It’s that time again! After an endless series of whispers and all kinds of little leaks, it’s time for the much anticipated Google I/O 2013 Keynote.
We’re live on the scene in San Francisco to bring you all of the up-to-the second news through our realtime liveblog. Join us, won’t you?
The event is scheduled to begin at 9 AM Pacific, but we’ll be bringing you photos and commentary from the scene leading up to doors opening.
Testing, testing — is this thing on?
Looks like it’s working! We’ll keep the news flowing as long as the (already spotty) connectivity allows. Poke me on Twitter if things break.
We’ve just arrived and are in line to get into the hall, though the event isn’t scheduled to start for another 50 minutes or so.
The gang’s all here! On the scene from TechCrunch are Darrell Etherington, Drew Olanoff, Frederic Lardinois, Ryan Lawler, and yours truly (Greg Kumparak). Also on the scene: pretty much everyone in the world, judging from the line outside.
Oh my god, the Glass — it’s everywhere. If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be surrounded mostly by people wearing Glass, just cruise by the Moscone center today.
There are robots here next to the line and they’re moving! Rehearsal?
They keep getting our hopes up by moving the press line 2 or 3 feet forward and telling us to get ready. Then nothing happens. Stop playing with my heart, Google.
Also, word goin’ round the press line is that there’s no power inside. It’s a 3 hour keynote. This should be fun.
Below: Mystery veiled displays, which are either secret unannounced things or… like, snacks.
We’re moving inside! Maybe. Probably not. This would be false alarm #5.
And we’re inside! The battle for chairs is on. Ruuun, ruuuuuuun!
Oh man — conference hall WiFi just totally tanked. We found a stray ethernet cable running across the floor by luck. Lets hope it keeps working.
There are about 20 people around us doin’ the standard crowd shots. My only goal is to be making a stupid face in every one of them.
For those of you just tuning in, we’ve got about 20 minutes to go before the big show begins. Don’t go anywhere!
Ten minutes to go, and the room is absolutely packed. It’s a gigantic auditorium, and I can’t see a single empty chair that isn’t reserved for someone special. And yet, the attendees keep filing in.
I’d update you guys on the super crucial info like what music is playing, but uh, i have absolutely no idea. It’s some wubby trance stuff. Even Shazam is like “I dunno, man.”
Update: There we go! They changed it to a mashup of Beastie Boy’s Intergalactic and Midnight City by m83. trendy!
There are no less than eight people wearing Glass within ten feet of me. It’s like living in a magical world where people aren’t hypercritical of glass.
Hah! A few devs just crashed the pre-show, running up to the front of the audience with banners for the Beijing Google Developer Group, chanting “GDG! GDG!”
Two more minutes!
With 30 seconds left, the crowd behind us is going nuts. They’re doing the wave. Fact: it’s the most successful Wave to ever launch at I/O
Here we go!
They’re starting out with a video, flippin’ from app demoes, to blurps of code, to random soundcloud pages. It’s not 100% focused on Google — it’s more of a nice lil’ celebration of pretty technology
The video ends — “Here’s to what you build next”.
Vic Gundotra is taking the stage
“On behalf of Google, let me extend the warmest welcome to the 6,000 of you in attendance — and to the over ONE MILLION watching live back at home.”
“As that opening video showed, it’s not about us. When we say thank you, we really, sincerely mean it.”
“With that.. lets get this keynote started! Please welcome my friend, Sundar Pichair (SVP of Android, Chrome, Apps)”
“Most of us have lived through an incredibly amazing revolution. It started back in the 80s. But if you look back, the vast majority of people were on one OS: Windows. But if you look back about 7 years, there’s been an explosion of devices. “
He throws up an image comparing the pope’s funeral in 2005, comparing it to the announcement of the pope in 2013. In 2005, not a single camera phone. In 2013, it’s a “sea of phones”.
Sundar dives into the revolution in hardware, focusing mainly on it being spread out across so many different form factors.
“We are very very fortunate at Google to have two different platforms. Two amazing, scalable platforms. Android and Chrome. Android started with a simple goal of bring open standards to the mobile industry. Today, it’s the most mobile popular in the world.”
“Chrome, again, started as a simple journey to make the web much better. The goal was to design a simpler, safer browser. Today, it’s the most popular browser in the world.”
Let’s talk about android: 2 years ago, we announced that we had over 100 million activations. A year ago, it was 400 million activations. The momentum has been breathtaking so far. Lets take a loot at where we are. [Sundar cuts to a video..]
They’re showing a video with the Android bot flyin’ around a growing line, as it reaches for the sky
900 million Android activations as of 2013. Crazy.
“But remember: there are over 7 billion people in the world. We have a long journey to go.”
Sundar shows a map of where Android is growing fast, but still with a penetration of less than 10%: Mexico, Africa, South America, and Asia/Europe, primarily.
Hugo Barra, VP of product management for Android is taking the stage.
“It’s been an amazing year for Android developers. Google Play has just crossed 48 billion app installs.”
“2 1/2 billion of those installs are from the last month and a half alone. This year, we’ve already paid out more revenue to developers than ALL of last year.”
“The first thing we want to do is to give you a preview of some new developers tools we’re announcing here at I/O”
Up first: Google Play Services.
“A few months ago, we launched Google Play Services as a framework for developers to communicate with Google Services.”
(For the curious: Google Play Services handles background app updating, and it lets devs talk to things like Google Maps without worrying about the APIs breaking)
“Today, we’re launching 3 new location APIs. First up: Fused location provider”
Fused location provider utilizes all of the communication sensors in the phone (wifi, gps, and cell), while using 1% of the battery that previous APIs used
2nd new api: Geofencing, allowing apps to actively respond to entering new zones.
3rd new api: Activity recognition. The new api will let your apps recognize if you’re driving, walking, or biking, and allow them to adjust accordingly. It’s done in a “very battery efficient” way, no GPS required.
They’re also expanding Google+ single sign-in today, with “cross platform single sign on”.
Hugo drops into a demo of the Fancy, on a PC browser. He logs in through Google+… and it automatically prompts him to install The Fancy app on his tablet.
He switches to the tablet. It alerts him to the app being downloaded. He opens the app on the tablet — boom, it’s automatically logged in, as he logged in and triggered downloaded already on the PC.
That’s… actually really awesome.
Google Cloud Messaging (which lets developers easily send data between their apps and their servers) is in 60% of apps, and they’re delivering 17 billion messages per day
GCM will also now allow “Upstream Messaging” (the devs in the audience “ooh” and “aah”), allowing developers to use GCM to send data from phone back to server
Also new: notifications will be synced across your multiple android devices.
Next up: Google Play gaming services. This leaked out here
First new Google Play game service: Cloud saves. Players can play a game on one device, switch to another, and start where they left off.
Next up: Achievements and leaderboards. Think Xbox Live. “It’ll encourage… friendly competition. Yeah. Lets put it that way.”
The next Google Play Game service: a comprehensive multiplayer service, which can automatically match players, as well as handle “all of the hardcore data” work involved with building a multiplayer game
Hugo drops into a multiplayer demo of Riptide 2. He invites two friends into the game over Google Plus, dropping into an invite screen and just tapping their faces. It creates a lobby, automatically inviting everyone into the match. It’s really, really smooth.
Aaaand it crashed.
Whoops. Let’s try again.
“This is.. not the most networking friendly room. Should we skip it? Lets give it one more try.”
“Three geeks, three jetskies.. a bunch of brand new APIs.. what could possibly go wrong.”
Hugo is handling it like a champ.
And it works! We’re connected.
Almost. Maybe not. We’ve dropped back into the “Connecting..” screen. Bumsies.
“Everything we’re showing with Google Play Services and multiplayer will be available on all Android devices, Froyo and up, in an update we’re rolling out today.”
“Today we’re showing a new development tool that we’ve been working on: Android Studio”
“It’s an IDE that’s been specifically built for Android”
They roll to a demo of the Android Studio. Again, the dev-filled audience “Oooohs”. I love this audience. They are my people.
It’s got all sorts of snazzy tricks than only Android developers can really appreciate: mentions of icons get a little preview in-line. When you’re building layouts, you can preview those layouts on the fly. You can also view those layouts on all sorts of different device form factors and sizes.
The previews all update on the fly — you can even have a bunch of different localized previews on screen at the same time, ensuring that your app looks good regardless of the language.
The demo is wrapping. “This just scratches the surface of what’s available in Android Studio”
“Half of the game is about development. The other half is about distribution. To tell you about our plans there, we’d like to invite Ellie Powers of the Google Play team”
“Last year, we announced the Google Play Developer Console. Since then, we’ve taken your feedback into account. We’ve added 5 new features to get more users and make more money.”
First up: optimization tips. It’ll automatically analyze your app, and how it’s postured in the app store. Don’t have any tablet integration? It’ll nag at you until you do. Got a bunch of russian users, but haven’t translated your app into russian yet? It’ll point that out.
Speaking of which, also new: an app translation service. You can now get professional installations, right through the developer console.
Google sends your apps text to a translation service, and automatically adds them into your app when they’re ready. It’s not free — they didn’t mention pricing, but the prices on screen varied between $70 and $150 bucks.
Up next: referral tracking. It’ll automatically track where most of your users are coming from when they land on your app’s page in the Play Store, allowing you to target campaigns.
Also new: revenue graphs. If you’re makin’ dat cash, you can now graph how much you’re pulling in, country by country, over time.
(Eh. If i had an app, I’d judge how successful I am by whether or not i am currently making it rain)
Also launching today: App beta testing and staged rollouts, allowing you to have private groups of both alpha and beta testers who have access to your app early.
Feedback from alpha and beta groups are sent directly to the developers, instead of being posted as public reviews. That’s pretty great.
You can also limit your rollout to say, 10% of your audience at a time, to ensure that if something is broken it doesn’t ruin your app for everyone at once.
Hugo takes the stage: “I dont know about you, but i’m pretty API’d out”.
Chris Yerga, Android’s Engineering director has taken the stage.
“We’ve been pretty successful so far, with 48 billion apps to date. We recently launched a redesigned version of the Play Store — lets take a look.”
Chris is just runnin’ through a quick demo of the new play store, demonstrating how it’s focused on getting users to come across new apps and content they’d like
“We know that a lot of you have invested a lot of time into building awesome tablet experiences. We’ll now let people browsing the top charts to surface apps that are specifically designed for tablets”
“In the coming weeks, we’ll also be bringing this same great new Play experience to the web”
They flip to a picture of Google Play Books. It’s highlighting Dan Brown.
“Oops. During the playthrough we had a picture of a better lookin’ dude behind me”
BURN. Dan Brown is off somewhere, wiping his tears with a pile of money.
On to music!
“A year ago, we launched our locker service. Soon after, we launched our music store. Today, users in 13 countries are enjoying their music on Play Music”
“But what if we gave you access to millions of tracks from the store? What if we got you right to the music, without any hassle? We built that service. Today we’re announcing Google Play Music: All Access”
“All Access starts with explore. It’s a guided way to browse a collection of millions of tracks. From the moment you enter explore, you get recommendations based on your listening preferences. You can also browse top playlists and charts, and selected content by our own music experts”
This app is quite friggin’ pretty. Queue management is particularly smooth. I didn’t think Rdio or Spotify had much to worry about here, but this app is probably the cleanest of the sort I’ve seen so far.
Everything from your locker is automatically pulled in — but beneath the content you own, everything else an artist has an All Access is automatically listed and plays at a tap.
All Access also works on the web, with much of the same Spotify-esque functionality. It’s got your personal library, it’s got all the recommendations, it’s got radio.
“Lets talk about how you can get it: All Access is available to everyone in the US at $9.99, and we’re giving everyone a 30 day free trial. It launches today in the US, and additional countries soon”
“If you start a paid account by June 30th, we’ll only charge you $7.99 a month.”
For those of you just tuning in, we’re coming up on the end of hour one of Google’s 3 hour keynote. They’ve shown a bunch of new APIs, their new Music service, and the new Google Play store
Next up: devices.
“We continue to be blown away by the hardware that’s coming out of our partners — the HTC One, and the Samsung Galaxy S4. Like this Galaxy S4.”
“There’s something unique about this S4, that’s not available elsewhere. Take a look at my homescreen.”
It’s just a pure, vanilla Android experience, minus Samsung’s modifications.
“This version of the Samsung Galaxy S4 will be available directly through Google Play, unlocked for both ATT and T-Mobile with LTE support, 16GB internal storage, bootloader unlocked, and it’ll receive prompt system updates with EVERY new release”
(In other words, this is the Galaxy S4 that everyone wanted to begin with)
This’ll be on sale on June 26th, for just $649.
(Dude behind me when the price is read: “Fuuuuuuuuuuu…”)
Aaand we’re in hour two of the three hour keynote. Send supplies.
Next up: Chrome
Sundar is back on the stage. “This time ast year, we’d reached 450 million+ uses on Chrome. Today, we’re at over 750+ million)
“A lot of this new growth is coming from phones and tablets. We’re just beginning to push the mobile web forward. It’s in its early days, but we think we can do for the mobile web what we did for the desktop web.”
Sundar rolls into discussing Chromebooks, highlighting the new companies that have joined as chromebook partners.
He touches on Google’s own Chromebook, the crazy high-res Pixel. “We’re going to have more to talk about with Chromebooks later this year. We’re investing a lot there.”
“What we’re about to show you is something, running in Chrome, that a few developers have put together for the upcoming Hobbit movie”
They’ve dropped into a LOTR game, still running in webGL in the browser. The guy steering tries to take on a troll, gets his butt kicked.
Heh. I dont know if this is available outside of moscone, but here’s the URL for the demo thats running right now: http://10.0.55.29:8080/#!/rivendell . Go play!
We’re back to talking about Chrome, and Google’s three focuses moving forward: simplicity, speed, and security.
They’ve moved on to discussing their new image format, WebP. It meets or beats the quality of JPEG, whilst providing a 30+% reduction in file size. Plus, it “unfortunately” (their words!) supports animated images.
Sergey Brin just skydived in through the ceiling!
Just kidding, they’re talking about video codecs.
He compares H.264 to Google’s Vp9. At a comparable quality, Google’s video format is 63% smaller. Youtube will roll out VP9 support later this year.
“Beyond just making web pages faster, we want to make things simpler and faster for users. One of the hardest things you can do on the web today is buy something. Currently, the process to buy something is 21 steps. The abandonment rate during the shopping process is nearly 97% percent”
Now, when you check out on a website in Chrome (including mobile), you’ll automatically be offered up a prompt with your billing profiles. It’ll auto-fill things like your zipcode, your address, your payment details. It turns that 21 step process into 3 steps.
It’s all branded under Google Wallet, it seems.
If you’re just tuning in, here’s what you’ve missed so far:
The New Android Studios IDE: http://techcrunch.com/2013/05/15/google-launches-android-studio-a-development-tool-for-apps/
Google’s New Music Service: http://techcrunch.com/2013/05/15/google-play-music-all-access/
Google To Offer An Unlocked Galaxy S4: http://techcrunch.com/2013/05/15/google-to-begin-offering-unlocked-samsung-galaxy-s4-with-stock-android-for-649-on-june-26/
They’re trying to do a demonstration of a racer across multiple different devices and form factors, but they’re having some technical issues
Hah! There it goes. Whoa. It’s a racer game across multiple displays — each display makes up a different section of the track. Using web sockets and Google Play Services, it’s synced from device to device.
One of the racers crashes, yells “Oh shit!” to a million people watching back at home. Wherps! THINK OF THE CHILDREN GOOGLE
They’ve dropped into a video of the evolution of the web. It starts with a terminal, hackin’ away at CERN. It rolls through bbs; usenet; napster; it’s now showing things built on HTML5 and webGL. The web has gotten pretty!
We’ve moved back to talking about the Pixel.
“Do you guys have any idea why we’re talking about this again? Why we’ve got a picture of it on the screen?”
The crowd goes crazy, assuming they’re getting one. It’ll be hilarious if he just felt like showing the pixel again.
Nope — everyone in the audience is getting one. Gnarly. Those things ain’t cheap.
We’ve moved on to talking about Google Apps, and how they’re used in schools.
“Today, we’re really excited to announce a new initiative to make it easy and affordable for schools to get android tablets into the hands of kids”
They’re also announcing Google Play for education, a new, focused version of the Google Play store that focuses on learning apps.
“You’re not just shopping for yourself here. When you purchase an app, you just put in the name of the educational group you’re downloading for. Hit download, boom — that’s now on all 500 student tablets”
Google Play’s education vertical will begin accepting K-12 app submissions this summer.
“We’re doing the heavy lifting, bringing these things to schools, making it easy for them to buy these tablets. Now it’s up to you, to build great educational content. We’ll start accepting k-12 apps this summer” Linkage: http://developer.android.com/edu
Now, we’re on to Chromebooks in Education. This year alone, 2,000 new schools around the world have switched to using chromebooks.
Another video! This time it’s about the use of Chromebooks in education in Malaysia
“To a lot of us, this is what the journey of computing is about. What we’re doing in education, we can do for everyone, including the other 5 billion people on the planet [who aren't connected]“
Aaand it’s another video! Now we’re learning about Google+ and why Google+ is the best. It’s got happy music! It’s got Michelle Obama! And Conan! Oh, and bruno mars shouting “celebration!”
Well, I’m sold.
Vic Gundotra is back onstage.
“Today we’re here to show you what’s new with Google+. We’re showing off 41 new features today”
First up: the stream.
“The Google+ team has made sure that the stream experience on mobile is the best possible. Today, you’ll see a new stream on a ton of new devices.”
“This new stream is about design and depth.”
He drops into a demo of the old stream, then immediately switches to the new one. It’s got a much snazzier, more modern, multi-column design.
The design is pretty, but “it’s also about depth”.
Google will automatically analyze the content of a post, auto-adding relevant hash tags. When you click a hash tag, it’ll show related items, sorted specifically to the sources it thinks you prefer
He shows a picture of an eiffel tower. No where in the post does it mention eiffel tower — but they’re doing image analysis, and it autotags it with an eiffel tower hash tag. He clicks the tag, the image flips, and a bunch of related content is on the back
Content produces can opt to disable related content on each post, and can fix falsely flagged tags when their auto-tagging system flips out
“We’re happy to report today that over half of the sharing today that happens on Google Plus is shared to private circles, rather than to everyone”
We’re moving on to communication, and how fragmented it is. Unified chat service time!
“We want to focus on when people are happiest. That’s when they’re just ..hanging out.”
“Today, we’re introducing the new Google+ Hangouts.”
When you open the new hangout, it’ll automatically pull up the people it thinks you’re most likely to want to talk to.
He drops into a chat — he scrolls back through a long, long running conversation. Even across devices, all of the text and images are there, from day one.
As people join the conversation, they appear in a running list at the bottom. When they’re typing, a “…” animation fades over their avatar.
The new hangouts messaging system is cross platform, from Android, to iOS, to the desktop browser.
With one tap, everyone in a group chat can drop into a video call. As it’s been thus far, Google+ group video chats will be free.
Up next: Photos.
Vic shows a pic of his kids, taken a few years ago. “I didn’t know this picture was going to happen — and yet, this is how i remember my kids. Even if my son is now taller than me”
“Handling photos is hard, and labor intensive. At Google, we want to take some of that work off of you. Your darkroom is now a datacenter”
“Since we’ve launched Google Plus, we’ve always backed up your photos. If you uploaded them at standard size, you had unlimited space. If you uploaded at full res, you had 5GB. This week, we announced that we’re bumping that up to 15GB”
When you upload, say, a vacation photo, Google can now take your entire collection — say, 600 photos — and automatically highlight the best. They’ll filter out duplicates. They’ll analyze for bad exposure. They’ll automatically identify major landmarks; they’ll look for people, and for photos of people smiling.
Yeah, Google is now judging your vacation photos.
They’ll highlight the best at the top of the album, but your entire album is one click away.
“You don’t take a photograph — you make it.” — Ansel Adams
“Good photographers know that’s true. [It's true because good photographers have expensive tools]. Today, we’re introducing auto enhance — it’ll do tonal distribution, skin softening, noise reduction, red eye removal, vignette, sharpening, white balance. All automatically.”
“Let’s talk about skin softening. I apologize — you’re going to see a gigantic photo of me in a second. We picked someone no one could get offended over.”
“We’re now able to deeply recognize the human face and skin. Where are the lines? Are they wearing jewelry? We can do something different for each and every section, like a professional would with a tool”
“Photos exaggerate your flaws. Lets zoom into this photo a bit. Like I said. I used my own for a reason. See the wrinkles? Lets see it with skin softening.”
Vic flips back and forth. I think i’m blind — this is the first before/after demo that looks mostly the same to me.
He does the same for noise reduction. The difference here, however, is dramatic.
Google will automatically enhance every photo you upload to Google+. Hate it? You can reverse their changes, or just disable the feature altogether.
Up next in their new photo features: “Auto-awesome”.
If you upload a bunch of photos that are clearly part of the same series, it’ll automatically turn them into a GIF. If they appear to be a panoramic series, they’ll combine it into a panoramic photo, server side. If you’ve got a bunch of photos of a group, but different people are smiling in each? They’ll stitch them together into a new photo and try to make sure everyone is smiling, automatically. Crazy.
“Now i’d like to talk about what was possibly your first Google love: search”
Amit Singhal, Senior VP of search takes the stage.
After a pause, a slide fills the screen: “The end of search as we know it.”
“Growing up, I was obsessed with Star Trek. I was captivated by the future of technology it showed. A computer.. you could talk to? And it would answer? I dreamt of building that computer. Little did I know that I’d actually grow up to be responsible for that.”
“The search of the future will need to answer, converse, and anticipate. Today, we have announcements across all of these areas”
“Last year, when we launched knowledge graph, it was a huge advance in technology. It let us move beyond keywords and understand real world entities and the relationships between them.”
“Today, I’m happy to announce that you’ll start to get important statistics, provided by the knowledge graph. Right now, you can search for the population of india; beginning today, we’ll anticipate what you’re likely to ask next: what’s the population compared to other countries? Today, we’re also launch knowledge graph in new languges: polish, turkish, and simplified/traditional chinese”
What about your own information? You should be able to ask google “What is my gate number?”, or “What was the last thing I ordered”.
(Not mentioned: “What am I thinking right now, Google?”, “How will I die?”, and “Where are my car keys?”. Google probably knows all that stuff. They just dont want to be too creepy)
Conversational voice search is coming to google across all platforms.
You won’t even have to press the microphone button to start a voice query.
You can now just say “Okay, Google”, and ask your question.
Conversational voice search is coming to google across all platforms with Chrome
You won’t even have to press the microphone button to start a voice query.
You can now just say “Okay, Google”, and ask your question.
Up next, Anticipation. They’re moving into Google Now: You’ll now be able to set reminders within Google Now. Google Now will also highlight public transport details (such as line closures relevant to you), and recommend content that it thinks you’ll like when it’s released
We’re moving into a demo of some of the new features.
“Lets try hot-wording [the aforementioned “Okay Google” voice search feature. I’ve… actually never tried this in a room this big. Fingers crossed!
And it works!
“Show me pictures of the santa cruz boardwalk.”
“Here you go,” responds google (aloud). “Some pictures of the santa cruz boardwalk.)
“Okay Google — how far is it from here?” (specifying neither her current location or that she meant santa cruz)
“The drive from here to the santa cruz beach boardwalk is 1 hour and 21 minutes”.
“Now, lets fast forward to my trip to Santa Cruz. I don’t know if my kids are tall enough to ride the Giant Dipper roller coaster. I could walk over and find out.. by why not just ask Google? Okay Google — How tall do you have to be to ride the giant dipper?”
“You must be atleast 4′ 3″ to ride the giant dipper.”
We’re on hour 2 of 3 of the keynote! Darrel has set up a tent. Drew is gathering berries and firewood.
Voice reminders are launching in Google Now today, allowing for things like “Remind me to call Katie next Wednesday”
“Show me my pictures of new york last year”, she says. It digs into Google+ — and sure enough, brings up all of her pictures from NY in 2012.
Essentially, it seems like Google is taking on Siri, right through the search engine that people already know and love. And they’re doing one hell of a job of it.
Aaaand now we’re on to Google Maps. Brian McClendon, VP of Google Maps, has taken the stage
Google Maps currently covers 199 countries — 43 of those are what Google calls “Ground Truth” maps, meaning they’re as accurate as can be.
“Just recently, we launched user generated maps. Our most recent country: north korea. Before, our coverage of North Korea was just this big blank canvas, with a river down the middle. Now, it’s full of streets and points of interest”
“We now have 50 countries covered in street view imagery, having driven over 50 million miles”
Brian is discussing all of the data they’ve got, above just maps and street view. Their imagery — from streets, to the depths of the great barrier reef. Their local data, tacked on top of their 3D building imagery.
Aaand now we’re moving on to talk about the next generation of Google Maps. Daniel Graf, Director of Google Maps is taking the stage.
[As you know, we launched Google Maps for iOS months ago. It's beautiful, it's fast.. and most importantly, it's accurate.]
“Today, we’re launching the newest version of Google Maps for Mobile, for both Android and iOS”
Visually, the new Maps for mobile isn’t dissimilar from what you’ve grown used to. It’s a pretty, full screen map view. But then he searches for “Burmese Food” — a listing for SF’s Burma Superstar pops up, with ratings from your friends prioritized.
Meanwhile, Google is rolling out their own 5-point location rating system “across their products”
Zagat reviews are now fully integrated into maps for mobile. If the restaurant you’re looking at has been featured in a Zagat list (like “Restaurants worth waiting for in SF”), it’ll show it.
Google Offers are also now fully integrated into maps. If a location you’re looking at has a Google Offer available, it’ll be pulled right into the listing.
In addition to traffic, Google Maps will also now bring in live incident reports. If something happens on the road in front of you, it’ll try to route you around it on-the-fly
In the maps tablet view, a new “Explore” screen lets you browse the neighborhood around you by what you want to do
The new maps experience will launch on iOS/Android phones and tablets “This summer”.
“Google Maps launched in 2005. We currently have over a billion users every month. We defined mapping, and we’re about to reinvent it.”
“Remember the first time you used Google Maps? Imagine that same experience, again. We’ve been working on something that is just that.”
Meet the new google maps.
As it is now, everyone looks at the same map. Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could build billions of maps?
Google also has all of this imagery — satellite, and street view. What if you could bring this all together, in immersive ways?
We’ve rebuilt google maps from the ground up, with these concepts in mind.
“This… is the new Google Maps”, showing a new, almost completely full screen map view. It looks very much like what leaked here.
If you search for “sushi” in san francisco, it drops icons on every sushi bar in the area. From there, though, you can limit it to just the restaurants that your friends have reviewed, or that top experts have reviewed.
He taps on the photo icon next to a listing; it quickly drops into a streetview-esque view of the inside of the restaurant itself.
The icons that Maps will place on the map are now prioritized to each user. If Google knows you like a place, it’ll try to place icons for spots it thinks you’ll dig, or that are similar.
Sometimes, it’s tough to label every road on a map — they’re just too small. If Maps knows that you’re interested in a location that exists on one of these small roads, though, it’ll now adapt the map on the fly, highlighting the names of those tiny roads and exaggerating them a bit.
They’re showing the new directions experience — it’s still completely full screen, with directions appearing in a lil’ pop up in the upper left of the screen.
One neat twist: they’ll now show public transit alternatives as potential routes by default, and have built a *REALLY* gorgeous new scheduling view to encourage people to use public transit more. I’m going to use the hell out of that.
“As Brian talked about earlier, we’ve collected a ton of imagery. My friends from Rome insist that the next time I’m there, I visit them. Lets take a lot. He zooms down to a 3D view of st peter’s basilica. He pans around the building, showing it from every angle.. then drops into the building itself, clicking through a 3D photo tour that’s automatically generated from user uploaded photos”
He zooms waaaaay out, showing the entire world. The clouds above? All rendered accurately, in real time. All of that crazy stuff you saw in Google Earth a year or two ago? Thats in Google Maps now, right in the browser.
He zooms out further, showing the sun’s position relative to the earth. It’s… kind of gorgeous. Will anyone every need to zoom out that far? Nah — probably not. But it’s pretty!
The new maps is rolling into a private beta beginning tomorrow morning. To signup, head to http://maps.google.com/preview (note: that link doesn’t seem to be up yet)
Hey! Larry Page has taken the stage. The crowd goes crazy
(This is the first time Larry has talked on stage in a while, having disclosed that he’s suffering from vocal cord paralysis just yesterday)
He’s telling a story of traveling across the country to a robotics conference to his dad, remembering how his dad argued (successfully) to get him into the conference though he was too young. “We need to be fighting to get people into technology.”
“If you take out your phone, and hold it out, it’s almost the same size as a display across the room. It’s got the same resolution. A smartphone and a big display are essentially the same thing now”
Larry is just discussing his love for technology; how amazing it is, and how amazing it is that it’s improving at such an incredible rate.
“We haven’t seen this rate of change in a long time — probably since the birth of computing… “
“And yet, we’re at maybe 1% of what is possible. Despite the faster change, we’re still moving slow relative to the opportunities we have. I think a lot of that is because of the negativity. Every story I read is Google vs someone else. That’s boring. We should be focusing on building the things that don’t exist”
“Sergey and I talk a lot about cars. He’s working on automated cars now. Imagine how those will change our lives, and the technology landscape. Fewer cars, more space, fewer hours wasted behind the wheel of a car. The average american spends 50 minutes — five zero— commuting. Imagine if we got those hours back.”
Heh. On why they got involved with the new movie The Interns: “Computer Science has a marketing program. We’re seen as nerdy curmudgeons.”
The answer, clearly, is vince vaughn.
That was unexpected — Larry’s doing a surprise Q&A.
Hah. Scoble steps up to ask a question. Larry thanks him for taking that Google Glass show picture.
Hah. Scoble steps up to ask a question. Larry thanks him for taking that Google Glass shower picture.
Scoble’s Q: “Where do you see sensors going from here? When are you going to talk about the Google Glass sensor that watches your eye?”
“Just before I came on stage, I had to turn off my phone so that it didn’t interrupt me. That’s crazy! That’s an easy problem to solve.”
(Nothin’ about that eye sensor)”
Q: Are we ever going to see the web become the mobile operating system?
“We’re really excited about the web, being birthed from it. We’ve invested a lot into open standards. I’ve personally been quite saddened by the industries behavior surrounding such things. Take chat, for example. We’ve kind of had an offering forever that would interoperate crossplatform with anyone… yet its only this week that someone like Microsoft has embraced it.
We try to be practical, but also look at what other people are doing.”
“I wouldn’t grade the industry well on where we’ve gotten to. I don’t think developers should have to worry about things like ‘Should I develop for this platform, or another?’. You should be able to operate at a much higher level.”
Q: “How will Google let us protect our freedom of speech?”
A: “This is the area where business gets interesting. We pretty clearly have a strong desire for freedom of speech, for free flow of information…. We’re working very hard on that, trying to protect your private information, ensuring computer security, and trying to protect your freedom of speech as part of that. We try to be as transparent as possible about the requests we get from governments.”
On their gigabit fiber work: “Gigabit speeds are just the beginning. what we need next is really low latency, communication at computer speeds”
Q: Can you talk about future projects regarding physical world initiatives?
A: Google X is focused on real atoms and bits. Sergey is having a really great time doing that. The possibilities of some of those things are incredible. Applying technology to transportation — that’s barely started. Our self-driving cars are just one thing [we're working on there]
I encourage companies to do more things that are a little bit out of their comfort zone. Even when we do something that’s kind of crazy.. like self driving cars.. that map technology you just saw? The technology for self driving cars is the same. We had a bunch of engineers move over from one project to the other, and it was totally natural.
Gmail when we launched it, we had 100 employees at the company. People said we were crazy — and now, it was a really great thing we did that. Every time we do something crazy, we make progress.
Q: What will the production numbers be for consumers for Glass?
A: You’ll have to ask Sergey, I dont know that.
Q: How do we keep technology moving at this pace, and how do we do that responsibly?
A: Before we do anything, I try to understand it completely. [Being at] Google is great for that — you can find the craziest person in any given field.
As a technologist, you have to say: what is the real issue? People usually don’t answer those questions. As a result, the work is very incremental.
Re: Java, and Oracle’s lawsuits against Android: “We’d like to have a cooperative relationship with Oracle. It doesn’t seem possible. Money is more important to them than any kind of collaboration.”
Q: With search getting predictive, are we limiting discovery?
A: A lot of people say that. I don’t think that’s the case. It’s totally under your control. You can’t really aruge that doing a bad job of returning whatever someone wants is the right way to educate someone. We’d rather you used that time to explore, reading the news, or books, or other things.
Q: I’m an international developer — people ask me all the time, “Why can’t we buy apps here?”
A: That’s an area we’re constantly working on. We have a lot of work to do. Thanks for bringing it up.
Q: You mention that people are too negative. This is something I want to focus on, to make the world more positive. How do we do that?
A: Yeah that’s a really good question. I think people are naturally concerned about change. We’re changing quickly, but not all of our institutions, like some laws, aren’t changing with that. The laws [about technology] cant be right if it’s 50 years old — that’s before the internet. Maybe more of us need to go into other areas to help them improve and understand technology.
We don’t want our world to change too fast. But maybe we could set apart a piece of the world .. I like going to Burning Man, for example. An environment where people can change new things. I think as technologists we should have some safe places where we can try out new things and figure out the effect on society. What’s the effect on people, without having to deploy it to the whole world.
“Why are people keeping their medical histories so private? The answer is probably insurance. You’re very worried that you’re going to be denied insurance. That makes no sense. We should change the rules around so they have to insure people. That’s the whole point of insurance.”
Q: What can we do to encourage more women in the development community?
A: Sergey and I spent a lot of time interviewing women with exactly that in mind. We didn’t want our company to be all men. We have to be starting early, getting young girls excited about technology. If we do that, we’ll more than double the rate of progress we’re seeing in technology
Q: Can you discuss Google’s plan to bring the developing world online?
A: One of the things I’ve always talked about with the company is that smartphones are going to be, basically, amazing in this places. You don’t see them going into India or Africa because they’re just too expensive. We need to get them to $50, $100. We’re quickly getting to those levels. In 2 or 3 years, the smartphones we’re using today will be all over these countries.