Google I/O 2011: First Day Round-Up

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Google I/O 2011 Kicks off First Day with Android on Tap

From the Opening Keynote to the sessions to the larger than life toys, Google I/O 2011 definitely had something for everyone.

And for us Android fans, it was hard to avoid the green robots literally everywhere.  These big guys were there not just to tell you about Android, but to help you charge your phone.  We even learned that the robot isn't named Andy at all.  It's called BugDroid.

But of course the talk of Day 1 was that every registered attendee was scoring one of these not-yet-released Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablets.  Announced at MWC, with its specs slightly altered in time for CTIA, the Tab 10.1 is scheduled for release next month, maybe.  Except it was released to over 5000 people today at Moscone West convention center.

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Here's another thing I often don't see, and to be honest I have to say it filled me with a bit, just a bit of neener neener (a more technical term for schadenfreude).  What do you think all these I/O attendees are in line for?  And no, it is not for the free tablet.  I'll answer that question at the end of this article.

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But what a series of announcements this morning!  Music Beta, Movies to rent on YouTube, [email protected] to control your environment, the partnership to bring Android OS updates to consumers faster, the Open Accessory SDK, they really outdid themselves!  And don't forget the update to Honeycomb, Android OS 3.1 and the announcement of Ice Cream Sandwich!

Plenty of toys to see while not taking in all those sessions, too.  These are exactly what you think they are: phones with a hardware add-on via Bluetooth that makes them mobile.  They're programmed to look for faces and move in to photograph them.  This is a project between Google and Hasbro.

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I got a chance to try out the LifeFitness exercise bike that runs the game on your phone.  You might remember seeing this demo at the keynote, well it was in the hall for everyone to try.  Getting the number of revolutions per minute just right to get the green robot through the cavern walls without smashing into them is pretty tricky the first try.

And on the other end of the hall, in a quieter corner were shelf upon shelf, case upon case of Android phones and little Android collectables.

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Then there was the party, featuring even more incredible geek toys.  There were a number of vintage pinball machines to play (for free, yet!), electric vehicles to get rides in, the circular, pedal-powered fifteen person bicycle, and that Sony Xperia BugDroid made an appearance too, but no dancing moves despite Jane's Addiction rocking the house.  Just like the conference, there really was so much going on it was difficult to be sure you'd seen it all.

And as to seen it all?  Here's the cause of the line, and I must see it was a beautiful thing to see: Long lines into the men's room. and no waiting for the ladies.

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The second day of Google I/O 2011 is expected to have a lot of Chrome to cover.  We'll see why the developers kept telling questioners to talk to the Chrome team about whether Chrome and Android are migrating closer together.