Home Google I/O Live Blog: Google Launches Music, Movies, “Ice Cream Sandwich” & More

Google I/O Live Blog: Google Launches Music, Movies, “Ice Cream Sandwich” & More

Google’s yearly developer conference, Google I/O, begins today in San Francisco and we’re live at the event to bring you the opening keynote. The speculation thus far has been that Google will finally unveil the long-awaited Google Music offering, which has indeed just gone live on the Web.

Stay tuned for more details as they arrive. The keynote begins at 9 a.m. PST.

Currently, on stage there is an exercise bike and what looks like several small podiums with speakers.

9:00: Vic Gundotra takes the stage and says we’re going to reminisce. 2008 was the first Google I/O conference and focused on client connectivity and the cloud.

“Connectivity was about to explode…and allow us to build cloud based services we could have hardly dreamed of two years ago.”

Last year, Google focused on Android. This year, in addition to the 5,000 people in this room, more than 110 “viewing parties” around the world are watching Google I/O.

9:05: Hugo Barra takes the stage. Three things to talk about: momentum, mobile, and “more”.

Google has activated over 100 million Android devices worldwide.

36 OEMs, 215 carriers, 450,00 Android developers all over the world.

310 Android devices in 112 countries.

“The best way to measure this momentum is velocity.”

Today, Google activates over 400,000 Android devices daily…up from 100,000 daily a year ago. Android also has more than 200,000 apps in the Android Market.

9:10: Anand Agarwal and Mike Saraf take the stage.

Over the last two and a half years, Google has shipped eight versions. Today, it is releasing Honeycomb 3.1 with lots of “user enhancements”:

Will be getting Android 3.1 and Android Market “this summer”.

The latest version of Android will, indeed, be called “Ice Cream Sandwich” and has a wonderful little half-unwrapped Android ice cream sandwich logo.

“We want one OS that runs everywhere. We’re investing heavily in the application framework…and it will all be open source.”

9:15: Now they’re showing off head tracking with a small device strapped to Anand. As he moves his head around, the landscape on the tablet rotates and moves. It also has the ability to track specific parts of his face and alter them. The camera can also track individuals and focus according to who is speaking.

All of this will also be available via API.

9:20: Here comes the media, with Chris Yerga taking the stage:

First, it looks like Books is up.

Starting today, users can rent movies from Android Market: and stream them to any device, just as they can with books.

Movies has a 30 day rental period. Once you start watching, you have 24 hours to complete watching it. The example price shown on stage was $3.99. We’re seeing movies like The Kings Speech, Inside Job and Inception, so it looks like Google will be offering relatively new releases.

Movies will also be available for view on your Android phone. It sure looks like Google has beat Netflix to Android.

Movies are available at market.android.com. It will be available on phones for Android 2.2 devices in a couple weeks.

9:25: Paul Joyce takes the stage to introduce Music Beta:.

“Your music collection is stored in the cloud so you can stop worrying about where your music is stored and start enjoying music.”

Music manager – for Windows and OSX – is a desktop app to manage collection. Welcome to Google’s iTunes.

Creates auto playlists, instant mixes and regular playlists.

When a playlist is created, it’s automatically and immediately available on all devices.

“Instant mix” playlists create playlists according to a single song, compiling a list of 25 songs.

They’re building, get this, a “truly ingenious: mix.” Get it?

All music is accessed via the cloud and “this means that I’ll never have to use a cable to access my music again.”

How do you access offline?: Google will cache music offline and you can use a “make available offline” feature the same as you can for movies.

The phone is “exactly the same application” as for the tablet, but adjusts for the smaller screen.

When will it be available?: It will begin rolling out today, in beta, to U.S. users and will be free (at least while it’s in beta). Users will be able to add up to 20,000 sounds. Invitations can be requested at music.google.com/about.

9:35: “Innovation only matters if it can reach the users.”

Google will announce guidelines on length of time before handsets get new OS updates

Launching with Verizon, HTC, Samsung, Sprint, Sony, LG, T Mobile, Vodaphone, Motorola, AT&T and Google.

(This is the “more” part of the presentation.)

Android Open Accessory – will be able to create Android devices openly – now we’re getting to that exercise bike on the stage.

The phone, when plugged into the exercise bike, recognizes what device it’s connected to and what app it needs to run. If they don’t have the app, it will take them to Android Market to find that app.

It will be available for Gingerbread 2.3.4 and Honeycomb 3.1.

Releasing the hardware and software, based on Arduino and USB host. (Arduino is an open platform.)

Showing how the gyro of the tablet can be used in conjunction with an Arduino board to interact with real world objects.

9:45: “We’d like to think of your entire home as an accessory. We call this vision Android At Home.”

Extending Android OS to connect with home devices – Android At Home Framework.

Developed open wireless protocol – low cost connectivity with lights, thermostats, dishwashers.

“We want to think of every device in your home as a potential device.”

“Imagine the new ways we’ll be able to deliver notifications.”

A “real-world Farmville app – if you don’t win the game, your garden dies.”

Quake! (The lights flicker as he shoots!)

Partnering with LightingScience – will start selling connected lights by the end of this year.

Now for the Android At Home Hub: or…”Project Tungsten”.

It’s always on and connected to the cloud, but what does it do?

Sonos has a new competitor, that’s for sure. The hub is connected to speakers on stage and they can be turned off/on and controlled via the music app on the tablet.

“It will be completely open for developers to explore and write their own applications.”

Okay, now this is hot. They just demonstrated an NFC device inside the jewel case of a CD that will automatically add the CD to your library when you touch it to the hub.

9:50: Recap:

100 Million activations & 4.5 billion installs.

Honeycomb 3.1

Ice Cream Sandwich

Movie Rentals & Music Beta – both launching today

Android Open Accessory


“There are some unbelievably cool Android devices coming out over the next months.”

Showing the new Samsun Galaxy Tab 10.1


10.1″ screen size

1GHz Dual-core processor

32GH on-board, 1GB RAM

Android 3.0, Honeycomb

(“I’m selling my iPad” is one thing I just overheard from the folks around me.)

There will be an Android Market announcement tomorrow at 10:45.

That’s it for the opening keynote to Google I/O. Stay tuned for more over the next two days.

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Get the biggest tech headlines of the day delivered to your inbox

    By signing up, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy. Unsubscribe anytime.

    Tech News

    Explore the latest in tech with our Tech News. We cut through the noise for concise, relevant updates, keeping you informed about the rapidly evolving tech landscape with curated content that separates signal from noise.

    In-Depth Tech Stories

    Explore tech impact in In-Depth Stories. Narrative data journalism offers comprehensive analyses, revealing stories behind data. Understand industry trends for a deeper perspective on tech's intricate relationships with society.

    Expert Reviews

    Empower decisions with Expert Reviews, merging industry expertise and insightful analysis. Delve into tech intricacies, get the best deals, and stay ahead with our trustworthy guide to navigating the ever-changing tech market.