Wednesday, May 11, 2011

ANDROID: Prepare to Awesomise

The Little Green Robot that Could will be able do a little more in the not to distant future. Google I/O's keynotes are over, and a few bombs were dropped in the process. These aren't those nasty, destructive, awesome bombs like the BLU-82B Daisy Cutter, but more of a candy-and-laser-light-show filled fun bomb.

Like dropping one of these . . . 

. . . on one of these.

Google dropped Android Honeycomb 3.1, Music Beta by Google, video rental via YouTube, and Android@Home, to name a few of the larger releases. Oh, and Android Ice Cream Sandwich to come later this year. A quick note on these, and then a note on my favourite release tease from day 1 of the presentation (day 2 is another post, as it has to do with Chrome OS).

Music Beta by Google
This is going to be a cloud streaming service with something like 85GB of free space to use. I'm not sure of the exact number, but Google did say that one can upload 20,000 songs (I do hope one can store video, as well). You can access these songs whenever you like from your computer, laptop, or Android device. I hear iOS devices are in the works, but we'll have to wait and see what the ever-exclusive, Cupertino crowd thinks about that; remember how long it took to get Google Voice, and how that was motivated by possible legal action in the EU?

In any case, this will be an awesome addition to the Android repertoire. The downside for this over Amazon Cloud Music Player is that you can't yet purchase anything on Music Beta. Still, that doesn't stop you from using Amazon Cloud Player and Music Beta, which is what I plan to do.

This will either be really cool, or nothing at all. Google's like that, sometimes (remember Wave?). The potential is to be able to control every light, garage door, speaker, thermostat, appliance, etc. in your home via your Android handset. I imagine this will end up as something in the middle, with people like me having some things "Androidified" and most things conventional. In any case, home automation is a Star-Trekky sort of gig, so I'm on board.

I can't wait to say to my tablet, "Tea, Earl Grey, hot," and have the coffee maker start brewing some Earl Grey tea. I don't even like Earl Grey tea, and I'm still geeking out about it.

My Favourite Thing
By far and away, the best announcement was that Google is partnering with manufacturers and carriers to ensure updates for future, Android devices. I do hope some current ones are covered, as well, as I have a couple of Android devices myself that obviously aren't from the future (or are they?).

Google is setting an 18 month update promise for the coalition. That means timely updates for your device from the day it's released up until a year and a half later, at minimum. Since I'm an XDA addict, I don't need this; but this is surely a welcome tidbit for the 95+% of people out there who don't root and ROM. Oh, and I won't need to backup, wipe, and ROM my wife's phone anymore.

That's a rap for day 1. Stay tuned for Day2.

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