Updated: Google’s developer conference in San Francisco is offering a range of announcements across the company’s products. Here’s your quick guide to the news, which we’ll be updating Wednesday and Thursday. The freshest news is at the top:
Google TV: “For the developer there’s no bigger market than the TV market,” said Google’s TV product manager, Rishi Chandra, who then tried to demo the new Google TV but was severely hampered by connectivity problems in the keynote hall disrupting the TV’s Bluetooth keyboard connection. Once it got going, the demo basically showed this: Google TV puts both a browser *and* television functionality on one screen. That’s it. So, the quick search box goes across both the TV and web. You can watch or set up recording directly on the DVR, or you can hook into a show or clip streamed online, through something like your Netflix account or the open web. “It’s just as easy to go to any site on the web as any channel on TV,” said Chandra.
Your Android phone pairs with your TV to work as your remote, which means you can do voice search on your TV. You can also push a website from your mobile browser up to display on the TV. This is built on Android 2.1 now, will update over the air, uses Google Chrome and Flash, and can run any Android app that doesn’t require phone-specific hardware.
In terms of developing on top of it, developers will get APIs to access TV channels. YouTube Leanback will be launched in the next few weeks, allowing you to organize your own playlists for watching on your TV. And the NBA has optimized NBA.com to use Google TV controls and send games straight to the DVR. Google showed off a couple apps of its own — a video podcast directory and a translator that takes closed captions and brings them into another language.
Google TV will be open-sourced in summer 2011, and will come to market in three devices in early 2011. The first TVs and Blu-ray players will come from Sony, then Logitech will offer a companion box to accompany existing setups. All are powered by Intel. Google has also signed distribution partnerships with Dish and Best Buy.
In a powerhouse Q&A with the CEOs of Google, Intel, Sony, Logitech, Dish, Best Buy and Adobe following the launch, Sony CEO Howard Stringer committed to bringing the device to market this fall in time for Christmas shopping.
That’s a lot of stuff, but some of it is particularly cool. For instance, when you send directions to phone from browser, maps opens on the device instantly. And when you tell Android’s voice control to call a certain business, it will automatically open up your phone with that number. Also, through Google’s acquisition of SimplifyMedia, users can stream home music library directly to their phone.
Google Buzz Fills Out APIs: Google Buzz launched an API that will allow developers to access user feeds, search updates, post updates and more. It’s already been integrated by Seesmic, Socialwok and other partners.
Google Latitude Gets an API: Google is allowing developers to build on its mobile location service — with the very explicit permission of users. The team has some cool app and service ideas here.
PayPal for Android: PayPal is offering developers the option to use its Mobile Payments Library to enable purchases in their Android apps. It already does this for the iPhone.
Google App Engine for Business and VMware Love: App Engine gets enterprise-level support, and later this year will have a SQL database so Google can entice corporate customers to build their in-house applications on App Engine for Business as opposed to on Microsoft Azure or other platforms as a service. It’s also optimized App Engine to work with VMware’s Spring Source Java framework. Apps built in the Spring framework will now run on App Engine, VMforce, Amazon’s Web Services and other clouds that support Java.
App Store for the Web: Google is putting together a directory of web apps called Chrome Web Store, though no launch date was specified. The apps will be mostly HTML 5 but will include Flash as well. App makers like TweetDeck have made HTML 5 versions that access APIs for notifications and geo-tagging in the browser, acting much like native clients. Google is working with Unity Technologies on Native Client to help transfer rich, immersive 3-D games in the browser.
Open Video: Google released WebM, an open media format for the web-based on VP8, the codec it acquired along with On2. NewTeeVee scooped this news more than a month ago, and has the full story today. Mozilla and Opera are on board to support the new format, and YouTube is converting its entire catalog. Adobe’s Kevin Lynch said VP8 will be included in Flash. Also on the video front, Clicker demoed a living room-ready version of its online TV guide, built with HTML 5.
Wave for Everybody: The collaboration tool Google Wave, which was introduced at last year’s I/O, is now part of Google Labs and doesn’t require an invite. “If you tried Google Wave out a while ago, and found it not quite ready for real use: now is a good time to come back for a second try,” product manager Stephanie Hannon wrote in a blog post. Wave is also being added to Google Apps.
Google Contextual Gadgets: Third parties can now build dynamic widgets into Gmail for businesses using Google Apps. Launch partners include Gist (see our WebWorkerDaily writeup), Kwaga (imports your correspondents’ social network profiles) and AwayFind (sends push notifications/alerts for important messages). Plus, Xobni announced developer tools to help any contextual gadget developed for Gmail work in Outlook.