Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Some Google I/O Highlights

Google I/O has been in full-swing for the past 2 days and a lot has been let loose. I already mentioned yesterday that one of the big announcements was that of Android's next iteration--Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 3.1). This update has been rolled out to 3G Xooms today and initial reports state that most won't notice much of a difference, but it does seem to increase performance. More importantly, Google plans for this release to be released to phones as well--a distinct difference from Honeycomb. Google made a point that this release would address some of the fragmentation that has plagued Android from the start. In addition, Google is mandating that all handset manufacturers shipping Android maintain software updatability for at least 18 months (which just so happens to be 6 months shorter than most people's cell phone contracts).

Google's other big announcement yesterday was their Google Music service. This is the second big cloud-based music service after Amazon's and promises tight integration with Android. Considering iOS won't have a proper app for either service, let's hope for us iPhone users out there that all the rumors are true about iCloud next month...otherwise, Apple stands to fall behind in the "march to the cloud."

Day 2 of I/O was all about Chrome OS. The fledgling web-based OS that Google seems to have been talking about forever seems like it's finally going to get a proper release. In fact, they actually even had the hardware to back it up. Additionally, they appear to be offering a subscription based product for students and businesses at very affordable prices ($20 and $28/month, respectively). That includes the hardware. Cheap web-based devices like this could see a big uptake in the business world if Google manages to put out a workable product.

As you can see, Google has had a busy week.

Dr. Riley Alexander is a pathology resident at Indiana University School of Medicine, blog "addict" and avid follower of technology. His primary interests revolve around how technology, especially mobile, will create increased efficiency, enhanced physician education and better delivery of care in the medical field. Dr. Alexander is a graduate of Indiana University School of Medicine with a combined MD/MBA, in partnership with IU's Kelley School of Business. Due to this, he is also very interested in management, healthcare policy and non-clinical aspects of the medical field and enjoys exploring non-clinical opportunities for medical students, residents and physicians. He completed his undergraduate education at IU-Bloomington.

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