Keynote Wrap-Up: It's Google I/O 2011

Google Android Keynote at Google I/O 2011

Google might have commissioned their own music for the giant digital countdown clock.  What you'd been seeing on the website is now on the giant screens at the keynote, and the sound engineer is making sure the volume is steadily ratcheted up as 9 AM approaches.  This room is pretty much dead to Wi-Fi, so they have made sure press have Ethernet to get the story out.  I'll get you a few seconds of that footage as soon as I can so you can get a sense of the vibe.

Those Attended Every Google I/O I/ONs get reserved fourth row seating, right ahead of the press.  Google sure is treating those early adopters well.  This keynote space is one of the few where the adjective "cavernous" actually applies.  This space is huge.  Despite the huge crowds at the door, we early have gotten the decent seating.

Five minutes to go... music getting bouncier, not just louder.  Very electronica sense to it, and I wouldn't be surprised if some Googlers wrote it.  Given how fiendish some of their puzzles have been leading up to this week, I wouldn't be surprised to find music among their talents.

And the digital countdown clock has just exploded into little balls, as Vic Gundotra takes the stage.

Vic notes what we have come from in previous Google I/Os and gives a shout out to all the developers at viewing parties watching along all over the world.

Hugo Barra, Android Product development will give the opening android keynote: Momentum, Mobile and More.

Cool video showing 100 million Android devices activated worldwide.  But he wants to measure velocity, not just totals. 400K activations every single day now, just 100K less than a year ago.  Plus 200K Android apps exceeded in the Android Market. 4.5 application installs from the Market total.

Two new services are going to be announced very soon in the Mobile portion of the keynote.

8 releases of Android have shipped within 2.5 years.

Android 3.1 Honeycomb update rolling out today for Verizon's Motorola Xoom.  First, you can task-switch more, scrolling through your open apps.  Supposedly "you will never run out of memory."  NEVER?  That is a strong statement!  Computers have ways of surprising us!

Widgets are expanded.  Literally.  You can stretch them to stretch horizontally and vertically.  Android devices can now act as USB hosts, so importing photos from one device to another will be much easier.  This should make tablets much more awesome.  The crowd was pleased to see a game on the Xoom using a USB game controller.

3.1 is also coming to Google TV "this summer."  PLUS THE ANDROID MARKET, finally!  No more separate SDK needed. Sony, Vizio, Samsung and Logitech will have new Google TV devices.  More info coming.

ICE CREAM SANDWICH

Here is what we were waiting for, the next release of Android.  We never were given a release number, and nobody asked about it at the follow-up.

The word is "choice" for Ice Cream Sandwich.  Device choice: phones, tablets, tablets that become laptops.  Apps are the lifeblood, so there will be new tools for you App Developers.  "One OS Everywhere," a "state of the art UI."  There will be an advanced app framework.  We should check out tomorrow's Android Tools talk for more info.

Headtracking Open GL demo moves the images with your head (wearing a tracking device).  Then there was a very cool facial distortion tool showing that it could locate your facial features via software; rather than stretch the image, the demoer was clicking buttons labeled Eyes, Nose, Mouth and the software was finding the right places.  Now a demo showing how in video chat the camera knows to zoom to the person talking.  This will all be available as Developer APIs in Ice Cream Sandwich.

MEDIA

Chris Yerga, Android Apps takes over.

Now, the Books tab is currently in the Android Market.  When you buy it it is instantly available.

Movies

Movies are now available to rent.  You can pin them to a particular device to watch offline, download from the cloud.  Of course this works on phones as well as tablets.  You can rent movies.  You can watch it on your device, the web, or another device you own.

Movies app on the phone shows what you have available to stream.  Try on market.android.com.  Will be available on Android 2.2 phones in a couple of weeks, should work now on the Xoom with 3.1.

Music Beta

Paul Joyce, here to talk about Music, and the crowd sort of seems pleased.  We already mentioned this, but here it is again: Music Beta by Google.  Your music will be stored in the cloud.

They have a new Windows and Mac program called Music Manager.  The web Music Beta looks a lot like the Android Market.  Double click on a song and it plays right away.  Creating playlists is as easy as drag and drop.  They can also create an "Instant Mix" based on a song you choose.  It sounds like Pandora using your own library, and it supposedly listens to your tracks to select what goes together.

The Music app on the tablet has a great 3-D effect to scroll through music choices.  No more using a cable to add music, it's all there.

But what if you don't have access to the cloud?  First, Music Beta caches your recently listened to music.  But you can also choose which music to have available offline.

On phones, holding the device in portrait mode is list-driven.  Speaker is now sharing some Earth Wind and Fire with us, then realizes he shared the same tune last year.

This is launching in Beta today, by invitation at first.  20,000 songs can be added to your library.  It will be free in beta, go to music.google.com/about to request an invite.  We here at Google I/O will be getting invites so I can cover this in more depth later.  Visit music.google.com/about to request an invite.If you have Froyo or later, you can download the Music app while you wait for your invite.

Making Sense of Updates: A New Partnership

New announcement for an open team for UPDATE POLICY on handling OS updates and how long devices will receive updates.  Google is partnering with the following carriers and manufacturers to implement some sense to this Wild West:

  • Verizon
  • AT&T
  • T-Mobile
  • Vodafone
  • HTC
  • Samsung
  • Sprint
  • Sony Ericsson
  • LG
  • Motorola

Under this working group, new devices will receive Android updates for 18 months if hardware allows.  Of course they are welcmonig more partners to this alliance.

Integrating Acceessories

Matt Hershenson and Joe Britt from Android product team are introduced.  First up, Matt.

Accessories, how to get them to work with all devices?  android Open Accessory, so they work with all of them.

They show a nice demo where the exercise integrates with a game on the phone.  The bike will be available to see later today.  Open Accessory API supported by 2.3.4 and 3.1

ADK for hardware and software, supported by Adreno?

Labyrinth game that could run from a Labyrynth,  They set up a giant one, more today at the 1:15 accessories sessions.  Now we know what that big thing is by the escalator.  It will be there for the attendees to play with.  Here's the little one they demo'd.  I'll be tweeting a shot of the big one at some point today.

No NDAs will be required to create Android integration for accessories.  This will be all open source.

[email protected]

Joe Britt introduces yet another way to accessorize Android: by starting with home device control, and more.

New services for Android apps to communicate with appliances and devices in your home, new open wireless protocol.  This should work with anything electrical in your home.  They used the tablet to control the lighting on and off, but you can do much more sophisticated device control.  Imagine using alarms.  How about a real world FarmVille app to control your sprinkler system?

They showed the lights controlled by actions from a shooting game.

LightingScience will be selling LED lightbulbs and switches that can be controlled by [email protected]  They should be available by the end of the year.

Project Tungsten - Music input and output.  Uses the same Music Beta service but these are new devices and the tablet can direct outlet to Tungsten devices.  Stream and synchronize music through your house.  Any of the boxes in your house could stream your music from the cloud.

How about a CD with an NFC tag in it, touch it to a Tungsten device, it adds it to your list, and starts playing it.  This is a conceptual demonstration, nothing like this being planned yet... but it could be!

Android @ Google I/O 2011

Hugh's back to recap:

  • Momentum, 100M devices 400M installs ??
  • Honeycomb 3.1
  • Ice Cream Sandwich
  • Movie Rentals and Music Beta launching today
  • Partnership on OS updates
  • Android Open Accessory partnership
  • [email protected]

There will be plenty more devices coming out.  The Samsung Galaxy tab 10.1 will be available in a month, and given to all 5000 of us today.  AND THE CROWD GOES WILD.

 

This is the device I was tweeting about last night and covered in my preview writeup.  I don't think too many here are going to be disappointed, although the rumor mill already has it that someone sold theirs immediately.  I'm going to keep mine.  :)

And that's it for today's all-Android keynote.

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