Google announced on Tuesday a new feature of the Android operating system called Android @ Home. The framework and associated functions transform an Android device into a home automation controller that connects and directs all of the devices and appliances in the user’s home. Android @ Home framework can be used to control gaming consoles, lighting, appliances, irrigations systems and anything else developers can envision. Google also announced project tungsten as part of the Android @ Home product, which consists of a hub that runs the Android OS and the Android @ Home framework. Among the functions of a Tungsten hub, as shown off on stage at Google I/O 2011, is the ability to stream music directly from Music Beta by Google to any supported home audio device. Android @ Home is completely open and developing with the framework requires no fees and no registration.
We can’t say it comes as much of a surprise, but Google has just taken the wraps off of a service many of us have been waiting for years to see… or should we say, hear. Google’s freshly unveiled Music Beta service will give users a cloud-based solution for storing and streaming their digital music collections — and we mean, their entire collections; Google’s service supports the storage of up to 20,000 songs as opposed to the 1,000 tracks supported by Amazon’s Cloud Drive product, which Music Beta will compete with directly. Google’s Music Manager app supports Windows and Mac, and it allows users to upload their tracks directly to Music Beta. The Web-based music manager is a full-featured music player that supports organization, playlist creation and plenty more. The related Android app features all of the same functionality as the Web player, and playlists created on one device will instantly be available on all devices. Recently played music is always cached by the mobile player, and albums can also be downloaded and stored for playback when data connections are unavailable. Music Beta is available initially by invitation only, and it is free — at least, it’s free during the beta period. Google’s updated music app with Music Beta support is available in the Android Market beginning today.
Google is on stage and just announced that the next major Android OS, Ice Cream Sandwich, will launch in Q4 of this year. It will combine the tablet and smartphone operating systems into one joint OS that will support all devices. Google bills it as “One OS everywhere, state of the art UI, advanced app framework, open source.” The universal OS will be able to adapt to the specific form factor of the device it’s running on, and also includes new features like face-tracking and camera enhancements, among other things.
During Google’s I/O conference in San Francisco today, Google confirmed that it has activated more than 100 million Android devices worldwide across 36 OEM’s and 215 carriers. There are now more than 310 Android devices in 112 countries and Google activates 400,000 Android devices each day. Similarly, there are 450,000 Android developers and more than 200,000 applications available in the Android market. 4.5 billion apps have been installed to date.
It’s a beautiful day in San Francisco, California today — the perfect setting for the Google’s 2011 global developer conference, better known as Google I/O. The battalion of Google staffers is currently putting the finishing touches on the Moscone Center before it’s swarmed by Android enthusiasts, developers and the press, and we’re here to bring you the action live. What does Google have up its sleeves for this year? We’ll find out soon enough. The Day 1 keynote kicks off at 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time, 12:00 p.m. Eastern, and we’ll be live blogging it right here in this post. Be sure to check back then for the live coverage, and don’t forget to refresh the page for all the details as they break! More →
Google is expected to announce its long anticipated entrance into cloud-based music on Tuesday from its Google I/O conference in San Francisco. The New York Times reports that the service will initially be called Music Beta by Google, and it will allow users to store 20,000 songs in a cloud locker for free, which can then be accessed by any PC or Android device. Activity will be synced automatically between devices, so playlists created on one device will be accessible from all others, according to the report. Like Amazon’s recent Cloud Drive and Cloud Player offerings, it is expected that Google will launch its service without the support of major record labels. Also like Amazon’s offering, the service is expected to initially be very limited in functionality. In the beginning, Music Beta will reportedly be accessible by invite only. Motorola XOOM users with Verizon Wireless models will all receive invitations, and others will be able to sign up for invites at music.google.com. There is currently no timeline in terms of when the service might become available to the general public. We’ll be on hand reporting live from I/O later today, so be sure to tune in for all the latest news as it breaks.
A carefully crafted tweet has sparked rumors of a native video-chat feature coming to Android 2.3.4 in the near future. “Just had a video call using gmail on Nexus S. Impressive quality @googlenexus Gingerbread 2.3.4 #io2011,” reads the post in question. The implication is — obviously — that Google will migrate its Gmail, browser-based video chat service to Android and unveil the new offering at this year’s Google I/O conference, which is set to kick off May 10th in San Francisco. We can’t say we’d be surprised to see it… but we’re still pretty excited. More →
Combining the web and TV in an orgy of awesome, today at I/O 2010, Google announced Google TV. With the goal of mashing together the web and TV without accepting compromise, Google is hoping to let people take advantage of the biggest and best screen in their house. Check out all of the features after the jump! We promise it’s awesome. More →
Here’s the deal. We weren’t able to make it out to California to catch Google I/O 2010, but just because we’re not there in person doesn’t mean we can’t cover it. We know you’re dying to see what was announced today, so hit up the jump to drink it all in!
On the eve of I/O 2010, Google CEO Eric Schmidt made some pretty interesting comments to Reuters. First and foremost on his mind was AdMob, the mobile advertising giant that Google has been trying to acquire since November of last year. The $750 million deal is currently on hold as the FTC looks into whether or not the sale could negatively impact developers that rely on mobile ad revenue. Although confident the deal will eventually be given the thumbs up, Schmidt vowed that his company would “fight very hard” if blocked. As Schmidt put it, Google’s purchase of AdMob would allow it to open up “a more competitive market on the iPhone platform,” an obvious dig at section 3.3.9 of the iPhone developers agreement which prohibits apps from collecting and sending device data “to a third party for processing or analysis.” Despite all of the relatively tough talk, Schmidt reiterated previous comments that Apple and Google will continue to work together when mutually beneficial and that he and Steve Jobs still get along. Good to know. The question is: How does Steve feel? More →
It is a good time to be an Adobe employee; not only are you drunk with euphoria over the successful launch of Creative Suite 5, but you may also find yourself rocking a hot, new Android handset courtesy of your employer. In a public show of support for Android and a large scale example of dog-fooding, Adobe may be handing out Android handsets to it employees. The distribution is expected to coincide with the highly anticipated launch of Flash for Android at the upcoming Google I/O conference. No details on which handset will get the Adobe blessing or whether these handsets are destined for all employees or just the development team. Hopefully, this rumor pans out as the folks at Adobe need a little pick-me-up right now. More →