The Great Google
Google Inc. unveiled payment services, security upgrades and access to HBO movies and shows for its popular Android software, seeking to push back against growing competition from rivals such as Apple Inc.
The new version of the mobile software, called Android M, will include Android Pay, which enables transactions at more than 700,000 stores in the U.S., Dave Burke, vice president of engineering for Android, said at the Internet company’s annual developers’ conference in San Francisco on Thursday.
Google is investing to extend Android’s reach by keeping users engaged on its services and attracting them to new platforms using the software, such as televisions, autos and wearable devices. The Web-search company’s mobile operating system grabbed 79 percent of the global smartphone market in the first quarter, down from 81 percent a year earlier, as Apple’s iPhone gained ground, according to Gartner Inc.
“For M, we have gone back to the basics,” said Sundar Pichai, Google’s senior vice president of products. “We have really focused on polish and quality.”
The conference, called I/O, comes less than two weeks before the start of Apple’s developer event at the same location. The companies are vying to attract software makers with more media platforms, better tools and new opportunities to make money from applications. Innovative mobile apps, such as messaging features, puzzle games and news services, can help keep users on the companies’ platforms.
Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg
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