Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Google I/O 2011

Some brief notes on the Google I/O 2011 keynote this afternoon… It started kind of dull with Android stats that were pretty good but still seemed to be catching up on Apple, then gradually got better and better.

Google really does want Android to be “one OS everywhere” (I guess running “one web” webapps…) and the UI is improving. I look forward to the media content coming across to countries other than the USA, though the lack of any mention of music or movie labels leaves me in some doubt as to when this will happen. The presentations neatly glossed over the time involved in syncing music and movies between devices and the online service — even on a home wired network the data would take a long time to upload. And there was no mention of syncing between devices on the same LAN like Dropbox either.

The big news for me, however, was the accessories and android@home. By making it so cheap to add hardware integration with Android devices, there could be a real explosion of new products and the home automation market could finally break out of eye-wateringly expensive or home hacker territory. I’m really looking forward to more detail on android@home, but there’s nothing released yet…

android updates

  • widgets can now be stretched
    • scrollable -> resizeable (just change XML)
  • android can now be a USB host
    • keyboards, mice, game controllers
  • google tv market open for devs this summer
    • will be based on android 3.1
  • icecreamsandwich coming Q4
    • advanced UI
    • APIs to help scale UI
    • action bar able to reconfigure itself for available space


  • movies and books now available through android market
    • can watch on web or on android device (e.g. android TV…)
    • seems to be US only (like Music)
  • google music
    • cache music recently played
    • can “pin” music just like on movies to make available offline
    • downloads in background
    • 20,000 songs can be added to library
    • free in beta…
    • new music app works with android 2.2 and above


  • new devices will receive latest updates for 18 months after first launch
    • (if the hardware allows)
    • guaranteed to come through reasonably quickly
  • android open accessory
    • plug in an accessory
    • phone gets taken to app (or to android market to download it)
    • supports USB now and bluetooth in future
    • hardware design toolkit based on Arduino
  • android @ home
    • android @ home framework
    • new low cost connectivity protocol for non-wifi devices
    • why not existing??
    • partnering with several industry players
    • LED lights & switches
    • tungsten demo with NFC chips in CDs cannot work unless Google get record label deals…

new devices

  • Samsung 10.1 tab: 720p, 565g, 10.1”
    • lighter than iPad 2, at least as powerful…
    • just waiting for better interface

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