Google I/O: Introducing Android Froyo and Google TV

Summary:At Google I/O today, there were two significant announcements, the launch of Android 2.2 (aka Froyo) and the introduction of Google TV

This morning's keynote presentation at Google I/O developer's conference was bursting with news and applause-worthy demos (as well as a few jabs at Apple). In a nutshell, the company made two introductions: Android 2.2 (aka Froyo) and Google TV.

I'll come back in a bit with some analysis of these announcements - but here are some quick talking points. First up is Froyo:

  • The new mobile OS is faster and more stable than previous versions of Android. A game demo - head to head against an older Android device and an iPad - showed a much faster and real-time sort of demo, without hiccups.
  • New features for Enterprise, including some updates for compatibility with Microsoft Exchange, including some security features such as remote wipe.
  • Cloud to device messaging API: I'll be writing more about this later but the coolest part of this demo was the integration between the browser and the mobile device. The user had pulled up directions on Google Maps and clicked on a Send to Phone plug-in. But instead of sending a link, the phone received the request and launched the mobile Maps app and pulled up the turn-by-turn navigation feature. Very impressive.
  • An enhanced Web browser that allows advanced features, such as accessibility of the camera from within the browser.
  • Support for Flash. Before this could even be announced, the crowd erupted into applause, a reflection of the Apple-Adobe battle and Apple's refusal to support Flash. Google says,"It turns out that people use Flash" and that "Part of being open means you're inclusive, not exclusive."
  • Update All functionality: Instead of having to update the apps one app at a time, there is now an update all feature.
  • Crash report button: When an app crashes, there's a report button that not only allows users to add more comments but also allows them to first see what information is being sent to make sure the user is comfortable with it. For the developers, the result is a full stack trace so the developer can see exactly what happened.
  • Music: It allows users to stream their music - whether music they buy in the marketplace or the existing collection (yes, including iTunes) - directly to the mobile device. (It sounded a lot like what I wrote about mSpot earlier this week.)

The second half of the keynote was devoted to the announcement of Google TV, a new open-source television experience that brings the Web to the living room's big screen.

Also see: Are Google, Intel and Sony gearing up to change the TV experience?

In a nutshell, here's what Google TV offers:

  • Search: It's built into the TV experience. Search for "Survivor" and get a list of results that include live TV (select to watch now), episodes airing later (select to record to DVR) and web content related to it.
  • Integration with Android phones: Over WiFi, an Android phone can become a remote and you can even go so far as to use voice search, too.
  • Partners: Sony, Intel, Dish Network, Logitech, Adobe and Best Buy. Power names for a power launch, expected this fall. As a bonus, the CEOs from all of those companies joined Google CEO Eric Schmidt on stage to talk about Google TV

There's a lot more to say about Google TV and the demos - though bogged down by some wireless connectivity issues - were very strong. The bottom line is that Google is bringing TV to the Web and the Web to TV. I haven't done it justice in this post but as I dig back through some details, I'll put up more information about Google TV, as well as Android.

And more importantly, I'll be back soon with some analysis about the new Google vs. Apple landscape. If it wasn't intense before, it will be now.

See more Google I/O coverage:

Topics: Hardware, Google

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