Live From Google's Android Honeycomb Event

Google’s Honeycomb event has just started today at their headquarters in Mountain View. Android chief Andy Rubin has taken the stage to talk about the new OS. Below, find our live (paraphrased) below. Or follow the live stream here.

Andy Rubin:

We’re really excited to show off Android Honeycomb. We’ll have a demo of the Motorola Xoom running Honeycomb. Briefly, let me talk a bit about how excited I am. We consider ourselves to be the shepherd of it. With open source you don’t know what people are doing to do with it. The innovation is all around us. There’s a lot of excitement. When you see Hugo’s demo, you’ll witness how Google’s cloud services tie together all these different devices. The cloud makes all theses things work. The cloud helps all these services share this information. I truly believe the Android team — the guys in Building 44 — I truly believe they’re the hardest working team in mobile.

Hugo Barra:

One of the most critical developments of an open ecosystem is making it easy for developers to innovate. We give them the best possible toolkit. With Honeycomb we’re doing this for sure. Today I’m going to show you some of the new features. This is optimized for tablets.

Barra goes into the demo of some of the main part of Honeycomb.

  • Showing off fragments which let developers break up components of an app into different pane.
  • Modular development is an important part of the app framework
  • All 2D Drawing that developers have been doing can be hardware accelerated
  • Developers can also tap into an animation framework, allowing developers to fluidly move between views
  • RenderScript: A new rendering engine optimized for high performance 3D graphics. Showing off the new YouTube app, which takes advantage of RenderScript.

  • Showing off the new music application, features carousel view that uses 3D framework (looks way better than existing app
  • Google Body: The Google Maps for human anatomy (this launched out of labs a couple months ago, now is apparently getting an Android app).
  • CEO of Wordram (sp?) studios. Demoing a game that was ported from the PS3 to Android tablet. 3d graphics look solid — about on par with a PS2 game.
  • Barra is back on stage, showing off the new camera application. New UI for the tablet interface. Supports video chat, with image stabilization built in (this also helps with limited bandwidth)
  • Louis Gump, VP of Mobile at CNN, on stage to show off new CNN app. Will be free. In the action bar there’s an option for live video. Spending a lot of time on this, particularly iReport integration.
  • “The platform is just one half of the story — the other half is how to get these apps into the hands of users.”
  • “We’re making some changes to Android Market to meet needs of both users and developers.” Giving users a variety of ways to discover apps and install them on devices.
  • Announcing the release of the Android Market Webstore. This is big — it was previewed at Google I/O last year, and now users can go to browser and browse entire catalog and install/purchase apps direct from the web.
  • Hi-res banners, larger icons, browse by top apps
  • When you click to buy, it shows which permissions it needs, asks which device you want to install to, — click ‘complete your purchase’. As soon as the credit card transaction completes, you get a notification on your phone, and the app is downloading to your phone. Very cool. “No wires, no syncing with computers, none of that sort of nonsense.”
  • Developers can upload YouTube videos to promote app. Users can also share apps with friends using Tweet button (who wants to bet there will be a Google +1 button too in the next few months?)
  • That tweeted link will intelligently direct you to the right market — if you click it from an Android Phone, it will take you to the Android Market app. If you do it in the browser, you’ll get the web version of Market.
  • When you run a search from the web version, you can filter by device compatibility, price, popularity, and relevance.
  • Next: how users purchase applications. There’s an international pricing issue, because pricing is converted by currency, leading to funky pricing (e.g. an app might be $3.42). “Buyer currency support is coming to Android Market.” Developers can enter specific prices for various currencies. This is rolling out over the next few months
  • In-app purchases coming to Android Market. Can sell additional levels, etc. (this has been very, very popular on the iPhone).
  • At Disney mobile have had 60M on other app platforms. We’re bringing three key apps to Android platform. Radio Disney, Jelly Car, and Tap Tap Revenge. The last one is huge — TTR is one of the top apps of all time on the iPhone. Will have all the music, social features, etc. It has been download north of 50 million times. Sold more than 25 million songs with in-app platform. Will work on Android 2.1 or higher. Coming this spring.
  • Releasing developer documentation today to entire Android community. Will be releasing to users prior to end of this quarter
  • Cee Lo is now on the tablet talking using video chat (they’ve been trying to get him to video chat for most of the event)
  • Related:

    Honeycomb Is The First Shot Fired Along Apple’s Bow

    Here’s What Pulse Will Look Like On Android Honeycomb

    In-App Purchasing Finally Coming To Android; Disney Brings Tap Tap Revenge To Take Advantage

    Android Honeycomb Livestream Is Happening Now

    Google Unveils Android Market Webstore. It’s Already Live!