Google I/O 2011 : Day two

Google’s browser Chrome took center stage on day two with Google’s Senior Vice-president for Chrome, Sundar Pichai revealing the figures that make the Chrome Web browser such a huge success. At the  Google I/O 2010 Chrome had about 70million users worldwide, the figure has skyrocketed to 160 million at I/O 2011.

Chrome Web browser:
Ian Ellison-Taylor talked about the progress of Chrome focusing on speech support, translation and Java script speed, emphasizing that Chrome is almost 20x faster than it was last year. HTML 5 capabilities of Chrome were also touched upon and demoed new version of Chrome browser with GPU acceleration for canvas using WebGL. Some very interesting demos that were showed included tinkercad, a really interesting web browser based cad 3d model rendering. Give it a try yourself.

Chrome WebStore:
Chrome WebStore has received a phenomenal response from users with 17 million applications installed in just 3 months. Developers said, according to Sundar Pichai, that users spend upto two times more time on apps installed from the Chrome WebStore and about 2.5x transactions. The Chrome WebStore will be available worldwide in 41 language.
In-app purchasing for Chrome WebStore got a mention too with the example of the demo. Google had stressed on the monetization aspect of apps for Chrome and said that service fee for developers would be only 5%. That means if a developer sold an app, the developer would get to keep 95% of the proceeds from the transaction, no sign up fees, no fixed charges etc.

Angry Birds on the Web:
Angry birds makes and appearance on the web. Rovio’s ‘Mighty Eagle’ aka Peter Vesterbacka spoke about the game with a short demo. Angry birds has been a phenomenal success on the iOS and Android platforms, and the availability of it on the web will definitely take the craze of this game to a whole new level. Depending on the browser you can play the game in HD or without HD. Another good move that will keep users hooked to the game is the offline capability. If you’re on a plane with no internet connectivity, you can still play the game in your browser. Chrome Web browser users will get some extra chrome themed levels and the Mighty Eagle app to clear levels you might be stuck on!

Chrome OS:
Sundar Pichai took the stage to talk about how the web has become the place where most users spend their time. He spoke about the problems that arise when dealing with day to day PCs or notebooks and maintaining and upgrading them. Chrome OS is built to cut out the hardware and software dependencies to a minimum. Calling them Chromebooks, Google promises to make it  a quick and easy to use device even for new users. Since all the data is stored in the cloud, notebooks can be shared with users without the fear of security or loss of data.

What’s more is that this data will be available to you from anywhere with an internet connection. Chromebooks wil be upgraded over the air automatically to give users the latest and best technology from Google. To address the issue of security, every bit of users data on Chromebooks will be encrypted. The initial pilot program Cr-48 Chrome netbook taught Google some important lessons and Google has worked closely with Adobe to provide a seamless flash experience on the Chromebook. Intel too has chipped in with dual core processors for the Chromebooks.The talk was followed by a demo of some of the features that Chrome OS offers. Offline capability, a hotly debated topic when it comes to usability of the Chrome OS, was partly announced with the ability to handle Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Docs.

The first Chromebooks to be launched were announced by Sundar Pichai . The notebooks will be available June 15th. Here are the specs

Samsung Chromebook:

  • 8 second boot
  • Instant-on
  • Intel Atom Dual core Processor
  • 8 Hour battery life
  • 2 USB 2.0 ports
  • 4-in1 memory slot
  • Full size Chrome keyboard
  • Redesigned trackpad
  • 12.1 inch display
  • Always connected ( wifi and 3g)
  • $429 for wifi $499 for wifi + 3G

Acer Chromebook

  • 8 second boot
  • Instant-on
  • Intel Atom Dual core Processor
  • 6.5 Hour
  • 2 USB 2.0 ports
  • 4-in1 memory card slot
  • Full size Chrome keyboard
  • Redesigned trackpad
  • 11.6 inch HD display
  • Always connected ( wifi + 3G)
  • $349 and above

Something the device manufacturers may not like but was announced by Google anyways ( trying hard to look Open ) is that these devices will be jailbreakable! Developers will be able to play around with the software completely!

Google sees Chromebooks as a software and hardware service. It offers an easy to use configuration and management console for enterprise administrators to manage users. Google will offer this service to enterprise at a price of 28$ per month per user. Google is highly interested in using its technology for education and governance. Educational and government institutions will get the Chromebooks at a subsudised price of 20$ per user. Google is really keen on making the Chromebook a success and has offered it to all attendees of the Google I/O for free.

Are you excited about these technologies? Let us know.

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