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Google I/O 2014 (google.com)
294 points by asenna on June 25, 2014 | hide | past | web | favorite | 284 comments

I was extremely disappointed when they started talking about "Material Design", hinting at tactile screens by showing what one might look like, and then going on to talk about it as a metaphor for tactility.

Still looks nice, but that was mean.

Absolutely. That was incredibly bad! Myself and a lot of people in the audience had this split-second "Oh my god..." where we thought Google was about to show off a device that had something 3D and then....oh, it is just the style? You could feel the collective let down.

Yeah, all this design talk is grossly underwhelming.

It's great design, but I got really excited for a new screen technology.

Is it me, or the new design looks like Windows Metro?

Everyone is derivating from Metro UI now. I can't complain, I quite like the look. Funny that Microsoft, in this day an age would be such a trend setter!

Microsoft are making all the right moves recently. I think they're going to really make a resurgence with Nadella at the wheel!

Yes, and it seems Apple is slowly becoming the pre-2013 Microsoft. Funny times!

If you've been around long enough you would probably say - normal times. It's fun here in the tech tumble dryer.

Wonder if you could elaborate more on this for someone not a hardcore techie

Sure. The things I've noticed since Nadella took over from Ballmer:

* They're obviously putting a lot of effort into listening to their customers and implementing their feedback (see windows 8.2 changes, start bar is coming back, metro apps will now be windowed) (also see this article by Gabe at Penny arcade about how Microsoft implemented his feedback for the Surface Pro 3 http://www.penny-arcade.com/news/post/2014/06/16/surface-pro...).

* They realise the cloud is the future and they're making great strides towards making sure Azure is the best cloud platform available. I've used Amazon's AWS, Rackspace and Azure. Azure is hands down the best. Nadella was formerly in charge of Azure, so it's no surprise that Azure is coming to the forefront of Microsoft. The interface for their new cloud control panel is excellent (http://portal.azure.com https://i.imgur.com/SxdPZjf.png).

* Developers, developers, developers is back in season! They're open sourcing everything. ASP.NET, MVC, their new C# compiler are all now open source. The UI library they used to make the website above is open source (WinJS https://github.com/winjs/winjs). They are making obvious efforts to engage the developer community.

* Whilst everybody else is scrambling to create walled gardens and closed platforms, Microsoft is going in the opposite direction. All of their recent open source releases have been on Github, not Codeplex. You can provision linux virtual machines, mysql database, redis caches on azure - as well as the Microsoft equivalents. They just announced they're making an Android handset after acquiring Nokia, as well as Windows Phone. They've announced that they will start supporting officially supporting Mono (open source version of their .NET clr) with new releases of ASP.NET, allowing ASP.NET applications to run on open source platforms.

* Their share price is the highest it's been in 15 years


* And as much as I hate to admit it (I haven't personally switched browsers or search providers yet...) but they're actually fixing the problems with Bing and Internet Explorer, and seem to be rapidly catching up with the pack. The new developer tools for IE actually look pretty good (http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/ie/bg182326.aspx) and Bing is not looking too shabby either.

Especially their design page: http://www.google.com/design

"[Google Manager]: Guys... Could you make it modern, like Microsoft Metro, but maybe decrease the padding between tiles and maybe add some blurry shadows."

"[Designers]: but shadows are a violation flat design principles!"

"[Google Manager]: I am sorry, but we cannot come across like complete rip-offs".

We need 7 red lines. All orthogonal, two with green ink and the rest with transparent ink.

Well here's the problem, you're using a blue pen.

And can one of the lines be in the shape of a kitten?

It's not flat design at all. They spent like 3/4 of the design segment in the keynote talking about how everything has a depth, and how things cast shadows on each other.

Have we reached a point where anyone using color is ripping off windows? :/

Metro isn't flat either. There's a Z axis and objects get pushed back when you tap on them.

They took the shapes and layout of Metro and the color palette of iOS7/8

Google is just shameless when it comes to android. It's entire history has been one of "me too".

Everything after Douglas Engelbart's Mother of All Demos has been shameless "me too".


Not really. My point is that Google has never had any design vision with android and simply responds to the movements of the other big names in the phone business with their "me too" offering. It's hard to deny this fact. It's also interesting how the same exact sentiment elsewhere in this thread gets upvoted.

You probably got down-voted because you didn't offer any examples. You could swap Apple for Google in your sentence and it would carry just as much weight.

I was replying TO THE EXAMPLE. What is wrong with some of you people?

No it wouldn't, what a ridiculous thing to say. The iPhone came out of nowhere and was a revelation, Android was a hastily (very well) assembled clone.

Were you not around when they came out?

Yes, I was there when apple stole the idea of a touch screen phone from Nokia and Palm, what's your point?

I don't want to get involved in this flame war, but Apple began development of the Newton (a mobile device with a touch screen) in 1987. Palm wasn't even founded until 1992.

You still haven't offered any examples.

> looks like Windows Metro?

Superficially yes but it's really just a new coat of paint on top of a slightly revised UI. My eyes instantly glaze over looking at these screenshots because we have this boring font combined with a boring use of whitespace with little variation in text size. It's all the bad parts of Metro / Modern UI without any of the good parts.

And everything has a big picture of something smaller in the foreground behind it.

It's not just you, it definitely reminded me of Metro and Codrops demos.

I feel iOS 7 was a mix of Metro and Holo. And Material/Paper is now a mix of iOS7 and Holo.

Nothing new under the sun. We've been using box shadows on the web for years.

Seriously. I'll never understand how people can continuously get so excited about new "design".

From my point of view, if you're competing heavily on design then you're in the business of a commodity and hence have no better technological or use-case differentiator... And/or you're swept up by the cult of design as of late.

Yep. The "Google is getting better at design..." doesn't seem to be true. They've really doubled down on this cards UI which is unfortunate.

If I am not mistaken, Apple has been awarded patents in the area of localized haptics using tiny actuators. It may be that no rival solution has emerged. I was also quite upset when the announcement dissolved into a UI metaphor.


If Apple was anywhere close to building it though, I doubt they'd remove all textures and button outlines :(

I wonder if there is new hardware in the works but it isn't finished yet. Just like L isn't finishes and oddly also the Motorola 360 is not finished (I have the felling that was supposed to be finished before IO and for some reason is not)

I tweeted the following at the time, trying to be sarcastic and cynical:

‘What if there was a material as simple as paper that could change shape based on touch? I’m not saying there is. But what if there were?’

I was pretty disappointed to find out that I was right.

Tell me about it. I was outside waiting in line and listening to the keynote on my phone. I couldn't believe they were announcing that and when I pulled out my phone to look at the video.... well it was just a 3D frame on a phone. Still cool but you know..

Is it possibly a prelude to tactile screens? Makes sense for them to allow developers plenty of time to build compatible apps prior to introducing any hardware.

Automatic unlock of your computer when your phone is near seems like the kind of feature that sounds great on paper but is a nightmare in practice. What happens when someone picks up my phone and walks near my laptop, they suddenly have access to my entire machine?

Once your nemesis has your phone and your laptop, the laptop screensaver password may not be chief among your worries!

I've been doing this for quite a while now with Knock [1].

It's pretty good, though I have to remember to take my phone with me when I leave my desk at work for an extended period of time.

It's nice to be able to walk up to my desk, tap my phone while it's in my pocket and see the computer unlock.

[1] http://www.knocktounlock.com

It's just a downside to the feature, I guess. Of course, I'd imagine you don't HAVE to enable this if you don't entirely trust it.

For me, having a lock screen at work/home is useless and just an annoyance. It's a pain always having to enable it when I leave work/home so this feature is perfect for me.

The time has come for phones to start recognizing the presence or non-presence of trusted individuals, granting various permissions.

I'd carry a tiny wearable for this.

Sounds like a great start for a dystopian sci-fi novel. Just imagine the effect it will have on our social habits when we start avoiding people that our Google Lens HUD marks as non-trusted. It doesn't even need to happen in a malicious way. All you need is the contrast between the people marked "green" and those you haven't added to your trust list.

The short movie "Sight" is a great demonstration of our potential near future of augemented reality technology and the effect it might have on our social lives: http://vimeo.com/46304267

Like a Motorola Skip, or any number of other NFC tags that will do this?


To clarify, I meant this as a matter of ubiquity...

There are options for this functionality out there, of course, but they've not been adopted much by users.

I can see this working with 'trusted' areas.. of course it's a bad idea in a coffee shop or office with lots of people you don't trust.. but at home or your own office this can be really time saver.

I just don't see how, if it's a 'trusted area' you don't usually lock your screen (or maybe you do? I imagine most people don't though), which means if you're logging back in, it's because you've been away for a bit.

In which case, your machine may also be hibernating, which is slow to being with. So something like automatically unlocking while your phone is around isn't really all that useful.

Not to mention, how long does it take to type in a password?

It's not about time or anything so logical. It's about wowing tech-illiterate executives with flashy new toys.

You got me thinking... Combine this with something similar to Tasker, so it only works when you're in trusted areas (Office, Home - Not coffee shops, etc...)... This could also increase security if somebody was to somehow steal both your laptop and your phone...

On a tangent, I'm really excited about this and hope there's a Windows+Android version on the way (or clone)...

This will most definitely be something administrators have control over, as well as the individual user.

Someone's already made this six months ago on the iPhone: http://www.knocktounlock.com/

I've been using it for the past 6 months and it went from futuristic novelty to now daily use.

What happens when they steal both?

Hopefully nothing if you have a strong enough password. Chrome OS uses full disk encryption so there shouldn't be anything that an attacker with physical access could get to easily. If moving the phone near the computer suddenly unlocks it though you're screwed.

I thought that was the entire point, to unlock your chromebook automatically when you're close.

Uh...remote lock?

I suppose this feature will be more useful with an android wear device.

What happens is you learn to be more careful with your phone :)

Good thing I don't leave my phone and my laptop to charge in the same room…

presumably you have to unlock the phone first

My main thought from this is Google are damned if they do, damned if they don't. Either they do nothing exciting and we complain about that, but if they did too much we'd complain about them stepping on the toes of everyone in the ecosystem. As it stands it looks a lot like they're licking too many cookies, but underdelivering, and being damned on both fronts, but getting the benefit of neither. Go back to last year's I/O, and Android Studio still isn't really the main IDE for Android yet, and the much lauded Maps has gone off a cliff.

Let's face it, the only impressive tech stuff here today was the cloud debugging. Everything else was fluff. Frankly Amazon put on far more dangerous looking displays of technology prowess these days.

And we still can't mention China. Disappointing, but somewhat inevitable.

I've already got a form of cloud debugging on Azure. I'm honestly surprised all cloud services don't offer it.

I was happy with the auto integration, but didn't really think it was tremendously new. The new design stuff raised more questions than answers for me.

I'll second your point on Android Studio. I was really hoping to see it was getting some serious attention this I/O (but I'm not watching everything live so maybe there is something I haven't seen yet)

As someone who literally started developing for Android about 3 weeks ago, I also share this sentiment. Android Studio (and a pet plugin project a couple old coworkers are working on that makes Maven look downright dumb) and Gradle have been a godsend in getting me up to speed in Android development. I tried Eclipse once in the past to port an old app and absolutely hated everything about it - which I naively ascribed towards the entire Android dev ecosystem as well back then.

I'm hoping for some more stable AS releases and a plan for a 1.0.0 soon.

Good news, it may not have warranted discussion in the day 1 keynote but news of Android Studio is coming on day 2

Session title: "What’s new in Android development tools", 9:00 AM


Thanks for the link. I'll check it out after our soccer game today.

Google isn't working in China. Even the search box isn't working anymore. Completely blocked now.

Am I not in on the joke? Here's a magic 8 ball prediction: wearable stuff will bomb.

All they can do is tell me if I walked or not. I KNOW IF I WALKED OR NOT. If I wanted to walk more I'd get another dog, not a watch.

I also like DIRECTLY AFTER they show the pedometer they order a pizza. I just can't imagine a world where these are good ideas. I'd love to have been in on those meetings to throw staplers at the people who suggested these things.

I'm very happy with my Pebble.

It can't tell me whether I've walked or not, and I can't order a pizza with it, but I get all my notifications on it, which alone is very handy (pun not necessarily intended) for me.

The thing is not many people want to get notifications from their watch as they already carry a phone which is perfectly capable of giving notifications. If anyone can put a phone in a watch, then we start talking :)

I used to think like you are until I had a Pebble. I don't carry my phone around the house anymore, nor do I run for it or pull it out of my pocket every time it beeps. My pebble has saved me pulling my phone out 100 times a day and going through the lock screen to see that I just wasted 10 seconds. Notifications wise it has been a game changer for me. Other functionality I'm still dubious on.

My guess is: the trend will go to phonewatches and tablets.

99% of the time, I'm using the "tablet features" of my phone. I maybe get 3-5 calls a month.

A phone-watch would suffice for this.

If it could tell the time, provide me with notifications, has vibration and can tell if I move or not, this would be perfect.

The rest of the information I would consume with my tablet.

The thing that makes phones such gold mines is that people in many countries reliably buy a new one every two years (through a carrier). Tablets are arguably on a plateau already. I wonder if the industry can really turn phone watches into something that reliably generates cash.

Its almost sad that the goal is "reliably generating cash" instead of "making something better for humanity." Working to prevent me from having to pull my phone out of my pocket is not anywhere close to where our technological efforts should be placed.

It's not about making you pull your phone out less its about trying to integrate more things around you seamlessly to be more interconnected. Reaching for your phone less is a by-product. Altruistic views are nice but the driver of our technology is consistent investment facilitating iteration on all fronts.

To a certain degree I still disagree. Integrated and more connected? Take that all the way out until you can't tell where the machine stop and the human starts.

While all these micro-iterations on technology are great, and we have some amazing toys, I can't help but think that humanity is getting too DISCONNECTED from EARTH.

Let me counter your anecdote with mine. I talk with customers all day for project related work. I regularly put thousands of minutes on my phone each month, mostly for work.

There's literally no way that today's battery density (or even in several years) is high enough to support more than a dozen calls, not to mention all the radios a cell phone requires (just think antenna length, not space).

I wouldn't expect a viable standalone phone-watch until 2025 barring significant advances in battery technology and cell antenna design.

Maybe this would lead to the model I proposed plus "business phones"?

All they can do is tell me if I walked or not.

Huh? They clearly demoed it doing all sorts of things. Besides, it's not like this is a brand new category, Pebble watches and the like have been doing this for a while, but they've been a niche product. A larger manufacturer might change that.

The problem with the Pebble (speaking as a Pebble owner) is that it's very, very limited in what it can do. It works okay as a display, but that's about it. I bought mine to basically use in lieu of a bike computer while cycling, and it's great for that, but it couldn't really do anything interesting.

I can see that I got a text message on my Pebble. Awesome. The problem was I couldn't do anything with it. Can't dismiss it on the phone. Can't reply to it.

Android Wear looks like it addresses the major problems I have with my Pebble. If pricing looks sane there's a good chance I'll be ordering on of the watches going up for sale today.

Are you saying you don't need a wearable computer to remind you to check the mailbox when you get home?

Wow. Don't give them any ideas. Hell, maybe you should explore that idea. You could probably get a million or two in funding.

That's one of the things they demonstrated on stage today.

I can't comment on the whole Google API offers, but I use Moves and I really like it. I was initialy meant as a low-level excercice tool but they steped a little away from that and designed the product more for life-loging, and this is gold for me: I can, every week or so, look back at what I did. I make a personal effort to do something new every day (buy a vegetable I've never taste at the supermarket, try a new restaurant, walk another route to work) and that app covers a lot of that -- not always directly, but it reminds me of context. "Why did I walk that much that day? - Click to map - Oh, I went through that park back home. Yeah, that was when my boss really got in my guills, and I needed the Sun." Including photos, notes would make is more explicitly so, and Moves has more of a low-feature general approach, but what they have makes sense.

It's not about getting a dog as much as having something that archive (your memory sucks at that) and tells you if you have the regularity that such a responsability entails: I can't. I can tell you I got home after 10 more than half the past month, but not because I remember it: because Moves let me see so.

"No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame."

I agree with you — I don't get the excitement for wearable stuff. But then, I've never worn a watch.

I think those who normally wear a watch will be excited by this, and perhaps that is a big enough market to make it worthwhile?

I've been wearing a watch every day for years and I have no interest in this stuff either. Honestly, I like the idea that my watch is just a stupid thing that tells me the time, having it beep at me every time I get an email would just feel like I'm being tethered to a computer even more than I am already.

Now tell us about how a soda only used to cost a nickel in your day!

They are definitely throwing stuff against the wall to see what sticks. It's the developers in the room that will turn things android can now do to stuff people may actually want to do.

Personally I prefer when google shows weak propositions instead of just prescribing everything people want to do/will do.

I've been wearing a BodyMedia tracker for over a year and a Pebble watch for 6+ months. I'm happy with both. I wore Glass for a month and wasn't happy with it. Some products are good, some are not, and some are early prototypes for future products we'll love.

Depends on the context. I've started to bike to work and now I'm craving wearable computing.

You should post an update here once you've worn one for a while. I had a Fitbit for a couple of months and just got bored of it.

There's something extremely magic about knowing who is calling you when you're cycling and therefore whether to stop or not to take the call.

Also, changing music or volume when on a bus without having to do that thing where you lift your bum to get your phone out of your pocket is, well, better than it sounds.

> changing music or volume when on a bus without having to do that thing where you lift your bum

Do Android phones still come without buttons on their headphones?

My Galaxy Note 2 came with buttons on the headphones.

I have been wearing a Fitbit for over a year, my wife for 6 months. I can't imagine life without it now. The Big advantage is it keeps me honest. I aim to always do 10,000 steps a day, 100,000 steps a week, and I can see if I am short at any time. It is easy to convince yourself you have done more walking than you really have.

It seems to be pretty hit or miss, people either really like them or just don't get into it.

Great catch!

The scenario seems to be you walk halfway somewhere, fill up on junk food, then order a Uber cab home...

I think there's something to be said for not completely overhauling the look and feel of the OS every two years or so. As it stands today a typical Android phone probably has at least one app sporting the Android 2.3 look and feel. And even in Google's UI guidelines (not sure if it's still the case), they suggested providing multiple sets of icons, some that follow the 4.0 look and feel, some that follow the 2.3 look and feel, some that follow the pre-2.3 look and feel, etc.

They make it very difficult to both follow their latest UI guidelines and the older ones (because adoption rates lag quite a bit).

The problem seems to be that Google doesn't have any real design rules, they just have designers, and these guys rotate in and out every year or two, bringing their own pet ideas with them. So what you're looking at is whatever the designer they hired two years ago had on his mind.

Android is rife with clear evidence that the project has no design guidelines. All of the UIs change completely in every release.

(Background: I worked on 3 visual redesigns for Google Search, and was an early tech lead for the Quantum Paper stuff that's being demoed today. I no longer work at Google. This was actually the last project I worked on.)

The design changeover is being driven from the top. Ever since Steve Jobs has died and Larry took over as CEO, he's gotten the design religion, and his goal is for Google's design to remain fresh and drive trends forward perpetually. So as far as the company is concerned, this is a feature, not a bug.

It's true that the individual designers responsible for doing the design often vary from project to project. However, there's a fair amount of continuity as well. The designer who initiated the design refresh announced today has been with the company since 2006; the designer I worked with for the visual refresh of 2010 now heads up design for all of Search. They are explicitly told by executives to make things fresh and remove previous constraints when imagining the new Google.

"design to remain fresh and drive trends forward perpetually"

Is this the root cause of why Google Maps/Nav on Android had a giant UX regression from 6.x to 7.x and still sucks so bad that my next phone may very well be a Lumia?

Not entirely sure, I'm less familiar with the decision-making processes in Geo. I suspect it's similar, where the goal of keeping things fresh and interesting made them take the product in a different direction, which naturally will piss off all the customers who started using it because they liked the old product direction. I don't personally like the new Google Maps either, but understand that a company's first and foremost goal is to go after new users, and making existing users happy is only important if they'll leave if you don't.

I really hate the new maps too and find it more difficult to do pretty much anything. Glad a designer got to make an exec happy by redesigning it into crap, though. At least someone benefitted.

The Android G+ application just went through a major redesign. It looks nothing like its predecessor and it looks nothing like what was announced at I/O today. It also looks nothing like any other current Android KitKat app (no drawer on the left side, no floating search box, etc). What planet did that design come from?

Charleston Rd, Mountain View, I assume. ;-)

Snark aside, I think you're seeing two effects. One is designers wanting to be creative and innovative (which is a top-down directive) without also talking with their counterparts in other areas of the company. This will get corrected over time; periodically the company tries to line up all of its products so that they're consistent across all of Google. The last major such project was Kennedy; Quantum is the next one, so I suspect Android G+ will eventually change to conform with the Quantum styleguides just announced.

The other effect is that design rules are different for big companies than they are for small app developers. Small app developers want to fit in with the platform styleguides, because they face intense competition, are only a tiny part of the total ecosystem, and so if they deviate from the expected UI it only harms themselves. Big companies want to set the standards, and so they encourage their designers to be bold and adventurous, in the hopes of creating the trends. And the Android G+ app has been a trendsetter in the past; some of the recent move towards very image-heavy apps (across both web and mobile) was pioneered by them back around 2011 and 2012.

> so I suspect Android G+ will eventually change to conform with the Quantum styleguides just announced.

presumably the week before the next UI paradigm is announced at I/O 2016...

Hurr Hurr, two years right guys?

Honeycomb was introduced in 2011. That's three years.

And besides, Android is on design iteration #3, Apple is on #2, and I think most would agree iOS was aged pretty badly by the time it got #2.

Personally, I find Android's 2.x design about as much as a design as a factory floor's sounds 'music'.

"They are explicitly told by executives to make things fresh"

What does this even mean? It reminds me of the design-by-committee meeting to add Poochie to Itchy and Scratchy. "It needs to be more dynamic. More proactive. More ATTITUDE!"

That's absurd. Matías has been with Google since 2010. The look and feel has changed, but it's more evolution that whimsy.

Mobile is the most competitive market on the planet right now. Eye candy is essential to showing growth and momentum. Most people aren't looking under the hood, particularly now that hardware specs are leveling off.

> Google doesn't have any real design rules

That seems a little unfair - they are going to extraordinary lengths to spell out design rules - to the point of publishing entire voluminous web sites about it:


A huge chunk of the presentation was about their philosophy. You might not like it, but they are definitely trying.

That's a good point.

I think the other part of the problem is that Android demonstrates what happens when you let developers run wild, as much as it pains me to say that. As developers we always want new, new, new! Rip out the old stuff! But we don't always think about the consequences that has on customers. Or I should say, in a typical company you quickly learn that you can't just change things on a whim. Google is not typical though...

Whether the OS is charming all depend on it's UI. Android's UI let me down. But a reason let me like android, because of open OS, everyone can design their own UI.

Touch, tablets, phones, and the problem of scaling a consistent UI across geometry and distance (10 foot TV, 2.5foot car, etc.) remains partly unsolved and perhaps mostly unmatured. Sensors remain under-exploited in core UI.

Apps trail OS capabilities, too. So while it may be inconvenient for developers, rapid change is probably a fact of life.

This redesign is for the sake of redesign, or promotion, or nothing. I don't see much, if any, value to a real user. Just waste of time.

That's bullshit, what about cohesiveness? They're bringing it to all of their platforms so it makes sense that an overall redesign effort happened.

Is anyone else kind of creeped out by the presentation style? I can't really put my finger on why but everything comes across very wooden and out of touch with normal people.

Perhaps just that they have engineers presenting instead of the traditional PR mannequins / executives?

Apple has that as well. In fact Phil Schiller isn't on WWDC.

And would you say that their last WWDC presentation was more natural than I/O? I thought it was often awkward to watch as well. (The Dre call...ugh.)

I like the idea of having more hackathon type engineer presentations that aren't as polished but this seems like a bad compromise trying to get engineering folks to be on message like marketing department. Either stick with the polished messages or be up front that the engineers are going to be a little eccentric and have fun with it.

It's the over reliance on the prompter.

It has all the energy of someone reading a press release.

Ah, now I understand why the guy is not looking at the people, which is 101 of communication.

EDIT: Unbelievable: they all look at the prompter like it were natural. I really cannot believe this is the most important Google public event and the speakers do not learn their stuff by heart.

They lost two of their best presenters over the past year: Vic Gundotra, Hugo Barra

I was so happy to be able to see through the keynote without the presence of these two guys or anybody like them. They were always more focused on wowing the crowd than actually saying anything, always begging for more applause with ridiculous statements such as "It's basically 16 cores!!!" to describe a device with a four-core CPU and a twelve-core GPU. (Hugo Barra, 2012, http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2406363,00.asp) For a developer conference, they should respect the audience enough to know that we understand the real specs and adding two unrelated numbers to make a bigger number does not make it more impressive, or even any sense.

Vic Gundotra and Hugo Barra are among the all time worst speakers at Google I/O. This year it again feels like developers talking to developers. Delightful! :)

Agreed. I don't feel the same level of engagement

Not all of these guys are known for their MC'ing.

This is what happens when your company doesnt have a Steve Jobs and forces your engineers to demo.

that was exactly what I was thinking.

One of the features Apple added later-on to iOS7 was "reduce animation" after user feedback. Much of Google's keynote thus-far has focused on adding animations everywhere possible. It'll be interesting to see if they receive a different reception.

I can't use iOS7 without reduced animated. I'm very happy they have that feature.

How does one do this?

I hate iOS7 enough that my next phone will definitely be an android. But in the meantime...

It's the accessibility options in settings

You can (very easily) reduce the animation speed within android.

Reducing animation speed does not solve the problem. Too many animations can be distracting for me (kwin), increasing animation speed does not remove the distractions.

I think we are putting the cart before the horse here. Let's see if this actually becomes a problem. There is such a limited amount of purposeful animation that happens right now. I imagine adding well thought animations would be nice. Check out the material guide on it: http://www.google.com/design/spec/animation/authentic-motion...

You can also outright disable transitions and window animations.

You can just pretty much replace everything in Android. Replace home screen, the app selector, the lockscreen. Get those with less or no animation.

We should all endeavor to guard the memory of the double-sided peanut butter jar, lost in a tragic speech recognition accident on June 25, 2014.

I can't get past that particular camera angle in the video where they catch the heads of people walking out.

I understand there are thousands of people there but that particular camera makes it look like a bunch of people are leaving as the speaker speaks.

Being an attendee from last year, I can guarantee you that it's people still filing in to find seats well into the presentation. The exit is towards the back left of where the camera is. People going to the right are looking for seats. It's still not an attractive angle.

Incredibly annoying! Surely there's another walkway that doesn't pass right through the camera shot!

Yes! It's driving me crazy as well.

Direct link to the Keynote youtube stream: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wtLJPvx7-ys

Oddly, their live streaming does not work without Adobe Flash. It absolutely refuses to load anything in Chromium, even though it supports every single HTML5 format that YouTube offers. I would have expected better from Google in 2014.

HTML5 doesn't support live streaming [1]. You need either Flash or HLS support (i.e. iOS/Safari).

Disclaimer: I work in the video space.

[1] http://stackoverflow.com/questions/21921790/best-approach-to...

HTML5 doesn't support live streaming

That's a very bad way of stating it. It's perfectly possible, and "supported" even though there is no "use this thing" solution for it. The problem is that you can't rely on a full solution being usable by all browsers you want to target.

Why hasn't HLS caught on more broadly? From what I know it's not licensed / patented by apple. Many Flash players implement it, and overall its a great way of delivering video over HTTP.

Its encumbered by being an Apple standard (NIH). Adobe is pushing HDS, and Google is pushing an open standard called MPEG-DASH.

They all do the same thing fundamentally; the only differences are slight technical details and who is in control of the standard.

It appears to have interoperability issues. The Apple livestreams certainly never seem to play reliably in non-Apple HLS clients.

Live streaming is possible with WebRTC, as sites like Appear.in demonstrate. It might not literally be "HTML5" but it isn't Flash.

We need http-streaming in html5 VLC supports it, why not the browsers?

Aereo (RIP) streamed live television over HTML5.

Let's not write them off yet. As I've posted in the other HN thread about them, they just need to pivot.

You can do WebM live streaming.

I’m watching it in Safari without Flash installed.

I'm guessing the problem is that it's encoded in H264, which isn't available in Chromium due to patents.

Chromium can definitely play H.264 with no problem. All three videos on this page[0] play perfectly, as do all other HTML5 YouTube videos.[1]

[0]http://ie.microsoft.com/testdrive/graphics/videoformatsuppor... [1]https://www.youtube.com/html5 - This shows 6/6

I'm a bit shocked that this works even on Debian. I don't understand how it is possible without Debian violating the patents.

Chromium uses ffmpeg to decode h264. In fact, they even include ffmepg in the chromium source tarball.

I feel the Google Watches are going to be more widely adopted than Glass. Maybe we'll get to head mounted computers in the future, but right now it definitely feels like the watch is the next step in social acceptability.

Source: I own a Glass and barely wear it.

I also own Google Glass and barely wear it anymore. When Wear was announced, I was (and still am) super excited, because except for the camera, it has all the features I use Glass for, and more!

And it might actually be reliable instead of standing in public saying "OK Glass" three times like an asshole to get the thing to respond.

Oh yeah, and how we aren't getting upgraded to the 2GB version even though I paid $1,600 for it during their "one day sale." Its almost like Google is trying to kill Glass.

That'll show me to walk around outside like a tool, defending Google as I wear Glass.

I also have Glass and it is a similar paperweight for me. I'm a bit more skeptical about the watch since (a) companies have released smart watches in the past, and (b) I'm skeptical about the use cases tackled by Android Wear.

but don't you think that someone staring at their watch during a conversation (or even in large meeting) is quite rude and distracting?

People already do this with phones, I don't see how watches are any different/worse.

Some people even say it loses elections: http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2008/01/17/a-damaging-im...

No different than looking at your phone.

I'd say it's less rude and distracting than looking at your phone

sure you can turn it off, but wouldn't that defeat the whole purpose?

"Google's Sundar Pichai said, adding that it was "designed for form factors beyond mobile.""

"ART: ... Truly cross platform: ARM, x86, MIPS"

Sounds like they may be setting up to make a proper run at the desktop market? Now that all these Windows 8 machines are out there with cheap touch panels, it's shown that cheap desktop/laptop computers can exist with the necessary interface bits to work.

edit:and watches and cars apparently

It's hard to ascribe a whole lot of meaning to "designed for form factors beyond mobile" because mobile battery powered compiling is the most demanding case. I suppose it means they can scale compilers for ART across plugged-in, big battery, and small battery cases.

Dalvik, and Dalvik's JIT compiler are definitely tuned for small batteries.

Tuned how? By being slow as f..k? That actually makes it much worse for small batteries.

Dalvik claims to be twice as fast interpreting DEX compared to Java bytecode interpretation.

The Dalvik JIT compiler focuses on critical sections of code. There's a reason you don't see Hotspot on battery powered devices.

Large amounts of the Android framework, especially the foundations of drawing and the View hierarchy, are in C or C++. Compiling an interactive app to native code makes much less difference in performance than a synthetic benchmark of DEX interpretation might lead one to think.

The Dalvik JIT compiler focuses on critical sections of code. There's a reason you don't see Hotspot on battery powered devices.

Hotspot get its name from the term of art for a critical section of code, though. That's not something that makes them different from each other; it's what they have in common.

What separates them must be that only one of them was designed with a power budget in mind.

Only in a very general sense. Dalvik's JIT really tries to minimize JIT compilation. Modern Java JIT compilers are oriented around the goal of extracting maximum performance from compiled code. That's priority #1, and there is no #2.

Vic Gundotra's absence couldn't have been more conspicuous. That guy was a great presenter and a showman. Also, was it just me or did the keynote feel really long? I don't think it was a good idea for them to change the one-keynote-per-day format, especially when they didn't have stuff like new moonshot announcements or q&a time with the ceo to make it more engaging and interesting. Sundar was perfect for the second day keynotes about chrome and web. I don't think he is a good replacement for Vic for keynotes. The whole keynote felt a bit stale. The protests livened up the keynote more than the presenters did.

I wonder why neither Page nor Brin came on stage.

The lack of any mention of Google+ was absolutely deafening. If we needed any more confirmation that it's been dismantled within Google I think this would be it. Interesting though that nothing was mentioned to take its place or give us any hint about the future. At very least, they need an identity service of some kind to power the other platforms.

Is Google+ the new Blogger?

Gundotra was a great showman. When he announced Hangouts and the replacement for Talk, I was excited and interested! With his clever skills, he managed to conceal the fact that it was a piece of junk that did away with the most useful features of Google Talk, and so I have never upgraded Talk.

Clever showman.

EDIT: Why the downvotes? Gundotra was a good showman. Hangouts also removed features from Talk, eg. is someone actually online when I want to talk to them. Was this wrong? Or was someone angry about these facts?

You bet somebody got angry. There are all sorts of fanboys who start foaming at the mouth as soon as they see a perceived slight of their sacred cow. For some reason, these tend to be the same sort of people who accumulate scores high enough to be able to downvote on HN.

Haha, thanks. I do not yet have scores high enough to be able to downvote, but I wonder if that's because I keep saying things that people downvote? Very Joseph Heller.

I think it's just that they had nothing interesting to announce and not the the speakers.

I dunno if they really did have nothing interesting. The part that is intriguing is the fact that they repeated over and over again that this was the biggest overhaul of android yet, while being very unenthusiastic about it.

I think this might be because they've either changed strategic direction or are awaiting an overhaul of senior management, what with the Nest acquisition and Vic and Hugo's departures and all. I think the stuff that they had to announce today was simply a lagging indicator of their current direction.

Strange, all this features with the Android Auto I can already do with my Moto X. Ok, is not displayed in the car's big display ( but I don't have one! ), but I can do almost everything without using my hands.

MOTOACTV is also a precursor to this wearable watches, pretty much capable at least the notifications. Nonetheless, this was more sports oriented.

Voice actions and Motorola Connect are the best parts about the Moto X, in my opinion. Like you, I don't have a fancy dash display yet either, but the experience with the Moto X makes me long for the day when one could take over UI / input control automatically without even taking the phone out of my pocket or handling it at all. I will go in for an upgrade in auto at that point!

Oh yes, I forgot about the Motorola Connect, it jumped on me when they demoed the Phone-Chromebook integration: hey, I already do that.

It so sad that now for Google Motorola is not a poster child, but something that they try to forget about it.

I didn't see Moto X listed as an initially supported device for the forthcoming Chromecast "screen mirroring" feature either- although maybe I missed it. Hopefully it comes soon. I use the Chromecast constantly and would be all over this.

I had such high hopes for a Google-owned Motorola too.

Oh man they've added 5000 API calls. That's 1000 more than iOS 8. Guess Google wins.

Love the downvotes, but I was just trying to show how silly numbers like that are. What does '5000 API calls' even mean?

Maybe they've added Getters and Setters for every private variable, via a macro (to save typing)? That will certainly mean many more API functions to call.

Or are they counting how many times they make calls to a part of the API? Like calling a function in a for loop or something?

Either way, I'll applaud unnecessarily.

EDIT: Thanks for the downvotes! Here's to humour on HN!

Google already won so no big deal.

Native office file editing sounds extremely useful, depending on how well it works. I'm somewhat dubious, given other efforts, but if it does work it'll be great.

Anybody knows what these protests were about?

I wish the press would stop feeding the pigeons.

SF housing problem. Why do they protest at Google? It's the local government fault. Let Google and the rest build some flats.

According to the article, the eviction was by an executive at Google.

So protest that person instead of the entire company.

The problem is you're using logic here, while these protesters are motivated by personal emotional circumstances.

She mentioned being evicted, so probably housing.

Is there a screen in the audience telling the audience to applaud ?

I think they've just been told to applaud whenever the speaker pauses awkwardly.

I think I like it better than manically applauding every bullet item.

This will keep me laughing all day, thanks!

Honest question: Are the people who are protesting people that paid to get into I/O or do they get in some other way?

One of them was in the press area and one of them had a paid badge around their neck.

Luls, they let in fact press to protest, but didn't let me in for the first time in 6 years... Nice job Google PR!

No Tesla nor Mercedes in Android's Open Auto Alliance :/

And no toyota.

I saw Toyota

What is the deal with these protesters?

Wish the speakers wouldn't look so nervous.. of course all that flicker and frame drops during the unreal demo didn't help.

iOS, Android and Windows 8 are all greater than the sum of their parts when you buy in to the complete ecosystem. I hope auto manufacturers are going to be able to make mobile OS enhancements modular to their vehicles. I would really hate to pay for CarPlay (iOS for cars) in a car but have cast my lot with Android, or vice versa.

Edit: corrected name of iOS for cars

Was that frame skipping when they showed the 3D game demo? aka. Apple Metal

Frame Skipping has been around for decades, Apple Metal didn't invent it.

Wasn't saying Apple invented it. I was asking 1. whether it was frame skipping (confirmed now) and 2. Apple Metal reference is for those that remember how well their demo went of their engine.

Consider that a $100 phone can have a reasonably well designed OS

Oh yeah, we're there. My Lumia 520 only cost $100, and I find Windows Phone 8.1 to be delightful on it. The new android offerings look even better.

They look pretty but it appears to be reverting back to pale grey text on a white background, thereby making it impossible to read. Is this some nostalgic reversion back to poor contrast screens like old Psions or the cheap Palm Pilots when the battery ran down or something?

It's unreadable.

The new keyboard is beautiful.

Tuned in late; did he make any mention of the battery life for the MotoX? One of my favourite things about my Pebble is the battery life.

Does anyone know if they will make videos of the workshops/smaller talks available? I'm interested in a lot of these talks.

They always do. You can usually download them soon after the conference, but lately Apple and Google have been moving toward letting you download them within a day during their big conferences.

I noticed there also Code Labs, for example the Android Studio one. There are lots of VODs up for other day one talks, but since Code Lab is a bit different, do they usually release stuff for those, like walkthroughs/tutorials ?

You can watch it live (and I believe offline) using the Google IO app.

One UX issue with the watch is that it seems it will need many swipes to find the one app you're looking if you have more than a couple apps installed (see the number of apps people have on their smartphones now), let alone find the one screen you're looking for in that app; but I suppose they expect people to use voice commands for that.

Everyone receiving a Moto 360. Nice.

I liked how the whole audience sighed when the 360 wasn't ready to ship.

Ok so, I don't have a TV and my car is 2004 and don't even have bluetooth. What's the point of the new new new features so far? Pretty much nothing, no use, thanks.

It's a preview to what's coming up so that industries and consumers can get ready. They're moving industries forward, not always catering to current or lagging users.

Someday HN readers will look back on the days of rampant middlebrow dismissal with fondness and nostalgia. Sadly, that day has come.

Are there any source that have live transcript for the keynote? Unfortunately I don't have a headphone at work :(

You can turn on the closed captions, but they're machine generated and foul up pretty bad on the accents of the presenters.

The live captioning - they look good. Wondering if there is any open source tool that is as good as that?

It was a snoozefest

L? I guess they wanted to be less whimsical. But in a couple years I'll have a hard time remembering which version that was like I can remember which one Gingerbread was.

I think they haven't found a nickname for it yet. Remember KitKat was called Key Lime Pie at first.

Doesn't the codename usually come before the project?

I believe the dessert names are the actual release names if I recall so a code name like 'L' is more internal and subject to change.

Disappointing to see that X-Box gamepad there. I keep hoping Google will take console gaming seriously-enough to launch some real Google-branded gaming hardware.


Why would they want to get involved in that market?

Because Amazon and Apple are dipping their toes into that pool and Google is playing catch-up on the set-top-box market instead of leading.

They sell games. They sell hardware on which people play games. They sell a set-top device that plays games. But they don't sell an actual controller for that device.

All of those are, arguably, markets that are distracting them from their core competency.

But they dip into all markets. Someone said they are a "me too!" company that hurriedly adds products in a particular market area, then abandon maintenance of it after a while.

Their core competency is marketing / search / ads, so I suppose the entire Android system and any hardware could be considered a side show?

BTW, I am a happy Android user (other than Maps and Talk, which have gone down the toilet).

Since when has Google made hardware(actual mainstream hardware not things like nexus or glass)?

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