Google held their I/O 2010 keynote this afternoon amidst whirling speculation of various new products or refinements on tools and services they had already debuted. Might we see a new version of Google’s Buzz, Wave or Chrome? Perhaps a demo of the Android OS version 2.2, codenamed “FroYo?” Maybe we would even see the latest features of Chrome OS?
Well, not quite. Still, there were some important announcements for the record-breaking audience at the Moscone Center in San Francisco to make note of.
Let’s start with my favorite announcement from the 2 hour event, HTML5 and the move to a much richer application experience on the web. During the keynote multiple projects were demonstrated for the audience, some of which you can test drive today. The first example was Mugtug.com’s Darkroom image editing application which has an excellent user interface and can even work without an internet connection. Second was Clicker.tv, an interactive video guide for the internet which allows you to quickly and easily find video online via a host of streaming services. Looking for something in particular? There’s no need to hunt for a search box, just visit the site and start typing - the website automatically picks up your keystrokes and away you go.
In concert with the refined web application experiences HTML5 provides, Google has also made an interesting play when it comes to video streaming codecs. They had already dipped their toes in the space when they acquired On2 Technologies’ VP8 codec, but today they re-released VP8 as an open source initiative already backed by some heavy hitters in the web space (Mozilla, Opera, and of course Google themselves). The name of their new open source codec is WebM and it may prove to be a crushing blow to Adobe’s Flash Player and the H.264 codec which have been the standard-bearer in streaming video for some time.
Finally, Google announced a new application store called the Chrome Web Store. The idea behind the Chrome Web Store is to do for web applications what the Android Market has done for mobile apps. The store, which launches later this year, will give users the opportunity to discover and browse a broad range of web apps with the hope that application developers can reach brand new audiences. Developers will also be able to monetize their software, and can even track analytics to see how their web application is performing in the store.
If you were underwhelmed by the keynote because your most-anticipated new Google product wasn’t announced, don’t fret - Google I/O 2010 will continue on May 20, 2010 so there may be more announcements to come.