Google I/O: Spotify competitor, Google+ revamp, mobile maps and some much-needed developer love

Google Play Music All Access

At Google’s I/O developer conference in San Fransisco, the technology giant has announced it’s jumping in to the streaming music game – essentially becoming a Spotify, Rdio and iHeartRadio competitor.

Google Play Music All Access (doesn’t that just roll off your tongue) has major labels such as Universal and Sony on board, according to The Verge. The service works across multiple devices and is a mix of Spotify’s music streaming and Pandora’s radio and discovery features.

At US$9.99 per month, All Access is in the same ballpark as Spotify and Pandora.

A Google rep has told StopPress that the service is only available to the US for now and the company has no plans to announce a New Zealand release at the moment.

Google+ Revamp

If you look on your Google+ profile today – and push aside the cobwebs that have gathered since the last time you logged in – you’ll notice a redesign that draws inspiration from Pinterest and the mosaic web display movement.

It’s not just the a touch of paint in this revamp, Google’s added more tools for photographers to make the most of the platform which is already popular amongst lens jockeys. This includes touch up tools, auto corrections, filters and GIF support – admittedly features designed to make Google+ more attractive to a wider audience, rather than professionals.

Google Hangouts is now given more prominence, with the site actively encouraging chats and Hangouts with contacts from the landing page.

I’m a map, I’m a map, I’m a map

Google previewed the next version of Google Maps andupdates to its mobile Maps apps for iOS and Android. Front and centre in the changes is a focus on local business information and reviews.

Judging by the language of the announcement this is a push to give brands more options to advertise deals to Maps users.

Android Studio

Android developers rejoice, you now have your own bona fide development environment from Google. The new Android Studio is a Java integrated development environment (IDE) similar to what Apple and Microsoft provides to its developers to programme apps on their platforms.

The software comes with emulators and live simulators, which update as the code is edited. Android Studio is Google’s new hub for developer information, including sales and update tools.

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