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Mark Scheel reports on Google I/O 2012 – Day 1 Recap

by Mark Scheel on June 27th, 2012

Incredible day, there was a live stream event of someone jumping out of a blimp onto the roof of the Moscone center, and a ton of great announcements.  I ran into Sergey Brin twice and got to meet the blimp jumper.

I was correct about Google invading the living room which was a nice coup, popular media wasn’t talking too much about this.  Google announced a product like Apple’s airport express that lets you play music, video and other content in your living room through a cloud connected black orb with cool LED’s.  Its coming in July for $299.

I think the best way to summarize today is to talk about how Google is taking over everything.  Look at the products they are taking on … Shazam.  In the new version of Android Google integrates a song discovery system into the OS.  Amazon Kindle.  The new Nexus 7 is a content focused tablet, it costs $199 and comes with a $25 content credit.  eVite.  Google Events is brand new and full of features.  Netflix.  They are adding a recommendation engine to their Play store.  Yelp.  Zagat ratings and comments in Google Maps.  Apple Siri.  Google Now leverages the Knowledge Graph to bring an assistant like feel to your voice searches.

The cynics will say that this is Google copying everyone else.  As a Google Product user I am really excited about these developments.

The neatest thing I saw today, is something unlike anything I have ever seen, its called Compass Mode in Google Maps.  If you can view properties for sale like this in Real Estate this will dominate the relocation market.  Its like Virtual Tours on steroids.

I placed a pre-order for Project Glass.  I got a commemorative glass block that says Project [x] 117.  My number is unique.  I don’t know if it means I am getting the 117th pair or what.  I haven’t seen a lower number yet.

In less expensive news I got a Dandelion small batch Chocolate bar numbered 252 / 1000 made especially for Google App Engine today.  Yummy.



I go to a lot of concerts, maybe seeing as many as 50 live acts a year, so it is on good authority that I say Train kicked some serious ass at Google I/O last night.  Last year was the first that featured a concert and while Jane’s Addiction was neat, they didn’t have the chemistry or stage presence that Train did.  Train was funny (making SEO style jokes about how Googling Train doesn’t work for their band), engaging (a sing-off between a kid and a woman to Journey).  I don’t even really love Train’s new music, though I am nostalgic for their old stuff like Drops of Jupiter, but I’m a sucker for a good performance.  Train reminds me of Bare Naked Ladies, they are showmen who bring it, and they definitely earned whatever they were paid last night.  They didn’t mail it in, they really performed, and I am thankful for that.  Good job booking them Google, and if you are a small company looking to book an act for your next holiday party you should consider Train too 🙂

Have been meeting a lot of great people: Google employees who did and did not build custom beer dispensers, TechCrunch writers, developers from as afar as England and as close to home as Denver (MapMyFitness) and Boulder (Sphero).

Tonight is party central, my priority is one I know will have a major hardware give away, then there at least four others I know about.  I will try and do Greg proud.  It’s not night one, so I guess I can go big!

From → News

  1. Greg Robertson permalink

    A few thoughts….

    The Google Glass demo was probably the most exciting product demo I’ve ever seen. Brilliant execution and they had a lot of balls to pull it off.

    That being said it’s probably the most dorkiest thing I’ve ever seen. Reminds me of the head gear John Cusack wore in the movie Sixteen Candles.

    Who really cares about the next version of Android? The ecosystem is so fragmented that the last number I saw showed only 8% of all Android devices were on ICS.

    In regard to the Nexus Q, like Google Glass it will appeal to the soldering iron set but I don’t see any elegance in these products.

    Last thing. The irony was so thick you could cut it with a knife at both Microsoft’s recent announcement of Surface and at Google’s (Microsoft 2.0) announcement Nexus Q. They both have already stolen/copied every thing they could from Apple, now they are going after the very precept of Apple’s success; hardware and software working together. Something they both minimized less than a year ago.

    Steve Jobs must be rolling in his grave.

  2. One of many amazing things about the “exciting product demo” is that it would have never happened at sterile, marketing focused Apple. Google takes risks and appeals to engineers. Remember those apple ads that featured Gandhi and Jim Henson? That is what Google is about these days more than Apple. And the ridiculous blimp jumping stunt proves it.

    Fragmentation is not an issue for me as an Android developer any more than it is an issue for the iOS developers I manage that have to support multiple screen sizes (different assets, different layouts, thinking ahead). Have you used a web browser? It can be an unlimited number of sizes or types (Opera, Firefox, etc.), yet good web designers deal with this every day. Mobile developers can too.

    The number that matters isn’t that 8% of Android devices are on ICS, its that in the US Android has about 60% market share, with Apple closer to 30%. That number moves me as a product software developer. Android is activating 1 million devices per day, 12 devices every second!

    I have my own complaints about the Q (no local storage, why would I want my friends changing what music is playing in my house), and I agree with you the glasses are ridiculous looking and I personally would probably not use them as a consumer (maybe if they came as contacts).

    I will also concede that Apple makes amazing products for the home consumer and mobile user. Its a win for consumers and developers when these huge companies push the envelope forward, whether you call it copying or not (don’t get me started on features Apple has ripped off from Google).

    Love you Greg and I can’t wait to see what ridiculous stuff Google does today, I am sure it will be insanely great.

    (Irony intentional)

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