Phew. The Google I/O Conference in San Francisco ended yesterday, and just like most of you we've been reeling from information overload. In case you caved and blinked at any point over the last 48 hours, here are the highlights:
The theme: Moving the Web forward, keeping it open
The Chrome Web Store
The Chrome Web Store is basically an attempt to house all the greatest Web apps in one place. Due out later this year (and initially only for Chrome uses), developers will receive 70% revenue for their paid applications while Google takes the remaining 30%.
"Google Chrome users who find web apps in the store will be able to create convenient shortcuts in Chrome for easy access," wrote Erik Kay, lead software engineer for Google Chrome. "Also, developers will have the option to easily sell their apps through the store using a convenient and secure payment system."
Google App Engine for Business
The Google App Engine just got upgraded. The new and improved engine -- still in preview -- now offers enterprise customers a scalable infrastructure for hosting their own web apps. Perks include centralized management, access to Google APIs, hosted SQL databases, and SSL communications on your domain.
In addition to being able to develop solutions for Google's cloud, a partnership with VMWare means enterprises can link their clouds together, as well as their on-premise apps and cloud-based apps.
The Return of Wave
Yes, Wave is back, and this time there's no invitation necessary. As a part of Google Labs, the new Wave features e-mail notifications and browser add-ons that alert a user about new and changed Waves, is easier to navigate, and can be embedded in webpages.
"We think we're at a place where Wave is mature enough where real work can get done and you can really see the benefits of doing your work in Wave over existing tools," said Google engineer Lars Rasmussen.
The Theme: Google TV (whether we like it or not)
Google Storage for Developers
Google Storage for Developers is a RESTful cloud service that's built on top of the Web giant's storage and networking infrastructure.
"Using this RESTful API, developers can easily connect their applications to fast, reliable storage replicated across several US data centers," said Jessie Jiang of the Google Storage for Developers team. Other features include:
- SSL support
- Multiple auhentication methods
- Access controls for sharing with individuals and groups
- Read-after-wirte data consistency support
- Web-based interface for storage management
Codenamed Froyo, the Android 2.2 sneak peek came with a ton of enterprise-y features:
- Auto-discovery allows accounts to be set up and synchronised with just a username and password
- Exchange calendars are now supported in the Android calendar app
- New APIs enable administrator apps for controlling security
- The Cloud-to-device messaging API makes it possible to communicate with an Android device via a desktop browser
- Voice-dialing over Bluetooth
- Improved speed (thanks to the V8 engine)
- Flash Player 10.1 compatibility
APIs, APIs, and more APIs
Seriously, Google kicked out a virtual ton of new APIs. Here's just a handful:
Google Prediction API: The Prediction API provides access to Google's machine learning algorithms. This enables developers to leverage patterns in their data and make real-time decisions, providing application users with the most relevant information.
Google Buzz API: Google calls this one "a work in progress. The Google Buzz API, which resides within Google Code Labs, ialigns ActivityStreams, Atom, AtomPub, JSON, OAuth, PubSubHubbub, MediaRSS, and PortableContacts.
The Google Moderator API: We call this API a combination of crowd sourcing and innovation management. Google's been using it internally for "meetings and to collect feedback from Googlers on events or happenings within the company. It is also used at conferences and other events to organize and draw upon the collective wisdom of the participants."
This one stole the spotlight. There's been a ton of mildly confusing coverage since the anouncement, so here's a quote directly from Google:
Google TV is a new experience for television that combines the TV that you already know with the freedom and power of the Internet. With Google Chrome built in, you can access all of your favorite websites and easily move between television and the web. This opens up your TV from a few hundred channels to millions of channels of entertainment across TV and the web. Your television is also no longer confined to showing just video. With the entire Internet in your living room, your TV becomes more than a TV — it can be a photo slideshow viewer, a gaming console, a music player and much more.
Essentially, Google is acknowledging the fact that the Web is more on-demand than any cable provider there is. By combining the Internet and our TV sets, we can get away from our computers (weird) and enjoy the Web's endless entertainment on a sizable screen, on our own schedule.
Here's a video from Google that explains the gist of it: