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Mark Scheel reports on Google I/O 2012 – Day 2 Recap

Today was the last day with a Keynote.  There were big announcements about Chrome and a new Compute Engine product (virtual machine rental).  There was an unnecessary reprisal of the blimp jumping stunt, and some excellent sessions.

Chrome is fast.  Chrome is widely adopted.  Speed enhancements in Chrome across all users save a collective 13 years of human time every day.  Chrome has some really cute ads.  Chrome syncs everything.  An excellent product demonstration showcased how Chrome syncs browsing history, tabs, even back stacks across multiple devices to make using the web faster and more efficient.  It is also available today for mobile iOS devices.

Google Compute Engine was also an excellent presentation.  They ramped up 600K+ cores and ran some very complex genetic computations in a visually stunning demonstration of how using Google Compute Engine can help you leverage Google’s amazing infrastructure.  Google claims it is better (faster and more reliable network connectivity between instances for example) and cheaper than an unnamed competing service that could only be Amazon.  It only appears to run Linux, and builds upon wild success for the Google App Engine product, but is a whole new cloud product.

The keynote also included nuggets about offline docs editing and the power of Google Drive.  The OCR search and image recognition search was magic.  I mean wow.  If it works like in the demo, its indistinguishable for me from Magic.

With all that goodness it was disappointing that the last 20 minutes of the keynote were like witnessing the practice session for the blimp jumping stunt the day before.  It was like watching a SNL skit.  Except if it were a skit you would say it was too silly to be true.  But it happened, and until the sessions started it made we wonder what was going on with Google.

Luckily, sessions started and rocked it.  I went to my first design session today (like UI design).  It was so popular it was full 15 minutes before starting and had lines wrapping around Moscone (definitely should have been in a larger space).  I think this is a good sign for Android users.  The engineers are paying more and more attention to user design.

I talked to Android employees at office hours, was recognized by an executive and (I think) put on the list for an exciting testing opportunity I won’t mention, and played with some really cool Braille phones.  It was an afternoon of amazement at how many smart, great people are “in the room” at an event like this.

Thanks for reading, let me know if you have questions to ask smart and great people.


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