Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Google I/O 2014 - "Live" blogging.

Google I/O 2014

Beginning a bit late due to technical problems.
10:10 Intro video finishes.
Sundar Pichai
VP Android Chrome and Apps.
597 extended events. (I'm at the Denver one - about 60 people present.)
20% female participation up from 8% last year. (3 females at Denver event -- 5% or so.)
Global Smartphone Shipments
315 Million 2013.
Android 1 billion 30-day active users.
Various usage stats.
Android tablet 62% of global market. (Doesn't include Kindle.)
YouTube usage: 28% from Android. 42% from Android.
Android One - qualify vendors.. reference platforms. Stock Android, Play Auto-installs, Automatic Updates. Will be updated like Nexus.
Pichai is intentionally using a sub-$100 phone.

Platform Evolution

How Android and Chrome will be changing.
L preview.
500 new APIs.
Form factors beyond mobile.
Android, Chrome, across all of Google - one consistent UX.
Material Design.
Drew inspiration from Paper and Ink.
Elevation built-in to Android API.
Baseline Grids built-in to API design.
Roboto font available everywhere.
Rich touch animated feedback.
New transition animations.
Incremental, yet "bold" changes in UX.
Material Design used via Polymer. (Is Polymer ready?) -- a common design style guide.

Highlights of L release

New Material theme
New animation capibilites
3d views with realtime shadows
Shared transitions with "Hero".
Enhanced notifications.
Personal unlocking ... determine if it is in a trusted environment. For example unlock in presence of a watch.

Chrome for Mobile

Mobile Web Experience
Material Design fully integrated.
Chrome being integrated with Apps... am a bit confused about how.
Search results can link directly into Apps.


Will run on ART.
Truly cross-platform.
2x faster than Dalvik... no need to recompile.
Much better GC -- faster and less often.
64-bit - no Java code modifications needed.
Support for more sophisticated graphics - Android Extension Pack.
Battery Life improvements.
Project Volta
Battery Historian - to help understand where the issues are.
JobScheduler API
Battery Server - I think it gives users control over performance vs battery life.

Principles behind user experiences

Contextually Aware
Voice Enabled
Seamless -- pick up where you left off
Mobile First


Demo of AW.
Mentions "Chrome Call".
I find the constant picture changes in Material Design rather annoying. (Essentially every screen has it's own image backing it.)

Developer capabilities in AW

Notifications automatically from phone to wrist.
Voice replies
Notification pages.
Stack multiple notifications.
Google Maps support.
Full AW SDK available today.
Custom UI
Sensors API
Voice Actions
Send Data
Payment via Watch
Showing a recipe app on phone/wrist.
All watches shown today are water resistant (safe for cooking).
"Ok, Google call me a car"... uses "Lift" app.
LG "G" watch available later today on the Play Store.
Samsung has an AW watch.
Moto 360 later this summer.

Android for the car

Open Automotive Alliance
Announcing Android Auto
Navigation Communication Music
Contextually Aware
Completely voice enabled
It is phone based much like Android Wear
Google Play Music, Maps
Android Auto SDK
Overview of Android Auto SDK
Will come out with the L release later this year

Android Living Room (TV)

Announcing Android TV (wouldn't that be reintroducing?)
Adds voice input
Android TV app on phone -- Demo
Will be a part of L release.
Has Games app support. Ouch Apple!
Android Wear supported as a remote
Games work over all Android platforms (Phone, Tablet and TV). Ouch again Apple.
Android TV works as Chromecast as well.
Gaming consoles as well.
Sony, Sharp and one other are adopting Android TV.
Others including Asus.
TV SDK available now.

Google Cast and ChromeCast

Google cast ready devices.
Google cast SDK
Can now share without being on same Wifi... how?
Can cast G+ photos to TV screen.
Backdrop will roll out to all Chromecast users later this summer.
Mirroring from any Android device. Has great performance... tinniest lag I've ever seen.
The Android Authority folks will probably collapse from exhaustion today.


Speed, Simplicity, Security. 6x growth from last year.
Unlock capabilities from Android L will be on Chromebooks too.
Notification from phones on CB's too.
Android apps on CBs!
Preview today... showing Demo.
Not clear how much Developer intervention is needed.
Connecting work and home phones/laptops/tablets?
Data separation and security.
No developer modification needed.
Bulk deployment of apps by businesses.
Business guaranteed updates for Android.
Docs/Sheets/Slides separate apps for Android.
Native Office Editing built into Google Docs.
Seemless, saves back to MS format.
Google Docs colaborative features work in the MS files too.
Drive for Work
Encryption in transit and on-server
Enhanced Admin Controls.
Audit and Activity APIs
$10 per month per user unlimited.
May be winding up.

Google Cloud Platform

I just have trouble getting excited about Google Cloud... much prefer Joyent (NodeJS), OpenStack or AWS.
Four new tools:
CloudSave ... a new easy to use API with no server side coding. Prefs, other. It is in Cloud DataStore.
Cloud Debugging
Cloud Tracing
Cloud Monitor

Moving from Code to Data

Data and Analytics Challenges...
Don't use Map Reduce any more (doesn't work for hexabytes of data).
Cloud Dataflow - Analytics for Hexabytes of Data.
They've really made this keynote too long.
Appurify seems to have been bought by Google
Google Fit APIs -- very brief overview.
Play store improvements - Saved Games
Carrier-billed payments.

Monday, June 2, 2014

WWDC 2014 -- "Live" Blogging

    This is a "live" blog, I made of the WWDC keynote, watching it remotely.
    Well, Apple is more innovative than last year. But that's not really saying much.
    Their new "Swift" programming language is interesting. From what they showed, it appears to similar to         Google Dart, but not at all web-oriented. Also, it appears to be compiled and strongly typed, but with
    type inference. Perhaps a cross between Google Go and Google Dart?
    Most iOS things were Android catchup.

Tim Cook:

Here today to talk to talk about MacOS X and iOS.

Huge Dev Release?

Mac installed base is 80 million. 40 million installed copies of Mavericks.

OS X Yosemite (I was rooting for Death Valley.)

Lead feature: Translucent side bars and your title bar uses translucency to see scrolling...
If this is the lead, I'm concerned.
They appear to be doing an iOS 7-like revamp... this time it's not so radical... perhaps they have actually
thought it through.
Yet another attempt at desktop widgets... this time aping Google Now.

Search now integrated with Internet as well.. they may be the last to do this... Google, Windows, Linux all did this some time ago.

If he shows me the translucent sidebar again, I'll scream. It's a stupid feature... makes the sidebar harder to read.

They've added a calculator to notifications. Seriously?

Search is aping Google.

It doesn't look like the fiasco that iOS 7's revamp was.

iCloud Drive
It's what you think it is. Apparently they have Windows support as well.

Mail.. can use iCloud Drive for attachments.
Can doodle on images and PDFs.

Safari is overriding Google Search auto-completion features... this is likely a bad thing.
They finally added decent HTML5 support... IndexedDB, movies, SPDY. They were way behind there.
They are claiming major JavaScript speed ups..  6x faster than everybody else? We'll need to see third party benchmarks before I believe this. Really, this is extremely unlikely to be true. They did say a lot of qualifiers, like "most commonly used JavaScript"... I suspect they're just cooking numbers.

Turning to MacOS X and iOS "continuity". Finally made AirDrop work between them (what took so long?).
Looks like some apps use proximity awareness to let you transfer between Mac and iOS devices. Macs will auto-hotspot via your iPhone. This is actually one of the first innovations I've seen from Apple in a while.

Macs can get/use SMS and calls from you iPhone. It's strictly iPhone dependent. It's fine, but no new.

Makes a phone call to Dr. Dre. Sigh!

Done with Yosemite.

Not shipping yet... public beta (a REAL change for Apple there).

Turning to iOS.
Poking at Android... he's being embarrassing really...

End user features of iOS 8

Interactive notifications. Largely imitation of Android features.
Some integration of UIs between Yosemite and iOS 8.
Overloaded double tap of home button... it now does many different things on that same tiny screen.

Attempting to emulate Android menus with gestures and buttons. Amusing. Yet another "winning" feature from the one-button mouse people.

Adding Android swift-key like keyboards and predictive typing.

iPad <-> iPhone "continuity" as in Yosemite.

Finally getting speech to text support in chat (again aping Android). Oops, not even that... they send "audio" messages. You have to listen to them. Lame...

Enterprise... might be some nice things... the presentation is moving too fast -- hard to understand what is really there.

Healthkit -- for those that want to lock their health information into a dying platform. They missed an opportunity here... if they made it an open platform, it might stand a chance and they would have a lead.

Family sharing... Both in the App Store and in iCloud. This is a good feature, mildly innovative. You can do this with Google, but it is not as well integrated and doesn't work at all in Play Store. Basically Apple just gave away developer sales here. You now get to sell only one copy per family.

They have redone iPhoto again... I'm concerned for my Dad... he doesn't like these continual (often gratuitous) changes.

Turning to developer features in iOS 8.
Can make things you could not make before.

Apple finally catching up to Android in offering developer options in App Store (in the Fall).

Biggest SDK release since launch of the App Store.

4000 new developer APIs.

Extensibility... can extend the system and offer services to other apps (Android catchup).
It's a direct rip off really.
Mentioned Bing... how long before they drop Google Search?
Mentioned Yahoo.

For some odd reason Apple seems to think it's a good idea to put the notion of Android's home screen widgets inside of the notification center. Why do they think this?

iOS can now have 3rd party keyboards... Android Catchup from oh, 4 years ago?

Touch ID... strangely, they are only just now letting developers at this.

Camera API... catchup with Android.

HomeKit.... again... why do they not make this an open API?

CloudKit... Finally Web APIs... but are they open? He doesn't really say.

Metal -- gaming-console level graphics on iOS. Apple likely to keep their lead in gaming for a bit longer.
This is really A7-chip (latest iPhone 5S and latest iPads) only. They really are doing some impressive stuff here.

SpriteKit - casual gaming enhancements.

XCode... Objective C without C?
New programming language... Swift.
Closures, Generics, Name Spaces, Multiple return types. Type Inference.
Can work alongside Objective C and C code.
First impression: a strongly-typed, compiled Dart.

All of this available in the "Fall".