Day One Highlights of Google I/O 2011
Depending on where you get your news, Android has overtaken iOS and BlackBerry has the number one mobile platform anywhere between 2 and 20 times this year. This staggering growth has been fueled in large part by both Google, who have provided consistent updates and bug fixes, and the community of developers, who are largely responsible for the burgeoning app market and custom ROMs available.
Given that, it goes without saying that the annual Google I/O developer conference, hosted from May 10-11 this year, is such an important event. The new technologies introduced each year at I/O serve as an indicator of where web technologies, enterprise applications, and most importantly, Android, are headed in the coming year.
Accordingly, I/O 2011 gave a lot of different people a lot of different things to be excited about. On the consumer side, both Google Music and Android movie rentals are set to make things considerably more convenient and accessible for people into multimedia applications.
Google Music conveniently makes your music accessible from anywhere- provided you have an internet connection- without having to deal with the hassle of iTunes-like synching. Meanwhile, Android movie rentals is exactly what it sounds like, functioning much like a computer based version of RedBox or Blockbuster Express.
Conversely, Android Open Accessory could potentially be an intriguing new territory for developers to explore. Google showed this off at I/O by connecting a phone to an exercise bike, which then allowed the application on the phone to display relevant input information in real time, depending on how fast or slow the person was pedaling.
While exercise itself doesn’t necessarily sound thrilling, this does open up an entire world of possibilities of device connectivity. Think something along the lines of how people have modded the Xbox Kinect, except with an even greater variety of applications.
And finally, Google addressed the issue of fragmentation head on. One of the longest standing criticisms of Android has been just how fragmented the platform has been.
Of course, some of that is an inevitability resulting from the dizzying number of devices Android is available on, but until now the company had done seemingly little to prevent its proliferation.
However, at I/O, Google announced that they’ve partnered with a number of phone manufacturers and carriers to provide timely, consistent updates for phones up to 18 months after they’ve been purchased, a resounding win for consumers everywhere.