Thursday, May 16, 2013

Google IO Day One - Keynote

Google IO kicked off yesterday with the keynote at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. They keynote is always an exciting event with the big names on center stage filling your ears with all the great new and upcoming tech. While this years keynote steered away from hardware and Key-lime Pie it was till jam packed with a tonne of stuff. Here are the bits of the Keynote that I found interesting:

Android Studio

This took me as a bit of a surprise to be honest and quite a good surprise at that. Google is moving from Eclipse to IntelliJ. This is very interesting because b2cloud has just made this transition about two months ago after struggling with Juno for months. With the Android tools team putting it's resources behind intelliJ for Android, some of the weaker aspects to IntelliJ have been improved, namely the Visual Editor. Prior to Google's input the visual editor bordered on horrible to unusual, now it has the multi-screen size comparison Eclipse has.

Galaxy S4 Nexus Edition

I had heard rumors about a Galaxy S4 Nexus Edition prior to the keynote starting, but I was a bit skeptical. Sure enough though, the announcement came. This is very interesting and promising, basically it's opening up the doors for any manufacturer to step up to the plate, put Vanilla Android on their flagship phone and submit it as a Nexus Edition to be purchased on Google Play. I'm hoping the HTC One will follow suite! Come on HTC, the Android community has been waiting for another HTC Nexus devices for a long time!

Translation Services

Google has now integrated translation services into Google Play. This is a paid feature that has string resources submitted to a human or humans who then go through them and translate them. In the keynote they said the turn around was a week.

Beta Testing and Staged Rollouts

The developer console is now letting you manage your beta testing by giving you the ability to setup a beta testing team who will get access to your app. It also allows the user to do a staged rollout of updates by selecting the percentage of users you want to include in the rollout. Staged rollouts are a great way of minimizing the potential impact of a accidental bad release. While as developers we try to ensure that this doesn't occur, sometimes bugs occur and sometimes they occur with disastrous impact. 

Google Music - All Access

Google has entered the music streaming wars, with a fresh new music app, and a $9.99 a month subscription rate ($7.99 if you get in early). I don't think most people will find this interesting as Spotify, MOG and Pandora has a large hold on this market. For me however this is great as I already have a large number of songs uploaded and purchased from Google Music. Unfortunately this service is for the US only, however if you work a bit of Google Plus magic you might be able to access this from other countries, hint hint!

There's much more in the keynote that I wanted to add but these are the big topics that interested me the most. I strongly recommend watching the keynote yourself on youTube

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