Google I/O 2011 Conference: Key Takeaways

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A plethora of news has emerged from Google’s annual I/O conference. We’ve gathered the top highlights below.

  • Honeycomb (Android 3.1) updates
    • Faster browsing and smoother zooming
    • Bluetooth support for peripherals such as keyboards and headsets during video chats
    • USB connectivity
    • Support for Wi-Fi connections even if tablet display is off
    • Improved and expanded widgets
    • Home button returns to selected homescreen rather than main center one
    • Support for HTML5 video and enhanced CSS 3D
    • Ability to save pages for offline viewing
    • Available in a few weeks
  • Ice Cream Sandwich preview
    • Vision: deliver one unified operating system that works everywhere, regardless of device.
    • Honeycomb tablet OS features to be available on Android smartphones, e.g., holographic user interface, more multitasking, a new launcher and richer widget
    • Release date is fourth calendar quarter of 2011
  • Google Music
    • Cloud-based music streaming music service
    • Users can upload any music file they own — iTunes libraries, Windows Media Player, or file folders
    • Ability to store up to 20,000 songs on Google’s cloud
    • User’s Google music library is automatically synced across all owned devices
    • App automatically caches most recently listened-to songs for access without an Internet connection.
    • Streaming support for any number of devices
    • The app will dynamically adjust views for smaller screens
    • Initially will not include option to purchase songs through the service
    • Currently in beta, by invite-only
  • Google Movies
    • Thousands of movies available on pay-per-view basis
    • Titles from major Hollywood studios for average price of $2.99-$3.99
    • Option to watch on web, stream to Android devices, or download to watch later
    • Available now via Android Market’s website
    • Access on Android 2.2 mobile handsets available in a few weeks, access on Honeycomb tablets available when Honeycomb 3.1 launched
  • Android@Homes
    • Concept that allows connectivity between home appliances —  from light switches to coffee makers and alarm clocks
    • Homeowners can control connected home appliances via Android devices
    • Android Accessory Mode
    • Availability date: unknown

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About Melody Demel

Melody is Senior Manager, PR for Boingo Wireless, where she is responsible for media relations, brand building and thought leadership initiatives. Melody is a die-hard Nebraska Cornhuskers fan and retired NCAA DI college field hockey player.
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