There were a lot of cool new technologies and services launched at Google I/O. As always, Google is making big moves in many different directions. There is now no denying that Google and Apple are in direct competition in multiple areas. Here are a few announcements that stood out.
WebM is an alternative video format to the current H.264 being used for many HTML5 applications. The problem with H.264 is that they will start charging a licensing fee for it’s use in 2015. This has made some uneasy about devoting too much energy to the H.264 format and the proposed HTML5 standard as it relates to video. Licensing fees could be too much for your average developer or startup. WebM provides a free and open, high quality choice for those looking to get into the HTML5 game with no danger of fees in the future.
While sites like Hulu and YouTube are challenging traditional television in terms of viewers, there still seems to be something missing in the experience. Many of your shows aren’t available, for one. Also, the experience of finding and watching videos on the web far exceeds that of the interface from your standard TV. With that in mind, Google has developed Google TV, which aims to combine your standard television experience with the power of the web. They have already partnered with sites like Jinni.com and Rovi and developers can start optimizing their sites for Google TV right now. It remains to be seen exactly how things will pan out, but we can already see that this could be a huge game changer for black media.
App Engine for Business
App Engine is the platform that has allowed countless developers to create web applications without the need to worry about scalability or storage, probably the most boring parts of the process. Creativity in development and design can flourish when the back-end stuff is being taken care of. App Engine for Business takes this idea to the next level, allowing enterprise-level development on the same platform as Google itself uses. Listening to feedback from enterprise customers, Google has added the necessary features at a reasonable cost of $8 per user.
Probably one of the most anticipated segments, the features announce for Android 2.2 (codename “Froyo” after frozen yogurt) didn’t disappoint. One of the most notable new features in the ability to not only tether your Windows or Linux computer, gaining access to the net via your 3G phone connection, but you can also use that connection to create a mobile hotspot for up to 8 devices. As part of this announcement, it seems that Google has quietly launched a competitor to iTunes that seems to do all the things you wish iTunes would. For more details, visit the Android Developers blog.
Google has finally launched an API for Buzz, which has already been integrated into clients like Tweetdeck and Seesmic. For me, the fact that Buzz is locked away inside my Gmail has been a huge deterrent to actually using it, so this may be a huge step forward for Buzz. Google Latitude has also got a new API, which could definitely cause some disruption among location-based services. Google Storage for developers is basically competition for Amazon S3 and may succeed in stealing away some Amazon S3 customers who want to consolidate and simplify operations.
For more details and videos, visit the Google Code Blog.