Google I/O: New features, services from search giant [Live chat]

Google teams took to the stage at the company's developers conference Wednesday to announce new services, features and revamped designs that will all be rolling out soon to users.

Join The Times' Michelle Maltais and me at 3 p.m. as we chat about all the news Google announced during its 3-1/2-hour keynote address.

Google's announcements ranged from new tools for developers to brand-new services, such as the new Google Music All Access monthly subscription service. With All Access, users can listen to music from Google's catalog of millions of songs for $9.99 a month.

The company also previewed the next version of its Google Maps service, which has been redesigned and beefed up with new tools. The new-look Google Maps, which will roll out later, makes it easier for users to compare different routes when they search for directions. The service also gives them recommendations any time they click on any spot on the map. The recommendations are based on the kinds of things each individual searches for.

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The Silicon Valley giant also revamped its search engine with a new feature that will enable users to do searches by simply talking out loud and asking Google in a conversational manner. This feature will work with the Chrome browser on computers that have microphones and will be available "soon," Google said.

On the hardware side, Google said it will begin selling an unlocked version of the Samsung Galaxy S 4 next month for $650 on Google Play. This version of the phone will work with AT&T and T-Mobile, and it will come with Google's version of Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean -- not the skin Samsung puts on its Android phones sold through carriers.

Additionally, Google announced a redesign for Google+ that includes a handful of new photo-editing features that are intended to make it easier and faster for users to upload their photos and share them with friends. Users will be able to let Google choose the best photos and edit them to their optimal stage using the company's technology. This should save users time, but if they want to go in and change or add any other photos, they can easily do that.


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