Search engine behemoth Google wants a bigger share of the technology pie, announcing ambitious plans to expand its mobile operating system Android by combining it with other versatile devices including televisions, cars and watches.
The company unveiled new products and technology at its annual software developers’ conference in San Francisco on Wednesday. New Android prototypes included a budget smartphone under US$100, a smartwatch, and a car and television that users can control via voice commands.
During his keynote speech, Sundar Pichai, a senior vice president who oversees Android, Chrome and Google apps, said that Android-based tablets rose to 62 percent this year from 46 percent last year in terms of market dominance and that Android has become the No. 1 operating system for tablets as it did in smartphones.
Google also displayed a Hyundai Sonata equipped with a platform called Android Auto, which allows users voice-based access to Google Maps navigation, text messaging and other features for a more convenient and safer driving experience .
"Hyundai plans to launch a car with Android Auto late this year," said a Hyundai spokesman at the conference.
Google is also collaborating with other automakers such as Volkswagen and GM.