2011-05-11

Google I/O, day 1: summary of the Android keynote

I had the pleasure of attending Google’s public viewing of the Google I/O keynote, in Munich. This post is a summary of what has been presented. If one were to summarize the content in one sentence, it would be: “Android everywhere”.

Update 1: Google I/O, day 2: summary of the Chrome keynote
Update 2: Good summary at the Android Developers Blog – Android 3.1 Platform, New SDK tools

Logo of Android “Ice Cream Sandwich” [source: The Guardian]
  • News on Android
    • Android Honeycomb 3.1 is available now. [1]
    • As we already knew, the next Android version is called “Ice Cream Sandwich” and merges Android Gingerbread (phones) and Android Honeycomb (tablets). Thus, a single version of Android runs on both phones and tablets. [2]
    • Android will soon be able to become a USB host and work with cameras, keyboards, etc.
    • Android is coming to Google TV, including apps. [3]
  • Content in the cloud:
    • Currently: apps and books
    • New: Google Music Beta. [4]
      • Upload via app (on Windows and Mac)
      • Up to 20,000 songs.
      • Free while in beta.
      • Play music via web or Android app.
      • Offline: automatic caching of recently played music. Manually mark artists, albums, or playlists, for offline use.
    • New: movies, including rentals. They can be “pinned” (cached) for offline use. [5,6]
  • Guaranteed updates for users: A group has been formed that is working on guidelines for guaranteeing updates. [7]
    • Group members: AT&T, Verizon, HTC, Samsung, Motorola, etc.
    • Guaranteed updates for 18 months, if the hardware allows it (potential loophole!). Comparison: Apple introduces a new iPhone each year, but sells the previous model for another year. Thus, you get updates for about 24 months (sometimes a few features are excluded if Apple deems the hardware not capable enough).
  • Android Open Accessory [8]:
    • Open (royalty-free) standard for connecting devices to Android.
    • Android devices recognizes an accessory, can automatically download the appropriate app.
    • Connect via cable. Soon: support for Bluetooth.
  • Google@Home: home automation. [8]
    • Optional: low-power wireless communication standard, with enough bandwidth to stream video.
    • Stream music to Android@Home hubs with integrated speakers.
    • Google has partnered with Lighting Science to develop an LED light bulb that can be controlled wirelessly from an Android device. [9]
  • New Honeycomb tablet: The Samsung 10.1 tab (running 3.0). [10]

Related reading:

  1. Google Honeycomb 3.1 announced
  2. Android Ice Cream Sandwich unveiled, ‘one OS that works everywhere’
  3. Google TV getting Android 3.1 Honeycomb, Android Market
  4. Google’s Music Beta is official (update: details!)
  5. Movie rentals hit Android Market: available now for the browser, coming soon for phones and tablet
  6. YouTube boosts movie rentals with over 3,000 Hollywood titles
  7. Google promises Android updates will get better, new devices will get updates for 18 months (update: partners still figuring out how it’ll work)
  8. Google announces Accessory Development Kit and Android @ Home
  9. Google, Lighting Science to Create Android Bulb
  10. Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 (Google I/O Limited Edition) hands-on

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