Google I/O kicks off with bigger push into Android, Web apps and more

At Google I/O, the company's developer's conference being held in San Francisco today and tomorrow, the company is pushing HTML 5 as a standard that can redefine web applications. What the company hopes to do is unleash the power of applications in the web browser itself, just as it's done with Web apps such as Gmail and Google Maps.

At Google I/O, the company's developer's conference being held in San Francisco today and tomorrow, the company is pushing HTML 5 as a standard that can redefine web applications. What the company hopes to do is unleash the power of applications in the web browser itself, just as it's done with Web apps such as Gmail and Google Maps. 

CEO Eric Schmidt kicked off the morning with a 20-minute introduction (Techmeme, Google blog). His overlying message: it's time. Users are frustrated by the complexity of things that come with the Web, as are developers who are frustrated with plug-ins, different browser support and other things that are beyond their control. And now is the time that companies like Google can advance the technology.

During the keynote, executives - led by VP of Engineering Vic Gundrota - talked about the advancements in 3-D technology, the use of video tags to not only reduce the complexity of embedding video clips but also freeing the developers and users to do more with video. The company also highlighted geolocation features - honing in, if you will - beyond what GPS or IP can do. By adding in WiFi data, as well as cell tower information, geolocation becomes more powerful.

The company also talked about HTML 5 and tools (such as application cache) that will advance the use of online tools in an offline environment. And finally, the company talked about the advancement of Android, including the ability to recall common searches that allow users to have a more customized experience with their phones. Developers are key, the company said, and once again is sponsoring an Android Developer Challenge to create apps for the mobile OS.

To help kick-start the efforts, the company announced that it was giving away unlocked Android phones to attendees of the show so they could get started. The reaction to that announcement was a roaring applause. It also gave Gundrota a chance at the "Oprah moment" he always wanted.

The Google I/O Conference continues through tomorrow.