Prior to Page’s appearance, a dozen Googlers got on stage to talk about advancements in the company’s Android and Chrome platforms and the services in builds above them.
Carriers report more than 900 million Android device activations to date. Google’s Chrome browser has 750 million active users each month, the company said.
It was less specific about its Chrome OS environment, a thin software layer around its browser powering Web-connected notebooks. A thousand U.S. schools now use the so-called Chromebooks, and Google I/O attendees received the latest version of the Web-based notebook, the Chromebook Pixel launched in February.
Google will continue to drive both Android and Chrome and Chrome OS as separate but related platforms for the foreseeable future. It showed multiple demos of tools and services running across the environments as well as on Apple’s iOS.
The keynote news mainly focused on advances in higher-level Web services, competing with the likes of Apple and Facebook. Google’s All Access, for example, is a new streaming music service competing with Apple’s iTunes.
In a clear attack on Facebook, Google announced 41 new features to Google+ including more contextual links and a photo enhancement capability. With a single button, users can let Google make a list of improvements to pictures from removing red eye to smoothing skin tones. It also supports five effects such as creating panoramas or mini-videos out of a sequence of photos.
Taking Apple’s Siri to task, Google showed a voice search capability running on its Chrome browser. It handled a set of relatively complex natural language queries running on a mobile version of Chrome on smartphones.
Google also showed an updated interface and new features that will roll out this summer for its Maps service. It sports links to Google+ to create personalized maps.
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