Google I/O: Top takeaways and reality checks

Google I/O: Top takeaways and reality checks

Summary: Google launched its latest barrage of developer details including an Android everywhere strategy, a Honeycomb upgrade and efforts to be more focused on user interface. Here's the recap and my initial take.

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Google launched its latest barrage of developer details including an Android everywhere strategy, a Honeycomb upgrade and efforts to be more focused on user interface.

Here's the recap and my initial take.

Google is pursuing an Android everywhere strategy. The company launched an Android at Home framework, complete with its own protocol for appliances that don't have Wi-Fi. The gist: Every appliance can be an I/O device.

Android will be used in the living room initially, but LightingScience will create LED lights later this year that will work with Android. That means the home environment---stereos, home irrigation systems, lighting---can be controlled through a tablet.

In addition, there's an Open accessory API. Hardware and software will be released in a reference design so Android can be plugged into fitness equipment, robots and other devices.

Reality check: Everyone is gunning to be the living room OS. Google's demonstrations were highly conceptual, but there's a lot of promise. It's important that Google is aiming to connect devices and appliances that are not Wi-Fi enabled. Android at Home will be overlooked today, but very important in a few years.

Honeycomb saved? The company is moving to upgrade Honeycomb quickly---some would argue fix it. Motorola Xoom users on Verizon will get the update today. Android Ice Cream Sandwich is Honeycomb 3.1 and Google's effort to create one OS experience and interface across multiple devices.

Reality check: The Honeycomb update is certainly welcome, but it's unclear whether Google will be able to wipe away early disappointment with Motorola's Xoom. It would have been better to nail Honeycomb out of the gate.

Apple obsession can be unhealthy. Google had so many Apple digs that it's clear that the search giant is still a bit obsessed. The subtext here is that Google can innovate quickly and launch new updates, but its biggest challenge is that it needs to get tighter with partners on the user interface and cohesive experience.

Reality check: Google has some mojo with its UI and cloud music service, but it has a big gap to close. Is matching iTunes and Airplay in the cloud enough?

Google is paying more attention to UI. Google's tools for music management, album view and cache of recently played music are nice tools. All music can be made available offline. the initial reaction is that Google's user interface could be its differentiator. Naturally, Google took aim at tethered syncing---basically iTunes. You can add 20,000 songs and the service is free while it's in beta.

Reality check: It's good that Google is focusing more on integration and UI. It's unclear whether Google can herd the cats and partners to compete with Apple's integrated soup-to-nuts approach.

Updates for a wide range of devices. Buyers of new devices at these partners will get Android updates for 18 months as the hardware allows. Google is working to get tighter with partners to create a better experience.

Reality check: This move is a nice perk and sells consumers more on the Android platform.

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Topics: Android, Google, Mobility, Networking, Wi-Fi

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45 comments
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  • How many Apple products does Larry own?

    How many shares of Apple stock? just curious ;-)
    bstringy
    • RE: Google I/O: Top takeaways and reality checks

      @bstringy You're wasting your time, they chase polls so they won't give Google Credit until it has already reached number 1 as the Tablet OS (and it will).
      slickjim
      • RE: Google I/O: Top takeaways and reality checks

        @Peter Perry
        if it wasn't for Apple, we woundn't be talking about tablets right now.. everyone just loves to copy Apple.
        Hasam1991
      • RE: Google I/O: Top takeaways and reality checks

        @Hasam1991 we might well be talking about them... It just might not be in the same context.

        Remember, Tablets existed before them and honestly, I think people want their Tablet to do more than Apple has the iPad 2 doing at the moment so the race to who gets there first is on.
        slickjim
      • RE: Google I/O: Top takeaways and reality checks

        @Hasam1991
        And Ford created the Model T over 100 years ago, your point?
        cybr2th@...
      • RE: Google I/O: Top takeaways and reality checks

        @Peter Man, people have to get confrontational about everything even tangentally regarding apple, dont they? The reality is that both platforms can be successful with different consumers, and for different reasons. Coexist, everyone!
        nickswift498
      • RE: Google I/O: Top takeaways and reality checks

        @Peter Perry Yet Apple is number 1 in the tablet market and you can't give them any credit.
        non-biased
      • RE: Google I/O: Top takeaways and reality checks

        @Peter Perry You have made that comment several times. But if people "don't understand how to use it.", isn't that a basic flaw in the product? Doesn't that mean the sof<a href="http://www.tran33m.com/vb/">t</a>ware got in the way of the use? I mean if we have a problem with our software that we write/support/implement that allows a user to do so<a href="http://vb.maas1.com/">m</a>ething they shouldn't do, isn't that a problem with the design...not the user.
        alasiri6
    • You fandroids are amazing

      and thick as bricks.

      Google is becoming (has become) the new ('90s version of) Microsoft.

      Surprisingly, you all seem ready to just bend over and blindly accept it.
      MacCanuck
      • RE: Google I/O: Top takeaways and reality checks

        @MacCanuck Excuse Me? I think you have the wrong company there but you're too close to see it!
        slickjim
      • RE: Google I/O: Top takeaways and reality checks

        @MacCanuck <br><br>Android is like Microsoft Windows but is Linux powered, so this will be a great test to see if the security is really and truly vastly better than what Microsoft offers.
        DonRupertBitByte
      • Blindly?

        @MacCanuck - I accept it. I'm not blind to it. But frankly I welcome our new Android Overlords.
        kwabinalars
    • RE: Google I/O: Top takeaways and reality checks

      @bstringy
      A very good and informative article indeed . It helps me a lot to enhance my knowledge, I really like the way the writer presented his views.
      <a href="http://www.donnecercauomo.com">donne cerca uomo</a>. bye!
      giacomo Al
    • RE: Google I/O: Top takeaways and reality checks

      @bstringy
      A very good and informative article indeed . It helps me a lot to enhance my knowledge, I really like the way the writer presented his views.
      <a href="http://www.donnecercauomo.com">donne cerca uomo</a>. thanks!
      giacomo Al
  • Android Ice Cream Sandwich is Honeycomb 3.1

    "Android Ice Cream Sandwich is Honeycomb 3.1"

    Ummm, you may want to double check that line.
    username@...
  • So who is paying for the updates to devices for 18 months?

    Device makers are already making close to nothing on Android. Will the carriers pay the handset makers? Will phone prices have to go up?

    The carriers are the ones with the money/profits but no incentive to keep devices updated.
    Bruizer
    • RE: Google I/O: Top takeaways and reality checks

      @Bruizer
      Users are not incentive enough? Keeping customers happy is not reason enough or they go to other carriers where updates are frequently occurring?
      hoaxoner
      • Actually, it isn't.

        @hoaxoner

        The user is already locked into a 2 year contract or, if purchased unsubsidized, has bought the phone.

        As a company, money spent supporting legacy product is money away from new product and you want the hottest product when the purchase cycle starts again.

        Until they actual present a plan, the 18 month support thing is placating lip service.
        Bruizer
      • RE: Google I/O: Top takeaways and reality checks

        @Bruizer - Perhaps you're right. Sigh.
        hoaxoner
      • RE: Google I/O: Top takeaways and reality checks

        @hoaxoner
        Users have a choice. If device A will be updated with new features and functionality every few months and device B will not, what device do I want to be stuck with for the next 2 years. The OEMs will make even less money on devices they don't sell.
        sharkboyjohn