Google IO 2011 Recap
- Honeycomb 3.1 was announced, it includes many bug fixes, optimizations, resizeable widgets, USB Host capability, a new quick control menu and an updated android market.
- Google TV will receive a Honeycomb upgrade complete with apps.
- Ice Cream Sandwich was also announced and will be available by the end of 2011. It will replace both Gingerbread on phones and Honeycomb on tablets as the single unifying OS, hence Ice Cream Sandwich.
- Google demoed Cordy on the Motorola Xoom running 3.1 being controlled by an Xbox 360 gamepad.
- Google will implement time guidelines in Android update cycles with oems and carriers. Unfortunately it’s not a requirement and instead an opt in. Thankfully the support is good and they will be required to update devices for at least 18 months.
- Google announced the Android open accessory API allowing all Android devices to work with third party accessories. Any accessory designed using the API will be compatible with any Android phone or tablet with no cost or approval from Google allowing third party manufacturers to implement it any way they wish.
- Google announces Android@Home which will be used to bring home automation courtesy of Android.
- A new Nexus phone is in the works and should launch with Ice Cream Sandwich at the end of the year according to Andy Rubin.
- Currently Google offers 50MB for in market APK’s on the Android Market and will now provide an additional 4GB of storage for larger Apps. This is huge for smaller developers who want to go big. Currently they would have to provide their own additional storage which can be costly, especially when considering piracy.
- Google is adding new categories to the Android Market. Top Grossing, Top Free & Paid, Top New Free & Paid, Just In, Trending, Editors Choice and Top Developers list to the Market.
- Android Market will soon be available in 99 new countries, bringing the total to 131 countries. This will most likely result in much bigger revenues for developers and an increase in Android hardware sales worldwide.
- ChromeOS finally gets a file browser and media player and is starting to looking more and more like a full fledge OS
- Google will charge 5% for in app payments from the Chrome Web Store
- Google will launch two Chromebooks on June 15th, one from Samsung and one from Acer in the US, UK, France, Germany, Netherlands, Italy and Spain.
- Google will also be releasing a Chromebox mini-desktop targeted at businesses.
- Chromebooks by monthly subscription, cost per user; $28 for businesses and $20 for schools with free software and hardware upgrades. This could be very popular for Businesses and schools. No up front cost, no OS upgrade costs, no hardware upgrade costs and requires less employees to maintain the computers.
- Currently only available in the US and by invitation only.
- They do not have deals with any labels, so it is merely a cloud storage option.
- Install the app on your computer and it will upload your music and playlist to the web for playback from any web browser, ChromeOS and Android device.
- It can handle MP3, MPA, WMA and FLAC which still leaves a few holes but is superior than Amazon’s cloud storage.
- The service currently offers free storage for up to 20,000 songs, no mention of actual storage space but it’s probably 80GB.
- There is no mention of price but Google’s current pricing for storage is $5 for 20GB, $20 for 80GB, $50 for 200GB, $100 for 400GB, $256 for 1TB per year.
- Google launched 3000 movie rentals from all the major studios.
- Available from YouTube or the web based Android Market and Android devices with the movie app.
- The rental is attached to your gmail and can be viewed from any of your devices.
- Rentals are good for 30 days from purchase and 24 hours from first viewing.
- The movies can be downloaded to your device for offline viewing.
- Movie rentals are only available in the US and no mention of making the jump to other countries.
- Pricing varies from $3.99 for new releases, $2.99 for movies older than several months and $1.99 for movies older than a year or two.