A Fast Google IO Recap

I’m back from Google IO (@googleio), which was a great time and quite interesting to the geek in me.

I wanted to share my quick impressions, before they go cold.

If you follow me (@jkuramot) on Twitter, you might have noticed I tweeted my impressions of each day’s keynote. I hadn’t intended to cover the keynotes, but there were some interesting (and meh) announcements.

Google streamed the keynotes live, and I’m sure recordings will be posted.

The first day’s keynote wasn’t terribly earth-shattering. The focus on HTML5 development and Google’s adoption and release of WebM VP8 codec as open source were interesting. So was the introduction of a Chrome Web Store for web apps.

There were a couple interesting enterprise announcements that went nearly unnoticed, i.e. inclusion of Google Wave as a piece of Google Apps and App Engine for Business. They came toward the end of a long keynote. Plus, enterprise isn’t sexy enough for a lot of ink.

Day 2’s keynote had more fireworks, mostly around Android 2.2. As rumored, 2.2 includes tethering and wifi hotspot capabilities. The Intent feature, which was demoed a few times, looks really cool, e.g. send a web page to your phone.

Intent looks to be behind the sync over the air feature shown for the new Android Market, the feature that streams music to the phone from sources like iTunes, and the new backup feature that streamlines device switching. Plus, 2.2 is super fast in several areas including the new browser’s JS rendering engine.

And just when everyone was psyched to get 2.2, Google gave us all HTC EVO 4Gs. Rich is already using his, so expect a review soon. My initial impressions were excellent, especially since I live in a 4G city.

And yes, that makes two phones they gave us, each with 30 days of service, which is really nice. Thanks Google. These freebies will ensure a sell-out for many IOs to come.

Unfortunately, no one got 2.2 at the conference. We heard it will be pushed over wifi, since it’s 140 MB, once the carriers digest the new stuff.

Finally, they announced Google TV, which is probably worth its own post. I’m not very excited about it, but maybe Paul will chime in with his thoughts. That’s more his area of interest and expertise.

Passive-aggressive bashing of Apple permeated all the keynotes. I don’t have a problem with that. It’s amusing and definitely a stark contrast to Steve Jobs’ aggressive-aggressive style. Oddly, the iPad caught quite a bit of flack, but there was no tablet teaser.

I can’t wait for the iPhone announcements later this year.

Thanks to Google for the EVOs. Android 2.2 looks really great, and I’m sure it will push Apple to innovate more quickly. I’m very likely to switch to the EVO away from my OG iPhone. More on that to come.

Disclaimer: I’m way behind on feeds, so I may have some errors with names and capabilities.

Add your thoughts on Google IO and the announcements to the comments.



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