Live from Google I/O 2012: Day 2 Keynote

Day 2 of Google I/O 2012 opened this morning in San Francisco. What announcements for Chrome and other Google products are in store?
Written by Ed Burnette, Contributor on

Join us live from Moscone Center with a summary of today's keynote.


Chrome now has 310 million active users, who type in 60 billion words every day. It's now the most popular browser in the world, globally.

We use a lot of different computers at home and work, and Chrome lets us synchronize all our settings via the cloud. Just sign in with Chrome and you'll get all your bookmarks and tabs; you can even browse to a page on your desktop and then pull out your phone and continue browsing. Even the back button works to go back through your saved history.

Announcing Chrome on the iPhone and iPad. Synching, omnibox, tabs, swipe to close and swap taps - all the features of Chrome on the other platforms are available. You can see all your devices and the work you were doing on each one, and pick up where you left off on one of those pages. Autofill, passwords, ... everything just works across devices. Incognito mode works too.

Going Google - Google Drive

In 2004 we launched GMail, which currently has 425M active users. Then we added Calendar, Documents, Spreadsheets, and Presentations. About 10 weeks ago we launched Google Drive. But it's not just home. People demand the same experience at work as they use at home.

Government agencies in 45 states have gone Google. 66 of the 100 top universities have gone Google, as have 5M businesses. Most businesses were based on the PC architecture, but now companies need to share and collaborate. Sharepoint doesn't cut it.

Google Drive makes all your files available everywhere.

Announcing Google Drive for iOS and ChromeOS. It's not just browsing, for example you can open a folder of receipts and search for keywords. You can search for words in images; it uses Optical Character Recognition. You can also search for photos: enter the word Pyramid and it uses image recognition technology to find images with pyramids in them.

You can add people and give them edit access for collaboration.

In ChromeOS, Drive is integrated tightly. It becomes your file system. All content is synched across all devices, keystroke by keystroke.

What if you don't have an internet connection?

Announcing Google Documents works for editing offline. You don't have to enter an "offline mode"; it just notices and handles it gracefully. In a demo they turned off the internet, made a change, closed the document, turned on the net, opened the doc again, and instantly the changes appeared on 3 different screens.

Users can create, edit, and share with dozens of applications using the Google Drive SDK. We just updated to version 2 today. Additions show up in the More menu in Google Drive. Files created with 3rd party applications are stored alongside all other types of files. You just click on the document, for example a Lucid Chart, and it opens. Drive developers have found that users spend more time in their apps when integrated with Drive.


A year ago we launched our first generation ChromeBook. Since then we released a new version of the OS every 6 weeks, and automatically pushed that out to every ChromeBook. We also released new ChromeBooks that were 3 times faster than the original hardware. We call it "the (always) new computer".

Announcing ChromeBooks will be available in Best Buy stores all across the US. It'll also be in the UK.

Let's talk about servers and the infrastructure that makes cloud applications possible. Over the years we've built one of the world's largest data centers and networks. Then we started making this available directly to you.

Google Compute Engine

In 2008 we launched AppEngine. Today we have 1M active apps, serving 7.5B hits/day. For example there was an event in Japan that peaked at 24K queries per second, and it all worked smoothly because of App Engine. But you've told us you want more - virtual machines on demand.

Announcing Google Compute Engine. It gives you Linux virtual machines at any scale. There's high performance networking between the nodes so you can form them into a cluster.

One of our beta testers was the Institute for Systems Biology. First they built an in house cluster with 1,000 nodes, but it still took 10 minutes to build a genome association. In a few days they were able to port to Compute Engine. Using 10,000 nodes they could do that work in a few seconds.

This infrastructure comes with a scale, performance, and value that is unparalleled in the industry. What you get from Google is not just the scale but also stable and predictable performance. One customer converted from a "competing engine" (presumably AWS) and got twice the number of connections per server.

CE is now open for testing. For computations we can scale very high. The actual count of the number of cores available to the genome cores was increased from 10,000 to 771,886 during the presentation. Using only 600K cores, lines appeared faster than you could see them in the genome demo. Google calls it "Computing without Limits".

HTML5/CSS3 Web Platform

Infrastructure is only one component; another is the actual underlying platform. Evolution of the web is happening very fast. For example 1.5 years ago we decided to support rich games on the web. We talked to game developers to see what APIs they needed, and then added them to Chrome.

Demo: OnLive Gaikai can be streamed to browsers, with sound and 3D. BulletStorm demonstrated live.

The Chrome Web store has served up over 750M applications and we're just getting started. We're focusing on:

  • Making applications always available
  • Get an authentic app experience, including full screen
  • Have access to every enhanced device API

Example: Circ de Soleil web project. Could the web deliver the experience we envision? Needed to go beyond text, images, and video. Were surprised by the depth and richness of the visual animation available. The combination of great creative minds and new web technology let us make something that wasn't possible before.

The Circ site makes heavy use of CSS3 animations. It's wonderfully portable - the same app works great on a tablet (they demo'd it on an iPad). It takes advantage of hardware features such as the accelerometer, and hardware accelerated 3D graphics.

Announcing I/O attendees will get a Samsung ChromeBox.

Sky jump behind the scenes

Sergey Brin showed up on the roof of Moscone to re-run the sky jump from yesterday. The "challenging wireless environment" needed multiple dishes pointed at the airship using different RF technologies. A fog bank threatened to roll in and spoil the event, but then it dissipated. The jump went off without a hitch on a perfectly blue sky.

That's a wrap, thanks for joining.

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