Thursday, May 20, 2010

Google I/O thoughts.

Conference page here.

Google's own postmortem here

Brief Impressions.

Keynote #1. Relatively low-key, with only one truly major announcement. However, they have very clearly staked out their position and pointed a big fat arrow in the direction they intend to go. Empower the browser. Make it the main environment in which everyone works. Take care of (1) all the pipework and (2) delivery mechanism. Leave to others content/app generation.

The latter appears to be a theme for a lot of things Google does. Google provides the unified, open and accessible platform, and builds the low-level, and leaves the top level of the hierarchy for others to fill.

WebM. In my view, the only really big announcement of the first day. Everyone's collective life is made easier by open-source video encoding standards. Hence a good way to start the conference.

Chrome. No Chrome OS announcements at all. But Chrome played a big role during the first day's keynote. Google has drawn a big fat arrow pointing in the direction they want to head: delivery of all standard applications over the web. Chrome and its facilities essentially serve as the backdrop of this particular goal.

GWT and Roo. Of all the techy demos during the first day this was the one I appreciated the most. Roo looks like a great tool for development of simple database applications as it stresses the design part of the process. This will be a summertime project.

Venture capitalists have peculiar insight into things.

Ignite. An excellent experience. We should run something like this here at the department.

HTML 5. Gotta learn it now.

Keynote #2. That's where they dropped the bombs.

Android. Total lack of Android mentions during day 1 official festivities and the wink-wink "there's going to be something big tomorrow" gave way to Android being the star of day. Froyo demos were quite convincing. They did well both in terms of speeding up the system (as a G1 owner, I can vouch that slow-running Android is much less fun than fast running one) and in terms of expanding the features.

Apps to SD cards. Was sorely needed for Android phones. G1 has 64 Meg of memory. I do not know if it will ever get the Froyo update, but if it is at all possible, this feature alone (along with the JIT compiler) can extend its life for at least another year... (not that this is in the interests of HTC, but G1 is a special phone...)

Tethering. Yay!

Push notifications. A not-so-subtle dig at Apple (one of many), and an impressive demo: study something on your desktop, send it as an intent to the android phone.

HTC Evo. Two free phones?? Great phone, a pleasure to hold in your hand and use. I was hoping it'd come with Froyo on it - this would have been really inspired. As it is, though, let's hope for an upgrade shortly... And Sprint... I am temped to find out what those "special terms" for I/O conference attendees are...

Google TV. I want one. 'nuff said.

Go. On a more serious note, Go may wind up being a good development language for various data mining/machine learning algorithms, and for various data analysis code with interchangeable parts.

Other notes. The drone was fun to watch. Held Joojoo pad in my hands (ha!). Saw Nvidia's tablet in someone else's but did not get to see it close by. Sloppy Joe's? The Android phone stand was impressive. Of the non-Evo models, two, Samsung's Android iPhone clone and Sony's XP10 looked like fun phones. I have Square's square (although have not installed the app yet). A randomly selected person in the crowd either graduated from Cal Poly, or has kids attending Cal Poly. New category of swag: beach chair for your cell phone.

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