Google IO, Google's annual developer conference, and we're at Moscone Center ready to live-blog this morning's keynote.It's Day Two at
Yesterday's keynote featured announcements about Android, Google Music, and Google movie-rentals, as well as news about extending the developer platform to include hardware via Google's Open Accessory API and Accessory Developer Kit.
What we didn't hear about was anything relating to Google's Chrome OS, and we're anticipating that will be the focus of today's keynote. Rumors are that Google will announce a $20/month Chrome notebook rental program aimed at students, but we're sure Google has more for us in store.
9:30 a.m.: Vic Gundotra takes the stage to welcome us to the second day of Google IO. He says that over 600,000 people tuned in yesterday to watch the keynote - "global enthusiasm."
9:32 a.m.: It's about the "open Web," says Gundotra as he introduces Sundar Pichai, Chrome's Senior VP
9:34 a.m.: There are now 160,000,000 active users - more than doubling since last year. Pichai chronicles what has happened over the last year with Chrome, adding a stable channel for Mac and Linux and rolling out releases every six weeks. This culminated this last week with the latest beta release of Chrome 12
9:36 a.m.: Pichai talks about the upcoming APIs in Chrome, and brings Ian Ellison-Taylor to the stage to talk about these new features:
- Speech support
9:43 a.m.: What's next? GPU acceleration for the canvas and WebGL. The demo utilizes the famous aquarium from Microsoft which now can be filled with hundreds of fish without losing frame-rates.
9:48 a.m.: Emphasis is on speed. But "writing these applications only matter if you can reach users." Hence the launch of the Chrome Web store. Users are spending more time in the apps - about a 2x increase. And game developers are also seeing about 2.5x increase in transactions.
9:49 a.m.: As of today, Chrome Web Store opens to all users, in 41 different languages. Although this will open up usage, the challenge of monetization still exists. Vikas Gupta from the Google Payments team now joins the stage to discuss in-app payments.
9:51 a.m.: Graphic.ly demoed as an example. Graphic.ly wanted users to be able to read a comic before they actually make a purchase - something that's now possible with the API. Gupta demonstrates that it only takes a single line of code to be able to add this.
9:53 a.m.: Gupta stresses keeping it simple for developers to monetize things. This new Payments platform is priced at a flat fee of 5% - that means 95% of what customers spend in an app stay with the developer.
9:55 a.m.: Gaming capabilities on the Web: Rovio's Peter Vesterbacka from talks about the challenges and now the ability to bring Angry Birds to the Web. Angry Birds will now be on "the biggest platform that's out there" - the Web. "It's a very smooth, very nice Angry Birds experience," says Vesterbacka, who says this version of the game is built using WebGL. The Web version will use local storage so that you can play the complete game offline. There will also be exclusive levels for Chrome users, as well as "The Mighty Eagle" that users will be able to buy to help them clear levels. "Let's pop some pigs!" - in other words, the game is available in the Chrome store now.
10:09 a.m.: People spend all their time on the Web, within a browser, "which was why we developed Chrome OS," says Pichai. "We wanted to rethink the entire experience and distill it down to nothing but the Web." Google says it's focusing on notebooks because that's where users are - Chromebooks.
10:10 a.m.: What's different about Chromebooks?
- Instant on
- Always connected
- All-day battery
- Access your stuff anywhere
- Gets better over time
- Security built in
10:13 a.m.: Cr-48 Pilot program has had over 1 million applicants. Pichai talks about the improvements on the devices: better support for Flash, for external devices. Kan Liu takes the stage to talk about Chrome OS's new file support functionalities - file attachments, music and video files, photos. New file extension APIs are built into the platform so that users will be able to have their files transferred easily to the cloud, no matter which apps they're using (such as Box.net)
10:23 a.m.: Addressing important use-cases for Chromebooks, such as using them offline. Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Docs will be available offline for users this summer.
10:24 a.m.: Showcasing various Chromebooks: from Samsung and Acer. There will be priced between $300-$500. They'll be available to order June 15 via a.m.azon and BestBuy in the U.S. Full jailbreaking capabilities.
10:27 a.m.: Businesses and schools: IT infrastructure complicated. Upgrades are costly. Emphasis on laptops, not desktops - which can bring security challenges when devices move in and out of firewall. But companies are moving to the cloud, says Pichai. Google has partnered with Citrix and VMware for virtualization. According to a Google survey, companies said that with the combination of virtualization and Web apps, they can move 75% of their users to Chromebooks.
10:32 a.m.: Working to develop a Web-based console from which IT administrators can manage users' apps and policies. Software and hardware packaged together - Chromebooks for Business that will be $28 per user per month. "Software and hardware as a service."
10:33 a.m.: School usage: "We want to make it possible for every student to have a computer." $20 per user per month for schools. These will be available, like consumers, starting June 15.
10:37 a.m.: Every Google IO attendee will get a Chromebook. (Do you hate me for live-blogging that? Sorry)
The Web is what you make of it