Live From Google IO: Keynote II, Chrome

Live From Google IO: Keynote II, Chrome

This was an absolutely packed keynote! Check out what Google has in store for it’s users.

10.37 PST

Oh boy. It’s another Oprah moment. Google is giving free Chromebooks to all IO attendees. We’re all getting computer-like objects! Take that, people not at IO! And we’re done!

10.28 PST
We’re moving on to security and legacy issues. Windows XP is still in widespread use. How sad! Pichai notes that many companies are moving their application to the Web (like SAP and Yep! So Google Chromebooks partnered with Citrix and VMWare to make sure those same applications are available in the browser. Yay!

Google did a lot of testing with enterprise. Because Chromebooks are cheap, they’ll work well for small businesses and government use, he says. Moreover, because they’re automatically updated they mean fewer headaches for IT. Both of the Chromebooks available to individuals will also be available to businesses. (Um, good?) Bigger news: Businesses can get Chromebooks for a monthly price of $US28 per user, including software and hardware.

Business Chromebooks will also be available starting June 15, from the same channels.

10.25 PST

The first Chromebook is from Samsung. Eight-second boot, Instant on, eight-hour battery, built in 3G option from Verizon. Comes in two colours. $US429 for Wi-Fi / $US499 with 3G in the US.

The second is from Acer. It’s and 11.6-inch display, with a 6.5-hour battery. The Acer starts at $US349 and up.

Both will be available starting June 15 from Amazon, Best Buy, in the US the UK, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and Italy. Take that, Ireland!

Pichai is touting that you can jailbreak these. Bold!

10.22 PST

Now Pichai is back to talk about the ability to use Chromebooks offline. GMail, Google Calendar, and Google Docs will work offline. Hundreds of other Web apps will also work offline, as well as almost all the games available in the Chrome Web Store. We’re about to get some hardware announcements I think.

10.15 PST

Kan Liu is showing new features of Chrome OS Chromebooks. There’s a new media player. Improved file management. Full screen video support. OMG! It’s like a real computer now!
Yep. Netflix will work out of the box, as will MOG, Pandora and other web services. But what about photos? Oh good! Liu is going to show us now. I was afriad he was just going to mention photos and then not address how they worked. That was foolish of me.

Liu is showing how he can get photos to the cloud as quickly as possible. A send to Picasa button pops up, and sends him a link to view it online. It is quick and somewhat easy. You can also upload documents, spreadsheets, and other data to Google services.

There’s a mysterious button he hasn’t addressed.

Ah-ha! He’s noting that because APIs are built directly in the Chrome OS, anyone can build apps. There’s the answer. He also mentions Dropbox. The idea is that any web app can register itself and handle your local files.

10.09 PST

Pichai again. It’s Chrome OS time. (Interesting: There was a Netflix badge.) We’re already talking about the instant-on netbooks. Phew. Hello Chromebooks.

Pichai is making an interesting point: most computers tend to get worse over time. Because Chomebooks are constantly being updated, they will get better.

The CR-48 Chromebook pilot program had one million applicants. No wonder I didn’t get one! He’s saying they’ve greatly improved them based on user feedback. And now Kan Liu is out to show off new features of Chrome OS they’ve added based on the pilot program.

10.05 PST

Koblin is touting some sort of immersive world called Three Dreams of Black. Music by Rome, a new Danger Mouse collaboration that includes Jack White, Norah Jones and others. It’s an immersive 3D world to explore that renders live in realtime. You can progress through the story line, and even contribute to it yourself. As Matt notes, “I can get behind this, acid trips in the browser.”

Now we’re looking at wire frames. I’m a little confused. I think we’re looking at the future of the web, which apparently requires drugs?

10.00 PST
The online version of Angry Birds will include the Mighty Eagle (a level clearing feature) that you can buy as an extra. Which is great! But if you use it you still suck. The game will be available right after the keynote. They’re saying they could be here playing Angry Birds all day. Which would be exciting! To watch a CEO play a game onstage for hours. Or not. And Pichai is back again. He’s bringing Aaron Koblin from the Google creative lab team out.

09.55 PST

Sundar Pichai is back, teasing a game that’s now available online thanks to Google Chrome. Oh yeah. It’s Angry Birds. The Mario Brothers of our times. Pichai surrenders the stage to the Angry Birds crew. “One of the reasons we’ve been angry is because we haven’t been able to bring this to the Web.” But it is now.

The demo is pretty slick. Everything is moving fluidly, at 60 fps. They built it using WebGL, and it supports Canvas.

Oh, this is kind of interesting: You can play the complete game offline. That’s great news if you’re flying on some horrible, horrible airline that doesn’t have Wi-Fi.

They’ve also built some bonus levels only available to Chrome users. It has Chrome buttons as rocks, Chrome flowers, and other things that normal people shouldn’t concern themselves with.

09.48 PST
Sundar Pichai is back, and we’re moving on to the Chome Web store. First news? They’re making the Web store available in 41 languages to all users of Chrome. Vikas Gupta is going to walk us through the store.

He’s demoing how Graphically, a comics vendor, works on the Web Store. It lets users sample comics before purchasing, then buy with a single click, and keep reading. It’s done with a single line of code. Development is very easy. Fees for developing for the Store is a flat fee of 5 per cent. No fixed fees, monthly fees, signup fees, or licensing fees. Developers are excited! Matt and I are both getting a little antsy.

09.45 PST

Ellison-Taylor also notes mow much faster Javascript is. Also? “CSS is great.” My eyes are glazing over. Need more coffee. Somebody bring me coffee? I’m up front. Trust me, nobody will notice.

Now we’re demoing how well Chrome performs with the MSFT fishtank sprite animation. It works great all the way up to 1000 fish per second. WebGL you can take it all the way up to 10,000 fish per second with great performance. This is all kind of interesting, but the takeaway is that it’s very fast.

09.37 PST

Ian Ellison-Taylor has a pretty cool t-shirt. I like it. Where can I buy that? Oh, also he has new features to talk about. First up is a demo using Clicker to add a speech attribute. He adds an attribute to the application, and a microphone appears. Oh, and it’s going to be a live speech demo. It could be a disaster! How fun.

Oh, and it worked. He performed a speech search for Emma Caulfield and found the show Bandwagon. Even cooler, he added a translate attribute, says “welcome to San Francisco” and it actually worked.

09.30 PST

And we’re live! Blank stage today, other than Vic Gundotra who is welcoming everyone. “This keynote is about the most important platform of our era,” he says, “the open web.”

And now Sundar Pichai is out front. In the past year, Chrome browser has gone from 70 million active users to 160 million. More than doubled. It’s now available for Mac and Linux as well as Windows. They’ve gone to six week release cycles, and have gone from Chrome 4 to Chrome 12. And now we’re going to talk about Chrome APIs with Ian Ellison-Taylor.

09.16 PST

And we’re live from Moscone. Total nerdpede getting in the doors. Poor Matt Buchanan was body checked and knocked down by [REDACTED] , who is a dick.

But he’s fine! Don’t worry! Except for you, [REDACTED] .

Today Matt smells like sandalwood and honeysuckle, which is nice given how many secret farters are in the room. A big screen has lots of floating Chrome logos. The overhead music is sort of Buddha-bar-ish. I’m pretty sure they swiped the soundtrack from a W Hotel bathroom, or maybe Virgin America. Either way, we are chilling out and ready for some cool Chrome action.