Google might already be a household name for its search engine, but the tech behemoth might soon be just as well known for its Android operating system.
At its annual developer conference Thursday in San Francisco -- which Google said was streaming to 2 million people on 6 continents -- the company's top brass revealed key numbers showing not only the popularity of Android but also its robust expansion beyond phones and into every digital nook and cranny, such as wearables and cars.
There are now 1 billion Android users, according to Sundar Pichai, head of Google's most important products, including Android, Chrome, Search and Maps. What's more, 8 out of every 10 phones worldwide is operating on Android, he said.
The growth of Google's Android Wear software, a modified version of its OS for wearable devices, could pose a serious challenge to the Apple Watch. Originally launched on only 2 smartwatches, it's now powering 7 smartwatches. And as today's event revealed, there are now 4,000 Android Wear apps.
Google also wants you to reach for Android instead of the cash in your pocket. The company said 700,000 stores throughout the US will work with, and it will be integrated into apps from Lyft, GrubHub, Groupon and others.
Google said Android Auto, which mirrors Android phone functionality on a car's dashboard, now has 35 partners, including Ford and Hyundai. One app already available for Ford will tell owners where they parked their cars.
Among other disclosures at I/O:
Google revealed 900 million people use Gmail. That might be a large number of users for many companies, but it's small compared to Google products like Search, YouTube and Maps.
The Google Play marketplace has 1 billion active users. In fact, in the last 12 months, 50 billion applications have been installed from the store, which is growing twice as fast in India as it is the rest of the world.
And 1 million people worldwide use Google Cardboard, the company's cheap, even funky, virtual reality goggles.
Google I/O 2018
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