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Google Music, Chromebooks, Ice Cream Sandwich and more
Yesterday and today, Google has been showing off its latest products and features for consumers and developers alike at Google I/O 2011 in San Francisco. Mobile (Android) and Web (Chrome) dominated the conversation.
I’ve rounded up all the most important announcements here:
Android / Day One
Statistics: 100 million Android devices have been activated worldwide with 400K new activations added every day. There are now 310 Android devices from 36 OEMs on 215 carriers in 112 countries.
Android 3.1: A minor update to the current version of Google’s mobile OS, Honeycomb, Android 3.1 brings several UI refinements, connectivity for a wide variety of USB peripherals and accessories, support for external keyboards and joypads, boosted Wi-Fi features and more.
Ice Cream Sandwich: Next in the line of quite a few deliciously named mobile OSes (Cupcake, Donut, Eclair, Froyo, Gingerbread and Honeycomb), Ice Cream Sandwich is set for release in Q4 2011.
Movie rentals: Besides just downloading apps and purchasing books, users can now rent movies from the Android Market for between $1.99 to $4.99 each.
Google Music Beta: Trailing Amazon’s launch of Cloud Player by a few weeks, Google has launched its own cloud solution for music, Google Music Beta, allowing users to upload their MP3s and listen to them from any Web-connected computer. And all without any support from the record labels.
Facebook killer: Okay, not really, but Google says publishers will be able to preview the +1 button (similar to Facebook’s Like button) in the coming weeks.
Google Storage opens up: Developers will be happy to hear that Google Storage, a solution for storing and accessing data, no requires an invitation for registration.
Google Places API opens: All developers can now use the Google Places API to power their location-based apps for mobile and desktop. Foursquare’s API already boasts 10,000 developers.
Chrome / Day Two
Statistics: Chrome now has 160 million active users, more than doubling the 70 million users from last year's Google I/O. The Chrome Web Store is now available in 41 languages for free apps.
Angry Birds: For the first time ever, the wildly addicting mobile game is now playable on the Web over at chrome.angrybirds.com. Chrome users can install it as an app from the Chrome Web Store.
Chromebooks: Computers except not, Chromebooks are built and optimized entirely for Web-use. The devices bootup within seconds because there’s real no operating system, it’s just a browser and are not prone to viruses or malware. And they’re finally going to be available to order from Acer and Samsung for around $400 starting June 15.
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