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Google eyes software domination with Android overhaul

The two software giants, Apple and Google, are set for a showdown this year - not just on your phones, but also on wristwatches, TVs and cars. 

At the I/O developers conference in San Francisco on Tuesday, Google unveiled their newest version of Android, along with Android Wear, Android Auto and Android TV, reported Mail Online. 

These are the key announcements Google made in its biggest event of the year:

Android L

First up was the successor to Kit-Kat, Android "L". 

Google showing off its new user interface. Watch the demonstration here

Mr Matias Duarte, vice-president of design at Google for Android, said the team wanted to craft a uniform design for "mobile, desktop, and beyond".

Called "Material Design", the new look features bright colours, updated icons and fonts, with new animations and themes, reported Pocket-lint.

But the consumer version will not be out until sometime in September. 

Android Wear

Basically a stripped-down version of the phone OS, it works on smartwatches - allowing users to receive alerts without having to fish for their phones. 

The Moto 360 smartwatch stood out at the conference, earning praise for its clean-looking design. 

A clutch of companies have already unveiled smartwatches running Android Wear including Samsung, LG and Motorola, reported The Telegraph.

Android TV

Google is vying for a spot in the living room as well. Android TV is a fully-functional set-top box providing access to live TV, YouTube, downloaded movies, streaming apps and video games.

Android TV can be controlled by a variety of devices: from smartphones to tablets to video game controllers.

Android TV supports voice search, while Play Store games are also supported on the big screen, The Telegraph reported. 

Android Auto

Plug an Android phone into a Android Auto car - Google Maps shows up, directing you to your next destination, while Google Play Music works your favourite music.

With Android Auto, you can answer calls and text without moving your hands off the steering wheel.

For safety reasons, the platform is voice-enabled to keep the driver's eyes on the road.

Android Auto vehicles will start rolling out by the end of this year, with brands like Subaru, Chevrolet, Chrysler, and Nissan on board the Google train, reported Tom's Guide. 

With this exciting line-up, Android fanboys must be rubbing their hands in glee. 

New version of OS X

Crossing the tech divide, Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference earlier this month saw new versions of the OS X and iOS operating systems - OS X Yosemite and iOS 8. 

Apple chief executive Tim Cook had said: “You’ve seen how our operating systems, devices and services all work together in harmony… This is something only Apple can do.”

The stage is set.

Sources: Mail Online, Pocket-lint, The Telegraph, Tom's Guide

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