Google I/O Keynote Announcements and Recap

Google I/O Keynote Announcements and Recap

May 15, 2013

The big event for Google is just about to kick off. We should see loads of new products and services launched. Google has condensed the three days of keynotes into one this year, so we can expect it to be loaded (and long). Will we see Sergey jump from an airplane again this year? Will we see lavish gifts for the developers in attendance? What will we see?

It’s about to kick off. We’ll summarize the announcements and our reaction to them as the keynote is going on from our offices in San Francisco. You can also follow along with the video below.

9:01am And here we go!

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9:10am 900 Million Android activations to date. No mention on the number of current users though. I can’t imagine that too many of the T-Mobile MyTouch users that activated are still using those devices. But even if 50% of this number are retired devices, it’s still showing staggering growth.

48 Billion Google Play app downloads is showing amazing growth with over 2.5 billion in the last month alone.

9:15am Google Services — sits on top of the Google Play store to provide extra services. Today Google will announce three new services.

Fused Location Provider – Enhanced Location Services that uses less than 1% of battery per hour to keep track of location. Also uses all of the sensors to enhance the accuracy.
Geofencing – location based API that allows triggers based on location changes and entering / leaving a defined area.
Activity Recognition – Uses the sensors to measure activity / exercise. Also low power requirements.

Single Sign-on – Now integrated with Chrome to allow Google+ Single Sign On integrated sites to push app installs to your device via pop-up app install notices.

Google Cloud Messaging – Enhanced services, upstream messages, and cross device notification acknowledgements.

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9:22am Google Play Game Services — Google’s answer to Apple Game Center — but taken to the next level. Includes Cloud Save to allow cross device game saves. APIs for achievements, leaderboards, and integrates Google+ circles to track scores. Launching on Android, iOS, and web.

Multiplayer Services – Google will provide a new services to help multiplayer in games. Details are a bit thin.

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Demo gods strike – unable to show the multiplayer as the network was unable to connect. With 6,000 people in a room, probably 12,000 wifi connections being attempted.

9:29am Android Studio announced — a new development environment for creating apps announced. Based on IntelliJ Idea.

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9:33am Google Play Developer Console updates announced. These are huge.

Optimization Tips – give you ideas on how to optimize your app for sales (not performance) – things like countries it sells in but perhaps it isn’t optimized for. Google now has a translation service that allows you to have strings translated.
Referral Tracking – Ad tracking – allows you to track what ads that drive your downloads are the most effective.
Usage Metrics – Engagement metrics from Google Analytics inside the Google Play admin.
Revenue Graphs – App revenue details over time.
Beta Testing & Staged Rollouts – Allow testing groups inside the Play admin. Google+ Circle / Community based. Managed rollouts. This will be helpful to developers testing their apps and app updates.

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9:40am Google Play Store changes (consumer facing) announcements.
Personalized Recommendations – based on likes and things Circles on Google+ have plussed.
Tablet Charts – Top charts showing what tablet designed apps are charting.
Web Edition – Play updates coming to the web as well.

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9:45am Google Music Service Announcement – New Music Service – All Access
A music service that is about music and the technology stays in the background. All Access is a uniquely Google music service.
Both expert curated recommendations, key albums, and algorithmic recommendations. You can also create a radio station based on a single song. See the upcoming songs and modify the list. “Radio without Rules”
Always search at the top. Can play an artist, album, or just a song.
You see your uploads from Google Locker as well. Can add new albums to your library.
Listen Now – Stuff Google thinks you will love — recent plays – auto created radio stations, hot music.
Works on tablet, web browser, phones, etc.
Price – $9.99/month in the US – launches today. $7.99/month if you start by June 30th. 30 Day free trial.

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9:53amDevices Time to announce the hardware! “This is not a device giveaway!”
Something new on the Galaxy SIV – a stock Android version of the Galaxy S IV shown. Available directly through Google Play – unlocked, T-Mobile and ATT LTE, boot loader unlocked, prompt system updates. Basically a Galaxy Nexus S IV – on sale June 26th – for $649.

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9:58am – The keynote switched to Google Chrome – with 750 million active users. Lots of announcements around Google Chrome enhancements. Since mobile is our focus, we’ll leave those to others to cover.

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10:19am After much excitement – the first device giveaway was announced — the $1299 Chrome Pixel has been given to all IO participants.

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Apps for Education – Great Google Apps for Education announcements. Including the ability to push Play Apps (education focused of course) directly to students mobile and tablet devices. Funded by educational grants and purchase orders. Official name – Google Play for Education. Also includes curated apps for education, based on subject and student age, curated by educators.

10:30am Google+ Enhancements — many great enhancements rolling out today — a new layout reminiscent of Pinboard, enhancements to Hangouts including a dedicated Hangouts app, enhancements to photos and announcements around the idea of Google Datacenters being your new Darkroom. The auto enhancements shown are pretty spectacular, if a little over-applied in some cases.

Auto Awesome – a new photos feature that grabs a bunch of images taken at once and automatically takes them and will create animations, group photos, panoramas, HDR, and mix. It does all of this automatically by just looking at your photos.

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10:57am The marathon keynote continues with a rather provocative statement “The end of search as we know it”

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Google Now updated with new cards like Reminders, Public Transit, albums, books, and video game suggestions.

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11:15am Google Maps updates that leaked earlier this week — time to announce them after a little history.

11:23am Update to Google Maps for Mobile coming. These include new ratings for businesses based on a 4 point scale. Oddly many of the changes to the Android version are already available in the iOS version. As a matter of fact it looks like the Android version has changed to look just like the iOS version.

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11:32am Something new and revolutionary teased. The New Google Maps — built just for you, immersive imagery, and the map is the UI.

A web based, full window version of maps, as we saw leaked earlier is shown. Better focus on the map and the data included. Integration with Google+ and your friends reviews, +1s, and such.

I think the presenters definition of amazing my be different than mine. Some great changes shown when taken as a group, but any single one is hardly amazing.

11:39am Two hours, 39 minutes in. Will this keynote ever end?

Google Maps Preview Invites open up — available here.

11:45am Larry Page, CEO comes on stage. Recently announced that he has suffered vocal cord damage, speaking, fairly softly, into a microphone, the room completely quiet. Hard to do for a group of 6,000 people. Very respectful.

Larry reminisces on technology, changes in life, and the roll of technology in our daily lives.

12:30pm A marathon of a keynote. Three and a half hours capped off by a bunch of questions answered by Larry Page. But what didn’t we hear about:

Google Nexus – no new Nexus 7, no new Nexus devices at all.

Android Update – No update to Android Jelly Bean announced.

Google Glass – no real mention of the new category of devices. No update, no progress, no comercial release announced.

Google TV – no mention, whatsoever. Look for Google TV to pivot in the coming months. It’s obviously not top of mind anymore.

Google Q – the sphere / music device announced and quickly killed after IO last year. Consider it dead and Google will likely want to forget it ever existed.

Jeff Scott
Jeff Scott is the founder and publisher of the 148Apps Network of sites.
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