This week’s Google I/O event produced a plethora of news stories, despite lasting just two days. But was it all a whole lot of nothing much?
Honeycomb is being bumped up to 3.1. Is that really surprising? It was inevitable, of course, and the tweaks are fairly minor – certainly not enough to warrant a sweet new moniker.
Motorola Xoom users were the first to start receiving the update. They can now re-size widgets and plug in external hardware via USB. Meh. Incidentally, I’m not entirely sure I understand the whole tablet + keyboard thing; why not just buy a laptop?
One of the biggest announcements concerned Ice Cream Sandwich, which will supposedly be the “most ambitious” Android release to date. It’ll unite smartphone and tablet users in one big sandwich. Kudos, Google. Kudos.
But shouldn’t that have been the case in the first place? Android has historically been criticised for fragmentation, and Honeycomb only compounded that problem. It’s a bit like a guy kicking over a can of paint then being praised for a top notch clean-up job. Ok, that’s a rubbish analogy, but you know what I mean.
And so to Google Music. Google failed to secure the backing of the Big Four record labels, and so launches a cloud-based music service that’s, well, fairly similar to Amazon’s. Google has been mouthing off about its Instant Mix feature, which essentially creates playlists automatically. Underwhelming much?
Finally, there’s Google Movies. Again, a movie streaming service was surely inevitable, considering iPhone (and iPad and iPod touch) users have had access to something similar for a while, through iTunes.
Oddly, the thing that grabbed me most was the mention of a third Nexus. Not that we heard anything concrete, merely that there’ll be “an announcement at some point in the future.”
We’re looking forward to meeting the successor to the HTC-developed Nexus One and Samsung-made Nexus S. The first wave of dual-core smartphones has only just hit shelves, but there’s already talk that the next Nexus might be quad-core. Now that’s worth getting excited about.