Google_IOGoogle have recently held their annual developers conference known as the I/O Conference. It's always full of interesting developments and news and as usual it did not disappoint. Let's take look at some of the biggest announcements to come out of this year's event.

Paying for Stuff with Your Android Phone

Google have developed their own contactless payment system called Android Pay. This will replace their existing Google Wallet and will provide competition to Apple's Apple Pay system. Android Pay uses NFC and will initially be available in over 700,000 stores in the United States which include the fast-food chain McDonald's. Users will need to register their debit or credit card and ID will be verified using a fingerprint scanner on the user's smartphone. To make a payment using Android Pay, all that is required is that the user's unlocked smartphone is held next to the stores card reader and the payment is automatically taken - a bit like a contactless credit card.

No doubt Android Pat will make it to the UK at some point, but we have no idea when as yet.

'Doze' to Improve Your Android Phone's Battery Life

There will soon be a new state for Android smartphones called Doze. Doze has been designed to extend the battery life of a handset and it works by detecting when the motive sensor in a smartphone is not being used, i.e. it can tell when you're not using your smartphone as the phone is not being moved. Doze will then kick in and switch off various background apps which are not needed when the phone is not in use and this will significantly improve the smartphones battery life.

Storing and Sorting Your Phone's Photos 

Google's exciting new Photos app will store unlimited photos for free, organise them into various categories, allowsyou to search for images quickly and easily, automatically back them up and sync them in one place. Rather handily, you can accessed from any device. It's available to download on both Android and iOS and you can also share your photos with friends and family just be using a link.

Android Wearables

Google have announced several upgrades to their Android Wear operating system used in smartwatches. It will be possible to shake your wrist to move onto your next text message or skip pages in emails and there's the option to draw your own pictures to send to your friends. There's a new 'Always On' feature which is handy for fitness tracking and navigation apps so the watch screen is always on when you need to check how you are doing or where you're going.

Offline Maps

Google have added Offline Maps to their list of offline features. Google's Offline Maps will mean that you can look up specific locations and use it for directions without needing a wifi connection - handy!