Google IO 2012 Was Fun

by Stephen Fluin 2012.07.10

From June 27th - June 30th I was visiting the Moscone Center in San Francisco, California for Google IO. Google IO is the annual developer conference run by Google that focuses on its efforts with Android, Chrome, programming languages, maps, Google TV, and other products and services.  Overall the conference was one of the best events I have ever intended. There was a huge number of great people, both presenting and attending. Sitting among that group of people, hearing about some of the most cutting edge technology on the planet.

Key Announcements

Key announcements were made at the Day 1 and Day 2 keynotes. 

  • Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
  • Project Butter - A project to increase the speed and responsiveness of Android overall
    • Tripple buffering for parallel rendering
    • Synced entire OS to VSYNC
    • Prediction of touch events for more responsive touch prediction (predict where touch will be when screen refreshes)
  • New Home Screen - Widgets and apps move icons, auto resize for easier maintenance
  • Swiftkey-like native android keyboard
  • Offline and local speech recognition
  • Improved gallery for quick photo review
  • Filmstrip view within gallery
  • Android Beam - Send a photo or video by tapping phones together
  • Pair and connect with bluetooth devices by tapping.
  • Notifications (short and long versions, adding actions to notifications)
  • Search  - New UI, Voice Search, Google Now
  • Search results in card format
  • Google now - uses history, calendar, to figure out what you need and when
  • PDK - Platform Development Kit to help carriers and manufacturers stay up to date.
  • App encryption (in Jelly Bean)
  • Delta Android App Updates - Fast updates of android applications by only sending APK deltas
  • Android Push notifications evolving from C2DM into Google Cloud Messaging (Multicasting, payloads) free, no Quota
  • Purchasing video instead of just renting
  • TV episodes and series
  • New Hardware
    • Nexus 7 - 7 Inch Quad Core tablet for $200
    • Nexus Q - Streaming Media Server connected to Google Play

Attendee Giveaways

  1. Nexus 7
  2. Galaxy Nexus
  3. Nexus Q
  4. Chromebox

Additionally, each attendee got the opportunity to pre-order the $1500 Google Glass, launching to US-based IO attendees in early 2013. I signed up for these, as this is an extremely exciting leap in wearable technology.  This years giveaways were great. I have since switched to the Galaxy Nexus (From the T-Mobile Galaxy SII) as my daily driver, due to high quality of the hardware and the quality of Android 4.1, Jelly Bean.  Additionally, I have also started to carry around the Nexus 7 as my primary tablet and interface, rather than my Galaxy Tab 10.1.  The speed, thinness, and lightness of this device are shocking, and make this one of the best tablets in existence.