Google: Smartphone Will Control All Your Digital Toys
Google showed at its I/O conference that it’s putting Android smartphones in control of smartwatches, TVs, connected cars, fitness sensors and Chromebooks. The post-PC world isn’t a single world, but two worlds as it turns out.
Google announced a very wide range of new products, initiatives and other goodies at the conference. But what stood out very starkly, and which surprised attendees, was the degree to which Google had suddenly elevated the smartphone to the central controlling device for all other devices. Here are some examples.
The smartphone controls your watch
For now, it’s a smartwatch platform. But Google executives have said that over time it will be for many types of wearable computers.
The smartphone controls your TV
For example, you can push content from your smartphone to an Android TV-powered set as if it were a Chromecast. You can also simply mirror what’s happening on your smartphone onto the TV. Any Android phone (or any Android Wear smartwatch) can function as a remote-control device.
The smartphone controls your car dashboard
As the rumors suggested, Google’s big push into the in-car entertainment system is called Android Auto (again, named after the smartphone OS). Android Auto is completely and directly controlled by an Android smartphone. (The connection is so direct that it’s weirdly not even wireless; you have to physically plug the phone into the dashboard.)
The smartphone controls your fitness sensors
Google announced its Google Fit for Android program, which is a set of APIs for app developers that enable third-party fitness monitors to all talk to apps on your smartphone.
The smartphone even conquers your Chromebook
The phone also acts as an authentication device for Chromebooks. If the laptop detects your authorized Android phone within range, you don’t have to enter your username and password. It authenticates you automatically.