Saturday, 18 May 2013

Opinions on Google IO 2013

I’ve watched quite a few hours of the videos from Google IO last week and here is my summary
 
1) 900 Million android phones and 48B Google Play for Apps downloads   (Apple Announced 50B Appstore downloads the same day- obviously Android will surpass Apple soon)
 
2) Search is moving to personal context understanding based on user info like my calendar and previous search requests.  Example of this given using voice search where the word “it” based on previously defined nouns are used.  All very powerful stuff.
 
3) Android Apps can now have 100 Geofences per app per user.  This means an App can internally with efficient battery usage determine when a Geofence is reached and cause a notification
 
4) Lots of Google Glass stuff.  Glass screen is better than I’d thought with a resolution of 640x480.   Simple APIs connects using REST apis and connected html cards where there are simple menus and small amounts of data at any one moment. But the whole thing is very early... they’re still working on much of the functionality... I’d say another 2 years before it really takes over the world (so long as the privacy people don’t suffocate it) – but then it will really take over the world.  But of course the iWatch will also be around by then as well.
 
4) Big advances in web technologies.  All very impressive stuff and I’d say very signficant.  They are using new techniques called Web Components which allow the grouping of HTML/CSS/Javascript fragments(within this are things called Shadow DOM and HTML templates).  In this way you can define your own HTML tags with lots of functionality.  Example is Adobe have a single tag which is a PDF viewer (so a web page can add this very easily in part of a screen with a single tag). 
 
Very good talk by the Javascript team explaining about the massive improvements in performance of the past few years but they’re close to the limit.  They know they need native app performance speeds and the way they’re going to achieve this is by creating a new language called Dart.  Dart is a cross between Java and Javascript but without the performance bottlenecks of Javascript.... they think they can achieve the same speed as Java;   Dart is already working in Chrome and for other browsers it regresses back to Javascript so always works.  Of course Microsoft have something similar called TypeScript but I think its this Google open standards one which will get somewhere.

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