Google Drive for Work: 'Premium Offering for Businesses'
Google Drive for Work is technically an upgrade to Google Drive, though the company's enterprise team describes it as a new, premium offering for businesses. It includes unlimited storage, advanced audit reporting and new security controls for $10 per user per month. In addition, businesses big and small can store single files as large as 5TB, more than any other desktop or laptop drive that's currently available.
Scott Johnston, a director of product management at Google, says Google Drive for Work includes the benefits and guarantees of Google Apps for Business, along with access to all of Google's familiar productivity apps -- Docs, Sheets, Slides, Sites and Hangouts -- and enterprise-grade security and compliance. This makes collaboration possible in many more ways than before, he says.
Android Auto: Putting Google Apps, Services in Your Car
One major Google I/O hit was Android Auto. Blau says it's "a nice start at expanding [Google's] ecosystem into the car industry, but cars won't appear until later this year and even beyond then before most people can use this new platform."
Android Auto, which follows in the footsteps of the Open Automotive Alliance announced in January, will offer many popular smartphone features on new models from more than 40 auto manufacturers later this year. Owners can tap the steering wheel or an onscreen button and talk to Android Auto, commanding it to locate, navigate and/or communicate destinations; provide directions through Google Maps; chat with contacts via car phone, text message or email, and request tunes from the Play Music app.
Google's voice input and text-to-speech systems use the familiar commands from Google Now, minimizing the learning curve for current users. "Clearly, there was a focus on enabling Google developers to engage with Android users in many new ways. Improvements to basic UI functionality will help the overall design aesthetic," Blau says. "Google hopes this focus on an improved cross-platform experience will mean more users will choose, and then adopt, the Android ecosystem."
Above All, Google I/O About Developers
For all the consumer-facing news, Blau says that the real focus of Google I/O is keeping Android application and Web developers happy. "Google desperately needs developers to be loyal to their platform, from cloud to code to analytics to lots of new platform services," he says. The volume of new APIs and services for developers announced at I/O should keep developers busy for a long time, he adds.
As for businesses, Hammond says the new Google Cloud DataFlow has much potential for firms with big data needs. "Quickly standing up streaming data pipelines for predictive analytics can really be a challenge," he says, because seconds matter when analyzing in-flight, streaming data.
Cloud DataFlow "makes it much easier for developers to set up this sort of monitoring and real-time analysis of incoming data at scale," Hammond says. "Anything that makes it easier will prove attractive to the business I work with."
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