For Android Wear, we started with two models. Today, we are up to over seven models, and there are many more to come. The team has been evolving the software continuously, and you’ll get a full update on that today.
Android Auto. We announced this last year as an open automotive alliance. Just last week, Hyundai announced that its Sonata models are available in U.S. dealerships right now. GM announced 13 of its Chevrolet models for 2016 will be based on Android Auto. Volkswagen just announced this week its entire lineup for 2016, including Passat and the common models in Europe and North America is based on Android Auto. Ford, GM, Mitsubishi, we have over 35 car manufacturers beginning to ship. And so we will have a whole range of vehicles coming in the market soon.
Android TV, we announced last year as a reference device, ADT-1. Today, we have Sony and Sharp televisions shipping in the U.S., Philips, which is very popular in Europe, and many more models coming. There are many, many streaming consoles, NVIDIA SHIELD is a great console, RAZR has one, and the range of content we are seeing in Android TV is pretty breathtaking. We have grown our user base there, we’ve doubled in the last three months alone. Of course, for TV, for televisions, we have a simple and elegant solution in the form of Chromecast. People have bought over 17 million devices. They have pressed the Cast button 1.5 billion times. And today you have over 20,000 applications you can cast from. All of this is powered by an incredible content ecosystem in Google Play. And today I’m very excited to announce HBO Now for the first time is coming to Google Play, and it’s available now across Android and iOS using Cast. You can watch your favorite episodes, be it Game of Thrones, the upcoming True Detective season, or maybe even your favorite episode of Silicon Valley. I hope this moment doesn’t make it in there.
So we always start I/O by giving an update of our upcoming platform release. That’s the foundation of everything we do. Last year with “L” — “L” was a major release for us in which we tackled many, many form factors. For “M,” we have gone back to the basics. We have really focused on polish and quality. We have literally solved thousands of bugs. We more importantly thought through every detail to make it better. To give you a preview of the upcoming “M” release, let me invite Dave Burke onto the stage.
Dave Burke – VP of Engineering, Android
Thanks, Sundar. So this year, we’ve made a conscious decision to focus on quality end-to-end. Today, I’m excited to share a preview of the new “M” release of Android. The central theme of M is improving the core user experience of android. Our focus is on product excellence. Everything from squashing thousands of bugs to rethinking fundamental aspects of how the platform has worked for years.
Now one of the unique and amazing things about Android is that it’s an open platform. We make the source code available to everyone from hobbyists to the world’s largest device manufacturers and this has enabled device makers both small and large to innovate and iterate Android, often many years ahead of the competition.
With “M,” we’re excited to be able to fold in some of these improvements that we’ve seen in the ecosystem into the official Android platform, so we can make them more widely available to users and app developers alike. So let me take a few minutes and walk you through six key areas where we really improved the core user experience in “M.”
Now, one of the things Android users tell us they love is their ability to customize and really control the behavior of their phones. So in “M,” we’re bringing this approach to App Permissions. So with App Permissions, we’re giving users meaningful choice and control over the data they care about. You don’t have to agree to permissions that don’t make sense to you. And we’re accomplishing this through a few big changes. First, we’re greatly simplifying App Permissions to a smaller set of easily understood things like location, camera, microphone. Second, apps will now ask you for permission the first time you try to use a feature instead of asking during app installation time.
So let’s take a look at how this could work with WhatsApp. Now, keep in mind when I install the app, I wasn’t asked to grant any permissions upfront. Okay. So let’s say I’m in the app and I want to send a voice message. When I press the mic button, the app makes a request to the system to access the microphone which then brings up this permission prompt. The permission directly reflects the use case. And this is a one-time request and of course, I as a user can allow or deny the request on a per-permission basis.
Now that I granted the permission, I can hold the mic button and record a message like so. So one of the things we’ve heard from our users is the desire to change or revoke an already-granted permission. So with “M,” I can now go into settings, choose the app, see what permissions it has and even modify them. I can also go — and I can also go the other way. So I can choose a permission, say microphone, and see which apps have access to it. Now, for developers the new App Permissions apply to apps compiled against the M SDK, legacy apps targeting SDK version before M will behave as before. One of the really nice side-effects of the new permission model for app developers is it’s faster to get users up and running in your app. We also know that with the old permission model that adding a new permission to your app can affect your update adoption. With the new permission model, updates are seamless because user involvement is deferred until right when it’s needed.