Below is our live coverage of Google’s announcement of Android 2.2 aka Froyo and the Google TV platform. Those in attendence of the I/O conference were surely left with their breath taken away. Here are a few things you should know:
11:10 AM: Waiting for the keynote to begin. Click here to see it live on YouTube.
11:28 AM: @Dannysullivan says he just saw Google CEO Eric Schmidt at the Google I/O conference. “The big guns” are out now.
11:36 AM: It’s starting!
11:40 AM: VP of Engineering Vic Gundotra is talking about Android and the momentum behind it. Android has made “pretty fantastic” progress in 18 months. Over 59 carriers offer Android devices around the world.
11:43 AM: Quick facts: 100,000 activations a day, first in total web usage in U.S. 1 billion miles navigated via turn-by-turn navigation. 5x growth in mobile search from 2008 through 2010. 50,000 applications now in Android marketplace.
11:46 AM: Formal announcement of Android 2.2 aka Froyo.
Froyo focuses on five key things: First, speed. Showing a game called “Replica Island” and how fast it is.
Over 20 new exchange features. You can remote wipe your phone if you lose it now.
11:49 AM: Gundotra now discussing application data backup API. Developers can move your data along with the application. Cloud-to-messaging API. Servers will optimise data and messages to reduce latency.
“Android Intent” – showing a demo of a desktop browser looking at Google Maps. Sends the directions to an Android phone and instead of a URL popping up via a text, Google Maps automatically emulates its desktop counterpart. See image below.
11:50 AM: Tethering available! A demo is being performed and they’re tethering an iPad to an Android phone. Lots of laughs.
11:55 AM: Discussing HTML 5 and things you can access on a device, like a camera and accelerometer. Discussing how great geo-location is. You can tilt your device and Google Maps will turn with your respective movements. You can access the phone’s camera from the web browser (demo isn’t working) but it’s apparently “great.”
11:57 AM: Talking about voice recognition. Guy tries it out saying “Pictures of Barack Obama with the French President at the G8 summit” and guess what? It works. Google Images comes up with related pictures, no typos. “Delgado vineyards, Napa” was another test that works. It’s available in lots of languages.
Gundotra says Android will understand “human intentions.” Voice input is a “first class” way to interact.
12:00 PM: Web apps. Tester uses Google Translate to ask it where the nearest hospital is. Translate then spits it out in French – great for the tourism industry.
Announcing support for Flash Player 10.1 and Adobe AIR beta.
Talking smack on the iPad and its inability to play Flash videos. It’s on.
12:02 PM: Now talking about enhancements to Android Marketplace. New ways to find apps easily, search inside apps, move apps to an SD card, and update/auto-update all apps. You can search in the Mint.com app using Android whether it’s supported or not.
12:02 PM: No can shift memory around and apps around between the device and an SD card. Now running “Need For Speed” for Android via the SD card.
Back to the Marketplace. You can now update all your apps at once, just like the iPhone. It’s about time! With Froyo and user’s permission, apps now automatically update without any interaction.
12:06 PM: When an app crashes, you can identify errors and send a bug report to the developer. Android Marketplace will show the entire stack trace (read: gritty details) of what happened.
12:11 PM: Gundotra discussing how to transfer apps from Marketplace to your device. Talking about how annoying cables can be. You can now browse the web-based Marketplace store, pick an app, and it’ll go right to your device, no syncing required.
Now demoing a music purchase. Pick a song on the web and it gets sent right to your Android-based device. Gundotra addressing concern of how users will transfer their large music libraries to the device. You can now.
Turns out they’ve had a phone call going on this entire time on the device without knowing it. Tons of laughter.
Back to the music. All of a sudden, with the touch of a button, you can now stream all your songs from your library to an Android device and interact with it as if it was really on your phone.
12:13 PM: Talking about Google’s 10th year of advertising. “If you have an ad spot, we have a relevant ad that can fill it. We can be your advertising partner.” Talking about different needs of different advertisers.
Hyping up DoubleClick, Analytics, AdWords.
They’re open to innovation. Hilarious slide with a Google pony just came up. Check it out:
12:15 PM: Continuing to talk about different ad formats. Expandable in-app ads are available today. Very similar to the iPhone OS 4.0’s in-app ads, minus the mini-games. Showing how targeted local ads will feature click-to-call so when you call a business advertising on your phone, it’s local. Pumping up its Google Ads game. Everyone at the conference can sign up for Google Mobile Ads, along with a $100 credit to start using the system right away.
12:20 PM: Continuing to talk about innovation. Showing off an HTC EVO 4G phone. Talking about how 4G is REALLY fast. Here’s a quick spec list:
WOW. Attendees all receiving a free HTC EVO 4G! “For those of you watching on YouTube: I’m sorry!”
12:22 PM: Here we go….new announcement. Gundotra has left the stage and Rishi Chandra, Senior Product Manager, is now on.
Americans spend an average of 5 hours in front of the TV. Over 4 billion people are using TVs worldwide. “The web has very limited interaction with the TV.”
12:25 PM: Talking about how people huddle around a PC to watch great web content. “Video should be consumed on the biggest, best, and brightest screen in your house – that’s your TV.” Chandra discussing how a lot of devices connect to the web now.
“We need to find a way to bring the entire web to the television.”
If you give a user a choice between TV and web, they’re going to choose web. Talking about merging both experiences.
Google TV officially announced.
12:30 PM: Time for a live demonstration. Showing TV programs. Chandra says Google TV will work with existing sets. On stage is Vincent Dureau, Google’s Head of TV Technology. Now showing off Dish Network’s guide and how it’s cluttered.
Dureau has a wireless keyboard and will now demonstrate how Google will allow search on TV. A bit of a delay is happening.
12:34 PM: A quick search box with Android styling is available now. You can type in a channel like “MSNBC” and see search results or instantly switch to that channel. Very much like Spotlight for Mac OS X.
You can also instantly record to DVR from the quick search box. Running into trouble on stage. Dureau keeps yelling for the backstage people to fix the cable box. Keeps saying “switch to the other box!”
12:35 PM: Still trying to troubleshoot. Funny images are on MSNBC right now making the audience roar with laughter. The boxes are connected via Bluetooth so Chandra is telling audience members to turn off their phones.
12:37 PM: Back on track. They searched for the TV show “House” and it pulls up Hulu streams and Amazon.com links. Check it out:
Seamless transition when switching from cable to Amazon.com’s web video service. Now playing a trailer for a “House” DVD. Switches right back to cable television no problem.
12:40 PM: Chandra discussing how search will make things easier. Now talking about how Google wants to be smarter in how you browse content on TV. Showing off quick launch screen, shown below:
12:41 PM: Showing off Netflix integration. Typical, easy-to-use interface. Now typing in a URL (Youtube.com) in the quick search bar. Brings up YouTube right away; easy to watch YouTube videos on your TV. This is very cool.
12:43 PM: You can go way further than just visiting a website. Chandra talking about the character Elmo on Sesame Street and how his two-year-old son watches it. Types in “Elmo” into the quick search bar. He hits a bookmark and goes to Sesame Street’s website and brings up Elmo-only videos. You can customise content exactly to your needs. Vincent Dureau shuts off the sound of Elmo singing, clearly annoyed.
12:45 PM: “TV is thought of in channels and shows” says Chandra. What if you miss a show? He types in “State of the Union 2010” and is able to quickly find the video of the speech on WhiteHouse.gov. Websites don’t have to change anything to work with Google TV.
12:50 PM: Talking about sports. A Lakers game is on right now. “Sports fanatics love to engage in the game.” Puts the game in Picture-In-Picture mode and is now tracking his fantasy team. You can follow leaderboards, check stats, etc.
12:51 PM: There’s other entertainment in the living room – games, photos and things like that. Back to the home screen. Browsing bookmarks which include websites, TV channels. Brings up Flickr and brings up beautiful, rich photos on the TV set. Forget your smartphone – your TV is the best photo viewer in the house.
Talking about gaming websites and music websites. “The web is unlimited and now your TV is unlimited as well.”
12:54 PM: A TV can now be anything. Vincent Dureau now speaking about how devices will work. No matter who your TV operator is, Google TV will work. There will be a Google TV box. Here are three of the four major components behind how Google TV works. The fourth are Google TV input devices, including an input device and keyboard.
12:56 PM: Your Android phone is now a Google TV input device! Dureau showing how he can use the Android phone to speak to his TV. “Good Morning America” instantly brings it up in the quick search bar. Incredible stuff. You can use multiple phones as remotes, meaning no more arguing over the remote. Chandra watching a movie in Adobe Flash on his phone. He hits a button and BOOM! YouTube is on the TV showing a video of Conan.
There will be an API and developer protocol so now developers can enhance the Google TV experience.
1:00 PM: Google TV is made of three components: Android, the Google Chrome web browser, and Adobe Flash. Soon, Android apps will work on your TV thanks to this integration.
1:02 PM: Android Marketplace now on TV. Chandra installs the Pandora Android app and now it’s running on Google TV thanks to Android.
New demo now.
1:04: Ambarish Kenghe takes the stage now…Google will publish guidelines on enhancing websites for television.
Hunter from YouTube announces YouTube lean back. It just starts playing, like television. Showing off new content and YouTube rentals.
1:10: Kenghe telling everyone to turn off Bluetooth on their devices. NBA rep now talking about collaboration with Google TV. Looking at stuff on NBA.com, showing how video is optimised for larger screens. Showing off a Lakers recap. You can easily pause, play, or stop a video with media keys.
With Google TV DVR integration, you can click on a schedule at NBA.com and that game will be recorded to your DVR if you’re away.
1:12: A woman is now talking about how you can explore content easily through the interface. Here’s a few screenshots.
1:15: Looks like things are wrapping up. Showing off an application that puts subtitles on a TV show for non-English speakers. Whoops! Looks like they need to wrap it up because the keyboards aren’t working.
1:17: “We are bringing innovation to the living room.” Google TV is an open platform. Developers are key to Google TV’s success. If you want to sign up or find out more, check out Google.com/TV.
Developers and content owners can now use new ways to pump their creations into the living room. The entire TV ecosystem needs to help. Google TV platform will be open-sourced into Chrome and Android.
1:20: How are we going to get Google TV out into the platform? Three ways.
First, Sony. Integrated TV lineup.
Second, Logitech. They’ll be launching a set top box and will develop peripherals.
Third, Intel. Intel Atom processors will power all the aforementioned devices.
All these devices will be available in Fall of 2010. Dish Network has also partnered with Google to deliver services and Best Buy will offer the devices at their stores.
Now onto the timeline:
1:22: Google CEO Eric Schmidt on stage. Discussing advancement of Internet, TV, and technology. Talking about how partners are important. Paul Otellini, CEO of Intel, now on stage. Next up, is Sir Howard Stringer, CEO of Sony, followed by Jerry Quinlan of Logitech. Charlie Ogden of Dish Network is out next, as is Brian Dunn, CEO of Best Buy. Lastly, we have Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen.
1:28: Time Q&A with Schmidt and the various CEOs. Intel CEO talking about how the Internet and Intel go together well. Schmidt talking about Flash with Adobe CEO Narayen.
Schmidt: Why is Flash so important?
Narayen: I think it’s all about engaging experiences on the web. You need to get the content out to all devices. It’s about creating family harmony over multiple devices. Flash is about opportunity for content creators.
Schmidt: Is Flash special in some way on Google TV?
Narayen: 10.1 Flash tackles key issues like performance and battery life. You need to harness the power of the web.
1:30: Now onto Sony CEO, Sir Howard Stringer.
Schmidt: How will this affect the television medium?
Stringer: Everything will be simplified and seamless. What you’ve done is mindboggling. It’s awesome.
Schmidt and Stringer joke about how it’s coming out in time for the holidays and how Best Buy will help drive sales.
Schmidt: Sony is hugely innovative.
Stringer: When you beat Apple, you’ve made it. ::laughs:: It’s a wonderful relationship. We’re “fairly giddy with excitement” on this. We have no fear.
1:33: Now on to Logitech CEO Jerry Quinlan.
Schmidt: I thought you only made remotes!
Quinlan: We do a lot more. The set top box will be incredible. We’ll also have a wireless keyboard and mouse. We’re very excited to get this stuff out by the holiday season.
1:37: Now it’s Dish Network CEO Charlie Ogden up to bat.
Schmidt: How will this benefit your company?
Ogden: People want this. We’ve been thinking about this for 10 years, starting with WebTV. It’s gonna be seamless. People won’t even know when they’re watching web or satellite TV. People will still watch the World Series, etc. on satellite but this is a great opportunity.
Schmidt: What did you learn from running an analytical TV business?
Ogden: We know that from an advertiser point of view, is a better return on investment. It’s important to keep customers and advertisers happy. Everything we’ve seen today is going to be hugely popular. People in this room will invent even more applications and will make sure that Dish Network will be there to help you through that.
1:41: Brian Dunn, CEO of Best Buy is speaking now.
Schmidt: Best Buy is amazing. What do you see this doing? Setting a new price point? Driving more traffic to stores?
Dunn: Christmas is very important for selling. Google TV will be great for this. It’s a whole new category – the “smart TV.” Here’s a great example of how Google TV will help bring people together: say you’re arguing over a movie about some fact. Now you can just use Google TV to easily get answers quickly.
Schmidt: You’ve done so well due to your service quality. It will be such a new idea for people, that you’ll have to demonstrate it to people.
Dunn: It will be. I got a demo of it and it’s very compelling. I NEED one! It addresses how people are enjoying and consuming media together.
(Sony CEO) Stringer: It’s an opportunity to evolve. It’s proactive, it’s upgradeable. It will create tons of new opportunities.
1:45: Schmidt talking about why it’s important to launch at the Google I/O developer conference. It’s up to developers to make Google TV actually work, just like Android. Without development, a product can’t succeed.
Wrapping things up. Thank you all.