For those of you that are living under a rock Google I/O kicked off today, and as they promised it’s all about Android. Instead of writing an article for every exciting announcement, I thought it was a better idea to do a summary of the day for those of us who couldn’t be there, or can’t watch it streaming. Here’s a rundown of the awesomeness that is Day 1 of Google I/O… Let’s start with the new iteration of Android, which was finally given an official name “Ice Cream Sandwich.” Google confirmed that it will be “One OS that runs everywhere.” What that means is it will be universal, and will work with tablets, and phones alike. They didn’t say much else about it (yet), but did touch on face-tracking, and camera focus with voice recognition. This year’s big “freebie” blew me away a bit as well. All the attendees of the show got an awesome Google I/O edition of the Galaxy Tab! Color me envious, but that’s some pretty good swag to get for attending the conference. Next year, I am going to pull out all stops and try to attend myself, who knows what freebie will be offered in 2012.
Next up is Google Music Beta. Google went ahead and dropped this one on us, even though they don’t have any record companies on board yet. The point of this soon to be awesome app is to let you stream/store all your music in the cloud. This will let you access your complete music library anytime you wish, from wherever you are. I’ve signed up but haven’t received my invite yet, so far the reviews are less than stellar from people that are trying the closed beta. The big G also announced that they are bringing streaming movies straight to your android devices. This one got me excited, as I’m a huge movie guy and love watching video on my phone. Google movies will allow users to stream movies to their phones, tablets, or desktops with prices ranging between 1.99-3.99. Once the streaming starts, the flicks will be available to watch for 24 hours. You can check out Google Movies in the android web market now, with an actual market app to be released soon. They also announced something by the name of “Android @ Home” which sounds extremely cool. This new service will let Android devices control things in their homes! It’s part of a big project that would let Android be a “hub” or a service for devices throughout your home called Project Tungsten. They did a demo with a CD that has a “wireless tag.” Once the CD was placed in front of a receiver, all the songs were pulled from the CD and played back across the network. They also showed a tablet controlling floor lamps, alarm clocks and a few other devices. For appliances that can’t connect via WiFi, there working on another protocol that will worth with anything electrical in your home. This truly opens up a whole new world of possibilities.
Another big thing that caught my attention was the announcement of a committee of handset makers & cell phone providers that will figure out when devices will be updated with the newest version of Android. They will also decide how long the devices will continue to be updated. Early members of the committee include Verizon, Samsung, HTC, Sprint, Sony, LG, Vodafone, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Motorola. I almost forgot one big thing (actually I just saved the best for last), while they didn’t say much about Google TV today, they did announce that the Android market will be coming to Google TV this summer. We thought it was coming, and now its been confirmed!! Look for more news about Google TV, and “Ice Cream Sandwich” tomorrow. The one thing I did notice from everything I read and watched was, Google did stress the One OS Everywhere theme. I like to think of it as “One OS to rule them all.” If Google has their way, Android is going to be popping up everywhere in all aspects of our lives. Wonder if Steve Jobs is sweatin’ yet?