We have done our best to cover the Google I/O 2011 conference live, but for those who did not manage to follow our live blog, fret not – there is always the power of summarization to help you figure out what was hot and what was not in the event earlier this morning. Of course, getting a free Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is always a good thing, and at least it is different from receiving a new smartphone as Google did in the previous year. To get the lowdown on the latest, head on after the jump and enjoy.
Starting off with a flashback of all four years of Google I/O, the Internet search giant moved on to the humble beginnings of the Android operating system which has since upon its release, hit 310 different devices across 112 countries. More stats to keep you entertained – more than 100 million Android devices have been activated, with 400,000 of them being activated every single day. Not only that, over 4 billion Android apps have been installed (how many of those were Angry Birds?)
Android 3.1 Honeycomb has just launched on the Xoom today, and with this, users are able to scroll through more than a limited number of tasks before (five, to be exact prior to this update) – that’s good news, and at least it gives one more reason to pick up the Motorola Xoom! Not only that, you can also extend widgets in different directions, and with Android 3.1 Honeycomb, it will turn your device into a USB host – that means it can support a bunch of USB devices such as game controllers, not to mention import photos from cameras.
Heck, even Google TV will be getting Honeycomb. Do note that current hardware will be updated over the air, with Google TV receiving the Android Market to further extend its reach across the masses. It seems as though Google is sick of the fragmentation issue, and wants just one solitary operating system to provide as much unity as possible for developers.
As for the next Android version, it will be known as the Icecream Sandwich where you can see the logo above. Not only that, the Android Market has been updated to feature media content, letting users rent movies and watching them instantly – that’s far different from iTunes with a long downlaod period. You can opt to rent or purchase movies from the Android Market, and those who are running Android 2.2 or above smartphones will be able to get an updated version of the Android Market in two weeks’ time.
Google also introduced Music Beta – no surprises there, and with the lack of wires or cable synching, you know that cloud computing is here to stay. Music Beta is capable of importing music, such as an iTunes library (non-DRM only), not to mention playlists but it depends on how compatible it is with various apps/services that it will be imported from. Google takes a page out of Apple’s book with the Instant Mix, which is an equivalent of Genius.
Android @ Home will see the extension of the operating system communicate with home appliances, but it really depends on the developers to come up with apps that will be able to best take advantage of such capability. More details on Android @ Home will be revealed in the months ahead, so stay tuned.
Looks like Google knows just where they’re heading with Android, and the future seems to be rather bright.