Friday, June 29, 2012

Google I/O 2012 Day 2

No fancy pictures today, just a quick update.  The second day keynote brought more surprises and fun. The product announcements centered around Chrome and Google Apps with the big surprise being a free Chrombox for all of the attendees.  Again, not a very exciting gadget for a conference.  It is going to sit in the box until I get back home where it will likely replace an old laptop as the computer connected to the TV.  The majority of the keynote was focused on demonstrating how the previous days skydiving stunt was put on with a repeat of the stunt.  The second time through it was more like a developer walkthrough that explained how everything was done.

For me, the rest of the day was mostly spent in sessions learning about App Engine & Android.  There are quite a few sessions that I am looking forward to watching on YouTube after I get home that I was not able to attend in person.  While there were some major announcements, none of them stand out as something that I want to cover in this blog post.

Today I activated my Nexus 7 and have been using it all day.  Unfortunately the spotty WiFi made my Galaxy Nexus more useful (Verizon 4G coverage has been very reliable).  The Jelly Bean features are a major improvement over ICS but mostly cosmetic.  The changes really do not really justify a major version so the choice to release as 4.1 instead of 5.0 makes sense.  The biggest improvement is the Google Now feature which I have been trying to determine what type of questions can be answered.  The fallback is a standard Google Search which is still useful.  It seems that the Knowledge Graph still needs some work to catch up with what WolframAlpha has to offer.

While the hardware is really excellent, the competitive advantage of the product is tied to the price point.  I think I would still prefer a 10 inch form factor, but the ability to hold the tablet in one hand changes the use cases.  The I/O model only has 8 GB of storage which will cause me to be selective with what I store.  Many of the apps (including my own) need some work to look great on the 7 inch form factor.  I am guilty of targeting the 10 inch form factor and will be doing some work in the coming weeks to target the smaller screen size.

With most of the excitement of Google I/O already done, tomorrow will be much less eventful.  The biggest thing I have left to do is figure out how I will be able to transport everything back home.

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