Friday, May 21, 2010

GOOGLE I/O 2nd day of good news -May 20th

By Robert Kempf

Android everywhere today (and quite some statements directed towards Apple of who is leading innovation and why being open is better)…

The Keynote announced the new Froyo release with the long expected Flash 10.1 support and an associated Flash/AIR beta release from Adobe as well as quite some very useful improvements of the Android feature set including tethering, Wifi hotspot functionality, 3x-5x application performance improvement through JIT, applications on SD card support and many more including the claim for the now worlds fastest browser.

Very exciting was one feature though which clearly shows a connected world with Android supporting over-the-air application installation. Now it is possible to browse the Android Marketplace on your PC and directly install applications to your phone or to share your music library. Quite compelling, but don’t forget to log-out at home when you leave, because someone could have fun remote controlling your phone from the PC ;-)

Also the new remote music streaming functionality is quite cool and facilitated through the acquisition of Simplify Media by Google earlier. Now you can stream your iTunes library directly to your Android phone. Although this seems quite similar to a normal uPNP music streaming service in an IP network it still is innovative. The issue will be the assumed permanent connectivity and associated demand for bandwidth though. Also need to check whether you need to have your PC permanently online now or whether the content is replicated to a streaming service in the cloud. So let’s have a closer look at usability of this feature in real life.

GoogleTV was the second big topic of the Keynote centered around the message that finally the best from both worlds – the classical TV world and the open global Web – is integrated into a new user experience. This announcement was expected given the number of articles over the last few months speculating about an Intel, Logitech and Google working together on such a concept. In fact the concept of GoogleTV is very compelling and something I long awaited. Many of you will know sitting in your living room with the laptop in your hands and the TV on – this won’t be the case in the future… Watching TV, searching related information, one click recording of streams and much more will be facilitated by GoogleTV including the support for Android and Chrome marketplace applications.

It was remarkable to see that Eric Schmidt was emphasizing the importance of partnerships to realize this and that the CEOs of Intel, Sony, Logitech, DishNetwork, BestBuy, Adobe and Google were promoting the concept. The live demo did not work well due to quite many issues with connectivity and similar and showed clearly that there is still much work to do, but I am sure that within 6 months we will see the first lead devices on market.

So much on the Keynote. My slight disappointment on missing “breaking news” has gone and I am looking forward to be one of the beta testers of Froyo and GoogleTV ;-)

Another surprise was the present every participant got today – a HTC Sprint EVO 4G device… Thank you SPRINT, HTC and Google for that, but unfortunately there is no CDMA nor WiMAX Network in Germany ;-)

I was also positively surprised about the technical sessions which were much more deep dive than on Day I. We also had many laughs at the fireside chat with the Google Android team – always something to enjoy.

If you have the chance to join Google I/O next year, you should definitely do so. This event is always inspiring, a good place to meet people and also to get some more insight into where Google is heading… Cant wait!

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