This morning’s keynote for Google IO was the just about the best talk of that kind I’ve ever attended. It was a broad overview of the topics from Vic Gundotra, a Google Vice President of Engineering, with several short talks on specific topics by relevant staff members. It was full of useful information and whetted my appetite for the upcoming breakout sessions, and the speakers were all very polished and clearly rehearsed.
Some highlighted topics:
- Android. Some very nice demos of mobile phones running Android, but I’m not clear on when this technology will actually be available for people like me to use. I want it, but I bet today’s cellular provides, who always want to lock their users down, probably don’t want it.
- AppEngine. This is the technology that triggered my decision to attend the conference. I’ve done some development in it, like it, and see great uses for it. The big news for AppEngine is that it is now (as of today) open for anyone to sign up to use. They also showed some approximate pricing for when it becomes a fully supported product, but committed to making it always free for low volume users. “Low volume” will be defined in terms of storage, CPU, data transfers, and so on, but the free level will be enough to cover an average of 5 million page views per month.
- OpenSocial. Google’s supporting open APIs for social networking in a big way. Personally, I’m not currently very interested in it.
- Google Gears. Now just called Gears. This is a browser plug-in that lets you do all sorts of great things with Ajax, like store persistent data on the client and access client resources. They are looking at this as a bleeding edge early preview of HTML 5, and I think it’s going to be important.
That’s not exhaustive, but it’s fairly complete. I’m glad I came.