Google I/O Report
We’re slowly ‘coming down from the clouds’ following a super busy and really inspiring couple of days at Google I/O 2011. Here’s our report on the major themes from the conference, and our experience hosting a Developer Sandbox stand throughout the 2 days.
For those who don’t know, Google I/O is Google’s major annual conference focused on the developer community. It’s at this conference that Google announces its key innovations and future directions (at least for the year ahead). It’s also famous for the SWAG (promotional items) that are given to all attendees.
There were two keynote speeches at which various Googlers announced their latest and greatest innovations. So much has been reported on these announcements that there’s no point going into too much detail here. Basically, Day 1′s keynote was all about Android–Google’s mobile operating system, and Day 2 was all about Chrome–Google’s awesome web browser. It is funny to think of Google as the underdog, but in these two areas they are taking on the role of the upstart trying to disrupt the more established industry player.
With Android, Google is taking the fight to Apple, and in many ways it is winning. Google says it has activated 100 million Android devices to date, which although is only around half of Apple’s device sales, it seems that Android is currently signing up more customers than Apple, and that it may overtake Apple as the largest smartphone/tablet platform. On a more micro level, the shiny new Samsung Galaxy tablet they gave us is pretty cool. It’s a little weird coming to it after using an iPad. It is way better than an iPad for some things (Gmail, Picasa, Maps, and most other Google products) and not nearly as good as an iPad in most other ways. The iPad just seems to be a more polished, more consistent experience. Anyway, I am not a lifelong convert to Apple on the evidence so far I am prepared to continue to watch and try out new Android devices. Should be cool to see this market develop–the level of innovation is fantastic.
The real highlight though for us was our experience hosting a Developer Sandbox stand. Around 100 companies who are using Google technology or somehow integrating with Google technology were offered these stands to talk to people at the conference and demo their products. We were here because our application is built almost entirely using a web development environment called GWT (or Google Web Toolkit). In addition, our application is hosted in App Engine–Google’s cloud infrastructure.
We met a diverse range of people including independent software developers, academics, other sandbox exhibitors, and numerous Googlers. Thanks to everyone who came by our stand for giving us the opportunity to show you what we’ve built. We are really proud of what we have achieved so far.
Here are some photos and a short video of the conference and sandbox area–
Here’s a quick look at the Developer Sandbox area of Google I/O 2011. Sumwise was on a stand in the Developer Tools area. We’ve had an awesome couple of days here.