto software will be available later this year.
Google announced Google Fit health data platform, an open multi-OS API for fitness apps and devices. The program will allow developers to track fitness data, sync it across devices and store it in a central place. Google Fit service is similar to the recently introduced services from Apple and Samsung.
We remain positive about Google’s initiatives to diversify its business across markets. The company has been firing on all cylinders to grow, protect its position in search and expand its business in a rapidly broadening field of Internet-enabled devices.
The inclusion of Google's technology in varied verticals could improve brand awareness and solidify its position in the technology market.
Currently, Google has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Other stocks that look attractive are LivePerson Inc. (LPSN - Free Report) and Rovi Corp. , both with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).