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Google launches cloud music, previews next Android, promises OS updates for 18 mos.

post #1 of 124
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Google launched the invite-only beta of its new cloud music streaming service Tuesday, along with Android movie rentals, and Honeycomb 3.1 for tablets. It also previewed Ice Cream Sandwich, the next major Android release, and promised that devices will receive future Android updates for 18 months after they launch, through a new agreement with carriers and device makers.

Music Beta by Google, Android movie rentals

As was previously announced, Google on Tuesday launched its new Music service, a streaming product that will remain free while in beta. Initially, the service is only available to those who are given an invite.

The license-free cloud product allows users to upload their library of music to Google's servers, and stream those tracks to Android devices and computers, on both Windows and Mac. The Music Beta software allows users to upload all of the music within their iTunes library and access it on the go.

The search giant unveiled the new product as part of its I/O 2011 conference on Tuesday. It boasted that the music service, when synced to the cloud, means users will never have to sync with a cable again.

Music Beta by Google also lets users "pin" their music for offline use, allowing content to be accessed when a data connection may not be available. Music Beta can be used on Android devices running Froyo or Gingerbread.

Music Beta by Google. Google I/O 2011 photos via Gizmodo.

Google also unveiled movie rentals for Android devices, with thousands of movies available to rent for $1.99 A new movies application for Android tablets like the Motorola Xoom allows users to watch movies on the go as well.

Like with music, users can "pin" their movie and download it, even if it's rented and streaming, for playback when a data connection may not be available, such as on a plane ride.

Movies are now available on the Android market, and the official Movies application is available as part of today's Honeycomb 3.1 release, while smartphone users with Android 2.2 will receive the application in the next few weeks.

Android movies. Google I/O 2011 photos via Gizmodo.

Android Honeycomb 3.1, coming to Google TV

Google also announced that an update for Honeycomb, its tablet-centric mobile operating system, is available today for Verizon customers. Those who own a Motorola Xoom will be able to update to Android 3.1.

The new update adds the ability to make Android devices act as USB hosts. In one example, they showed an Xbox 360 wired controller being used with an Android tablet via USB.

With the update, users can also stretch widgets horizontally or vertically to make them fit their needs.

Android 3.1 will also come to Google TV this summer, and bring the Android Market with applications. Google also revealed that there are now more than 200,000 applications available on the Android Market.

Ice Cream Sandwich, streamlined updates, accessory support

Google's philosophy with the next major release of Android, dubbed Ice Cream Sandwich, will be "one OS everywhere," across a range of devices. That would mean that Android phones and tablets would be running the same operating system, unlike the current landscape where Honeycomb is restricted only to tablets.

Google said it would have an "advanced app framework" in the next release of Android, allowing developers to scale their software to different platforms. They also boasted that their mobile operating system will "all be open source."

Ice Cream Sandwich is also said to include a new user interface, new widgets, and new applications. It said the next user interface would be "state of the art."

In one demonstration, Google showed off 3D headtracking on a Motorola Xoom using the hardware's forward facing camera.

Android Ice Cream Sandwich. Google I/O 2011 photos via Gizmodo.

Google also vowed to streamline the updating process for Android devices. Carriers and device makers have agreed to provide new updates for 18 months after devices are launched, provided the hardware can support the newer versions of Android.

The company also showed off a new standard called Android Open Accessory. Using this, external can be connected to Android handsets and be supported by third-party software.

The search giant provided a demonstration of Android Open Accessory by connecting an Android phone to a stationary bike. It also demonstrated home automation integration called Android @ Home, with Android-compatible lightbulbs from Lighting Science set to go on sale by the end of the year.
post #2 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Google [...] promised that devices will receive future Android updates for 18 months after they launch

Clarification: devices (not necessarily customers) will receive updates 18 months after launch.
post #3 of 124
Android Ice Cream Sandwich.... thats a long name.

Haha careful though, if it gets too hot it will melt!
post #4 of 124
Even after Google successfully replicated Apple's eco-system they still can't seriously compete. This is more of a YAWN product line. Everyone seen it, heard of it. Same crap just from different company down the street.
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post #5 of 124
Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) seems like a back-cronymed swipe at IOS.
post #6 of 124
I don't know, it seems Google is getting really serious with Android. It sounds they are heading in the right direction, even fighting fragmentation. I certainly not abandoning ship, but Google may become a serious competitor for Apple. Something MS isn't really in the mobile space.
post #7 of 124
1: even if the 18 months deadline is met, it is AWFULLY SLOW updating isn't it. A year and a half after you buy your device? Seriously?
2: given Google's history what are the chances it will actually be 18 months? More like 24 I bet...2 YEARS
post #8 of 124
Stop caring about Google products for quite some time. Strange to see they still use this "invited to our beta program" tactic.
post #9 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by shadow415 View Post

Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) seems like a back-cronymed swipe at IOS.


I heard the next release is Chocolate Covered Vienna Sausage

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post #10 of 124
Why should I care? I care about Apple products not Google products.
post #11 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sipadan View Post

1: even if the 18 months deadline is met, it is AWFULLY SLOW updating isn't it. A year and a half after you buy your device? Seriously?
2: given Google's history what are the chances it will actually be 18 months? More like 24 I bet...2 YEARS

It means you'll get updates for 18 months after the release of the device. That doesn't mean you have to wait 18 months for an update. If there are three updates within that 18 month period, you'll get them.

As far as updates for my google devices. I've had a number for the nexus one.
post #12 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cpsro View Post

Clarification: devices (not necessarily customers) will receive updates 18 months after launch.

I assume that means vendors and carriers will receive updates 18 months after launch, but that it doesn’t mean vendors or carriers will work to make those updates work for the devices they sell.

Apple has a hard enough time getting updates to their very limited product line despite controlling the HW and OS, yet it seems Google is trying to follow suit, even pushing GoogleTV to an Android 3.1 update. Logistically I can’t see how Google can possibly make keep that up long term unless the changes will be minimal over that 18 months.
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post #13 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sipadan View Post

1: even if the 18 months deadline is met, it is AWFULLY SLOW updating isn't it. A year and a half after you buy your device? Seriously?
2: given Google's history what are the chances it will actually be 18 months? More like 24 I bet...2 YEARS

According to other blog sites reporting on this event, Google will provide updates up to 18 months after the release of the device BUT only if the device's hardware is capable of supporting it.

Not to take anything away from Google but I still much prefer the way Apple supports it iDevices vs Google. At least I know my device is good for at least 2 years.
post #14 of 124
Good job Google. This a welcome development for the ever expanding options available to consumers. We have seen what Amazon has to offer in terms of Cloud, now Google. I wonder what Apple will come out with.
post #15 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sipadan View Post

1: even if the 18 months deadline is met, it is AWFULLY SLOW updating isn't it. A year and a half after you buy your device? Seriously?
2: given Google's history what are the chances it will actually be 18 months? More like 24 I bet...2 YEARS

I think they mean you will get every update for a 18 month period. My HTC Desire is 11 months old and I have already had two updaes, with the third comming at the end of May.
post #16 of 124
Wonder how much space you get on Googles cloud service. I have 4+ terra in my itunes. I guess I wont be able to upload it all to their service.
post #17 of 124
You forgot to mention the 400,000 activations a day mentioned at the conference.

That was 400,000 activations a day.

400,000
post #18 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nairb View Post

You forgot to mention the 400,000 activations a day mentioned at the conference.

That was 400,000 activations a day.

400,000

1) That's all companies and all products running Android? That's only 36 million per quarter. Didn't Apple do more than half that total last quarter just with their iPhone, excluding their iPod, iPad and AppleTV? It doesn't seem like Android is growing that fast consolidating it's vendor count and price advantages.

2) Wasn't it already at 350,000 a half a year ago? That looks like some serious drop in growth rate.
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post #19 of 124
Meanwhile, Apple is still trying to figure out how to do notifications on iOS.
post #20 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by guch20 View Post

Meanwhile, Apple is still trying to figure out how to do notifications on iOS.


if you're really so set on swiping the top of the screen just get an android phone. the notifications on iOS are just fine compared to android. they could use some work, but android is not better at notifications.
post #21 of 124
One thing not mentioned in this article:


Quote:
9:52 am "Now there are some cool devices coming out with amazing features. Like this -- the new Samsung 10.1 Tab."

"It's thinner and lighter than you ever imagined. This will launch in about a month or so. It's not available to anyone yet... with one exception. Thanks to Samsung, all 5000 of you are getting one today!"

Google I/O 2011 LIVE


...Well, there goes the neighborhood!
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post #22 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by iVlad View Post

Even after Google successfully replicated Apple's eco-system they still can't seriously compete. This is more of a YAWN product line. Everyone seen it, heard of it. Same crap just from different company down the street.

iOS 3 was supposed to let you take your blood pressure and interface with other devices. still don't see a lot of that except speakers.
post #23 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

[...] They also boasted that their mobile operating system will "all be open source." [...]

Controlled by one man. Andy Rubin, of course. Open until you mess with it too much, then Google will use compatibility as a "club":

http://www.electronista.com/articles...ogle.pressure/

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post #24 of 124
Why does Apple Insider care what Google does at the I/O conference? Just wondering.
post #25 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

1) That's all companies and all products running Android? That's only 36 million per quarter. Didn't Apple do more than half that total last quarter just with their iPhone, excluding their iPod, iPad and AppleTV? It doesn't seem like Android is growing that fast consolidating it's vendor count and price advantages.

2) Wasn't it already at 350,000 a half a year ago? That looks like some serious drop in growth rate.

Lets see - 18.6 million iPhones, 9 million iPods and 4.7 million iPads. You do the math. We could also add in Apple TV but you and i both know that is not going to make much of a difference, don't we!
post #26 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

One thing not mentioned in this article:

["Thanks to Samsung, all 5000 of you are getting one today!"]

...Well, there goes the neighborhood!

There. Instant market share. Take that, Coby! Take that, Sylvania! Take that, Camangi!

http://www.cobyusa.com/?p=prod&prod_...4&pcat_id=1013

http://www.sylvaniacomputers.com/cat...id_category=18

http://www.androidpit.com/en/android...ands-on-At-IFA

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post #27 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by guch20 View Post

Meanwhile, Apple is still trying to figure out how to do notifications on iOS.

... don't forget to mention:

- walled garden
- faulty antenna
- Steve Jobs is a fascist
- iPhone 4 doesn't have 4G
- Apple still doesn't offer pony rides at the fair

...
na na na na na...
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na na na na na...
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post #28 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

1) 2) Wasn't it already at 350,000 a half a year ago? That looks like some serious drop in growth rate.

I thought that was just 90 days ago or so. Another 50K/day in just a few weeks sounds like quite a lot to me.

EDIT: That was announced as the activations per day at the end of March. So just 5 weeks later it's at 400K. Maybe I'm easily impressed but that's a lot of Android devices Solipsism.

http://www.betanews.com/joewilcox/ar...ter/1302835052
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post #29 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nairb View Post

You forgot to mention the 400,000 activations a day mentioned at the conference.

That was 400,000 activations a day.

400,000

Meh. Android developers already know they can't make money with Android apps, so they are slow to commit or leaving for iOS. Hardware manufacturers will simply devolve to lowest cost competitors, as Android phones are now a commodity business, just like PCs.

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GOA

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GOA

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post #30 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I assume that means vendors and carriers will receive updates 18 months after launch, but that it doesnt mean vendors or carriers will work to make those updates work for the devices they sell.

Apple has a hard enough time getting updates to their very limited product line despite controlling the HW and OS, yet it seems Google is trying to follow suit, even pushing GoogleTV to an Android 3.1 update. Logistically I cant see how Google can possibly make keep that up long term unless the changes will be minimal over that 18 months.

It's a laudable goal, but I wouldn't hold my breath expecting updates to Android devices. I remember when 2.2 was released and it took 4-5 months before you could buy a 2.2 phone from any of the major carriers in Canada. They were too busy trying to get rid of 1.5 and 1.6 devices to worry about a new OS or getting updates out to anyone.

How long ago did Gingerbread come out? I know more people who own a Xoom than people running 2.3 on their Android phone.
post #31 of 124
This is a complete catchup update, except for the following few things:

1) Android on Google TV (but you still have to create new widgets, but it beats Apple TV with no widgets, in this regard).

2) Guarantee of 18 months updates. The real question is when those 18 months begin, and how this guarantee retards development.

3) The open nature of the Accessories. This will make Android really popular with hobbyists, which is important because it will be these kids creating the next great products when they grow up. Apple had them beat a long time ago, but having to be part of the Apple Hardware accessory partner was annoying at the very least, and probably really expensive.

Besides this, its a kinda underwhelming update. Hopefully the new skin will be nice when they show it.
post #32 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by iVlad View Post

Even after Google successfully replicated Apple's eco-system they still can't seriously compete. This is more of a YAWN product line. Everyone seen it, heard of it. Same crap just from different company down the street.

I am with you, my take away after reading the post is that
1. Google admits its current OS strategy really sucks (one for phone, one for tablet, both marginal)
2. Google will do it right by replicating what Apple has been doing

I wonder how they will keep it open, (bear with me, I am not a tech guy) may the OS will have a core layer where Google will maintain (Google updates only hit this layer), and the carriers have a custom layer that they maintain (and good luck getting updates here)?
post #33 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nairb View Post

Lets see - 18.6 million iPhones, 9 million iPods and 4.7 million iPads. You do the math. We could also add in Apple TV but you and i both know that is not going to make much of a difference, don't we!

That's 33 million actications for Apple compared to all vended using Android. What's wrong with Android that dozens of vendors can have a mature Mobile OS and still not be far ahead of Apple's iOS-based devices? The iPhone 4 was over a half a year old, too, Whig makes it's comparison to all those new Android phones with newer and technically faster HW even more troubling for vendors using Android.
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post #34 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nairb View Post

Lets see - 18.6 million iPhones, 9 million iPods and 4.7 million iPads. You do the math. We could also add in Apple TV but you and i both know that is not going to make much of a difference, don't we!

You overestimated as not all iPods are touches.

However iPads will sell 10+ m a quarter if un supply constrained.
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post #35 of 124
Way Off Topi

I have been playing With Mac Apple Motion 4, for several days, trying to create an animated lip sync on a 2D mouth only (lips, teeth, tongue).

Frustrated, I Yahooed for iPad lip sync.

I found the coolest app... and I just had to tell someone(s)!


The app is PhotoSpeak and sells for $2.99 (there is an Android version too).

It uses a 2D still image to create a 3D face, then automatically lip syncs it to sound.

The whole process takes less than a minute:

Here's an example:

PhotoSpeak example

What is amazing is that this very complex app is only 7.9 MB and runs in a few seconds what took days on a Mac... ... and does it much, much better!

There is a free player app. where you can email someone a "creation" and they can play it on their iPad.


Finally, the 3D face on the full app can be left running. It picks up any sounds the iPad hears (singing, smooching, lipfarts, etc.) and speaks them back to you.

It's kind of a ventriloquist's best friend...


... I'm so lonely...


I have no affiliation with PhotoSpeak -- other than a satisfied, laughing, customer.
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post #36 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by SockRolid View Post

There. Instant market share. Take that, Coby! Take that, Sylvania! Take that, Camangi!

http://www.cobyusa.com/?p=prod&prod_...4&pcat_id=1013

http://www.sylvaniacomputers.com/cat...id_category=18

http://www.androidpit.com/en/android...ands-on-At-IFA

Those Tablets aren't certified by Google, they don't have access to the Android Market.

So Google doesn't count them as activated devices.
post #37 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by asdasd View Post

You overestimated as not all iPods are touches.

However iPads will sell 10+ m a quarter if un supply constrained.

Ah, that certainly malea more sense. I think cutting the iPod numbers in half is about right for the touch numbers, but that I still an amazing amount for a single vendor with a very limited product range on less carriers and less agreeable price points to be competing against all the vendors and carriers that are backing Android-base devices.
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post #38 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nairb View Post

Lets see - 18.6 million iPhones, 9 million iPods and 4.7 million iPads. You do the math. We could also add in Apple TV but you and i both know that is not going to make much of a difference, don't we!

iOS has an install base of over 100 million devices since June 2010: http://techcrunch.com/2010/06/07/ios/

(Edit: 160 million at the end of the December quarter. About 30mil per quarter as of last year and with momentum, Apple should be at least at the same pace as Android and this is just from one vendor.)


I just hope all of this lights a fire under Apple and that iOS 5 will be revolutionary!
post #39 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

That's 33 million actications for Apple compared to all vended using Android. What's wrong with Android that dozens of vendors can have a mature Mobile OS and still not be far ahead of Apple's iOS-based devices? The iPhone 4 was over a half a year old, too, Whig makes it's comparison to all those new Android phones with newer and technically faster HW even more troubling for vendors using Android.

Solipsism, 18 months ago some posters here said "Android smartphones will never overtake iPhone sales". A few months later it did. But some posters here said that didn't really matter anyway. "Android will never have as many apps to choose from". Looks like that will happen sometime this year too. But now that doesn't really matter either. It's more about quality than quantity.

So then late last year it became "Android will never sell as well as the combined total of all iOS devices each month". Five months later it looks like they actually may be outselling all iOS devices combined.

The goalposts just keep moving. Wouldn't it be better not to worry so much about figures and percentages and just enjoy what Apple gives their users?

To me there's no question that Android will outsell iOS across all product categories at some point (probably sooner rather than later) other than with an iPod competitor. But that's a dying category anyway. Even the tablet market will eventually give to either Android or Microsoft.

Big deal tho. Apple's been there before and survived quite well with Mr. Jobs at the helm. The total volume of devices sold shouldn't be the defining factor that makes Apple the preferred provider for millions of buyers. Quality not quantity. If fans argue that it's the latter, they're going to be disappointed. There's too many competitors.
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post #40 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post

iOS 3 was supposed to let you take your blood pressure and interface with other devices. still don't see a lot of that except speakers.

Guess you haven't been to the Apple Store recently.
http://store.apple.com/us/product/H4...co=MjEzNTE5ODA
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