Google IO Keynote Day 2

From the looks of the cascading Chrome logos being projected up front, today’s keynote is likely to be all about the Chrome browser, and my least favorite Google project, Chrome OS.

Vic Gundrota back up on stage today. 600k viewers getting access to the various live streams.

Today’s keynote will be about the platform none of us owns: the open web.

The stats: 160 million active Chrome browser users today.

Lot of work went into making chrome work well on Mac and Linux, they have also moved to a 6 week dev cycle. Lots of security and performance gains being made. The good news is that all modern browsers are aggressively implementing HTML 5.

Speech. Demoing adding speech API with one line of HTML 5. Great demo. Speech recognition for search worked flawlessly. Also demoed speech translation

JavaScript performance is good and potentially good enough for most applications. Wonder why this is downplayed.

2D canvas performance can leverage GPU support and it works well. Web GL also shows great performance gains for web graphics. HTML 5 apps are going to be getting better. Which makes me wonder why Google is propping up Flash.

Chrome Web Store in now going global. It’s being translated in 41 languages. In app payments will also be available. In app payments can be integrated with very little code. In app purchases will cost publishers 5%. That’s a lot lower than 30%.

Angry Birds publisher is showing off Angry Birds for the web. All HTML 5 Web GL and Canvas with hardware acceleration. It gets 60fps on most modern platforms and with browser client side storage you can play offline. They built some Chome specific levels. When in app purchases go live the Mighty Eagle will be available in Chrome. Previously only available only on iOS. The whole app is hosted on App Engine.

Arron Koblin showing off a new music project on the web. The demo and music are fantastic. It’s like being immersed in a 3d animation. Amazing. It has a mine craft like build environment so you can contribute to the project. Uses the 3.js library. Very nice demo of the state of web graphics.

Of course with all this capable on the web why do we need an OS? Enter Chrome OS and the Chrome Book. Sounds like the next generation of the cr-48. Lots of improvements: better hardware and firmware. Demoing file management using PDFs, music, video, and photos via the new Chrome OS file manager. Including importing photos from an SD card right into Picasa. Great integration which is available via an API to all Chrome OS developers.

Disconnected access will also be improved. GDocs, gmail, and calendar will use these features.

Chrome books will be built by many vendors. Samsung, Acer but man are they ugly. These devices will cost about 300-500 USD and will be available shortly from Amazon across the world. Available June 15th.

Of course this type of device plays well in the enterprise. As most apps become web based why do we need computers with full OS stacks. 50k companies applied to test the cr-48. Google surveyed these companies and they reported that 75% of there users could switch to a Chrome Book. Google has created a web console to manage Chrome Books in the enterprise. A fuul hardware and software system for 28USD per user per month. Wow. 20 USD for schools and government. Also available June 15th. This is pretty nice. It’s the future. Maybe I was wrong about Chrome OS?

Looks like everyone here is getting a free Chrome Book on June 15th.

Google IO Keynote Day 2

Google Music Musing

Yesterday’s announcement of Google Music seemed pretty sedate. I think being sandwiched between Amazon’s Cloud Storage announcement last month and the impending Apple cloud announcement is bad for Google. Don’t get me wrong. This is a good first step for Google but Music is basically not that much different than most music locker services. It requires you to upload your catalog (that would tie me a while since I have about 16 gigs of music), you can stream it to any device, and you can cache tracks on your devices for those long plane rides. They did add a “genius” mix feature but that’s not very exciting. So overall I think this will be great for existing Android users but not a killer feature that entices people to choose Android over iOS.
I believe Apples offering will likely be simpler to use (I believe you won’t have to upload anything to get tracks into the cloud) and it will have all iTunes features with maybe some interesting extras. We will have to wait for that shoe to drop. It should be more than a music locker. Simpler is better and I believe that in the consumer space simpler trumps open for most users.
Things are improving in the Android space, but they have a long way to go.

Google Music Musing

Google IO 2011 Keynote Day One

Huge crowd, heard the attendance was 5.5k give or take. There was a veritable geek stampede getting into the room this morning. Not sure if there is any big news that hasn’t already been leaked. The Google music service launch, growth in Android market share, and possibly some more info on Honeycomb. It’s all going down in about 12 minutes.

Vic Gundrota upon stage. His review of past IO conferences ends with a shot at Apple. (You stay classy, Vic.)

Hugo Barra kicks off the Android keynote. Review of the Android numbers. Still focused on activations which is the wrong stat. 210 available devices (mostly phones) is still impressive and 200k app in the Android app store. A healthy market, no doubt.

Two new services being announced today. One must be the music locker.

3.1 Honeycomb being released today. Good stuff in the update: resizable widgets, better USB support, and more. 3.1 will also be available on Google TV.

Next release, Ice cream sandwich, in the 4th quarter. The top priority will be device choice but it looks like the OS will become more homogeneous. Like iOs. Unlike iOS some of it will be open source.

Cool head tracking demo using the device camera to adjust an Open GL scene.

Android market now adding movie rentals. Terms are similar to other online rental outlets like iTunes. You can stream and “pin” a movie to a device which downloads it for playing movies on planes. No tethering to a computer to pin the content. So music must be next.

Music beta. All in the cloud. Uses a client app to move files up to Google’s servers. So far it looks like Amazon’s Cloud Drive. Looks like they have a “Genius Mix” feature like iTunes. All demos are showing off both phone and tablets. Of course no tethering required. The service launches today in beta. It’s free while it’s in beta.

Barra announces an industry group that will govern how updates will happen to Android mobile devices. Should help speed the rate of Android updates.

Android Open Accessory is a new open standard and API for device interconnect. Demoing using an Android device with an exercise bike. Interesting idea. It’s a hardware and software solution based on Arduino. (wow) this looks like a great program for building Hardware that interfaces with Android devices.

Android at Home is an extension of this idea but they are short on details on the hardware and software that drives the simple X10-like lighting demos. Still pretty new. Not available.

Looks like Google and Samsung are giving us all Galaxy Tab 10.1! Thanks! Nice way to wrap up the keynote!

Google IO 2011 Keynote Day One