Live From Google IO

Live From Google IO

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

09.51 PST
We’re wrapping up here. One more thing? Oh wait. Wrong room.


Showing off the new Samsung 10.1-inch Galaxy Tab. It launches in a month, and isn’t available to anyone yet. Other than Google IO attendees. All 5000 of them get a new Galaxy Tab. So, again, take that, people not at Google IO. (In reality, this is even more exciting than that time Apple stuck an optical mouse under everyone’s chair at Macworld Expo).

And we’re done!

09.43 PST


Joe Britt announces an Andoid at home framework. It allows Andoid to talk to any device in your home, even if the device isn’t on Wifi. (All of these addressed devices in the home are why we need IPv6.) You can control anything electric as long as it’s plugged into a receiving device. They’ve developed their own WiFi protocol to control your lights even.

Now Annan is demoing playing a game. As explosions happen on screen, the lights in the room go up and down to reflect what’s happening in game.

Now we’re talking Project Tungsten: Speakers that run Android at Home. It lets your Android device route music to Tungsten devices in various rooms. It’s a little confusing. There’s not much applause.

Conceptual demo of a Tungsten device. They touch a Run DMC CD with a NFC (near field communications) tag embedded, and the entire thing is automatically imported into the speaker. This is the first cool thing I’ve seen NFC do. Of course, it’s still conceptual.

09.35 PST


Members from the Android hardware engineering team, Matt and Joe, are going to tell us about bringing Android to new devices. “Today we’re announcing Andriod open accessory.” APIs to let third-party devices work with Android phones. Onstage they’ve got a Googler in bike shorts demoing an exercise bike. The bike syncs up with the phone to send heart rate and workout data. If the required app isn’t on the phone, the accessory will automatically send the user to the marketplace to download it. The open accessory API supports USB today and Bluetooth is on the way. Today they’re releasing and hardware and software for Android open accessory design. Arduino-based ADK board.

They’re demo-ing a labyrinth game that mirrors the movements of an Android tablet. It’s neat. Oh, and it’s a video! Now the’ve got a version of one that can hold a human being. I guess size doesn’t matter. Which is completely unsurprising. And you can demo it here at Google IO. So, um, once again, take that, people not at Google IO.

No approval process to build hardware or write the software for open accessories.

09.33 PST
“Innovation only matters if it can reach consumers.” Here comes something about the open handset alliance. They’re going to create guidance for how quickly devices get updated after OS upgrades, and how long they’ll remain updated. All the major players are involved. Out of the gate, it means that all participating providers will offer the latest versions of the OS on new devices for the first 18 months after they’re released.

09.25 PST


And now on to music. “Today we’re introducing music beta by Google.” It’s all cloud-based. “No wires, no painful syncing,” direct slap at Apple and iTunes. (This Googler has a sweet track jacket. And by sweet I mean terrible. I think that color is called jaundice.)

Create playlists online, and they instantly show up on all your devices. There are also auto-generated playlists called “instamix”. It sounds basically like Pandora/Rdio/Genius. It’s based on machine learning.

The app connects to music in the cloud. “That means I’ll never have to use a cable to add music again.” (Eh. Technically you already did not. But making it easy is great, and having cloud access to your entire library is even better.) They also make songs available offline, based on recently played tracks, favourites and selection.


The UI is really great. It has a list-driven portrait mode, or an album view mode. As soon as you sign into your Google account, all of your music just appears.

It launches in beta today, by invitation only initially to US users. While in beta the service is free. No word on final pricing. All IO users get an invitation. Others can visit to request an invite. Take that, people not at IO.

09.19 PST


On to Andriod Market. In addition to books, Google is adding streaming movie rentals. Starting today, users can rent movies from Android Market starting at $US1.99 and stream them to devices. That’s pretty damn big right there. 30 day rental period, with a 24 hour time frame to view the whole thing. (Same as Apple rentals, I think.)

In addition to streaming movies, you can also “pin” them to a device and play them back offline. Which is great, because otherwise they’d be useless in many situations.

I have to be honest: the interface looks a little jagged. Lots of hard lines and edges.

The movies app will be available to honeycomb users today, and to Andrid 2.2 users in a few weeks.

09.14 PST
Google says it knows solid apps are keys. “We want one OS that runs everywhere. Let me tell you how we’re going to make that happen.” They’re going to invest heavily in framework, adding new APIs to help developers optimize for all the various devices. They’ll all be open source. Yay?

Google’s quality extraction team is based in Roswell, New Mexico. Really? OK!

OpenGL headtracking demo shows ability to track a Googler’s head, eyes, nose and mouth. It lets you see what he’s seeing, and on the flipside, manipulate facial features. A Kinnect-ish feature automatically swaps camera angles to follow voice. All of this will be available via APIs. This is kind of hard to describe, but the video is impressive.

09.12 PST


Android 3.1 is also coming to Google TV users. Meanwhile, Google TV is getting the Android Market. (Matt notes this is late. Agreed!)

The new logo is really cute. Ice Cream Sandwich Android.

09.11 PST
Scrolling widgets can now be stretched horizontally or vertically. Android devices can act as a USB host. IT can support keyboards, joysticks, game controllers. There’s a video of an XBOX controller hooked to a phone.

09.10 PST
They’re now announcing a Honeycomb upgrade.

09.00 PST

We’re inside. Row six. There’s bad trance music playing. Matt smells like rosewater. It’s charming.

And we’re being welcomed now. Eight minutes to go. Take your seats. Turn off your mobile phones. Buckle your seat belts. Kool Aid is located in the pitcher immediately under your chair.

Oh God. The music. I just took some ketamine.

Two minutes to go. There’s a big countdown timer on the screen ahead of us with bouncing Android-green balls cascading in front. Lots of Android iconography throughout Moscone today.

And we’re live.


Vic Gondotra Sr, VP of engineering takes the stage to welcome us.

Reminds us that in 2009 they moved the Web forward with Chrome and HTML5. There’s an exercise bike, lamps and some speakers on-stage.

122 viewing parties around the world, including Cairo, where it’s 2am and Google says 1000 people are watching. I would have thought they were busier than that in Cairo.

Three things today: Momentum Mobile and More.

“Do you remember this device?” It’s the T-Mobile G1.


Oh, it’s a quick video. “Let’s have a look.” The video is touring all the Android activation numbers, which Google says is now up to 100 million Android device activations worldwide. 450 Thousand Android developers worldwide, 310 devices in 112 countries. “Talk about choice.”

200,000 available apps now. Google is touting the quality of these apps. 4.5 billion application installs today.