The first day of the Google I/O conference has come to an end and San Francisco is now jam-packed with geeks partying like the rock stars that they are. A few people thought that I was in San Francisco at the conference however I’m actually still here in sunny LA watching the conference live on You Tube while I’m here working away! This morning I did my best to keep up with the keynote and share some of the highlights, if you missed these you can read them below:
Now that the first day is behind us I thought I’d share a few quick highlights that I didn’t get to this morning. When Google makes moves it impacts every single one of us, especially those of us who generate our income from the Internet. To make your life easier I’ve decided to make these highlights short and sweet:
- Google’s new music streaming service is called Google Play Music All Access, it does have Pandora-like features for creating your own radio station and is available starting today with a 30-day trial. After that the service is $9.99/month unless you sign-up before 6/30/2013 and then it’s only $7.99/month. As a music nut I will be trying this and sharing my feedback and maybe even a video of me rocking out if Sonos decides to add it soon. You can check it out at play.google.com.
- Of course what most of you have been waiting to hear is changes announced to Google Search. The big announcement here is conversational search for desktop which means that we are getting one step closer to a keyboardless society. Rather than just doing a boring old voice search you can now ask Google questions as if it were a friendly robot there to help you along the way, a bit like Siri. So now you can say things like, find cool bars in Marina del Rey and places like Bin 73 will pop up for your libational pleasure (yes, that is one of my favorites). However, like Siri, I think it sounds cool in theory but don’t think a lot of people will use this, still only time will tell.
- Google maps is getting a nice refresh but you’ll have to wait until this summer to check it out. Since it’s clear that Apple has no idea how to do maps correctly I’m pretty sure Google maps is going to be a dominant force for the foreseeable future and I look for ward to seeing these updates in action. One of the coolest new features I saw them demo was the ability to search maps by activity, here’s a screenshot of what it’s going to look like:
- Google added 41 features to Google+, not sure why they didn’t go with a nice round number like 40 or 50 but heck I guess 41 is better than 40. One of the most notable is a new three-column layout. Think nobody is using Google+, think again, there are over 390 million active users on the web, boom!
- No major new announcements with Google’s Chrome browser except for the fact that it’s the #1 browser in the world with over 750 million active users. Chrome is really bad for any Domainers out there that make their money with direct navigation traffic since the URL entry bar defaults to search rather than .COM. The only browser not doing this now is Firefox which will most likely do this soon. Of course that doesn’t mean direct navigation traffic is dead, people still type in keyword .COMs all day long, but typically for sites they already know and love.
- Last but not least Google wasn’t shy about the fact that android is kicking ass and taking names. I’m still a Mac geek but I know plenty of Android geeks out there and the developer community is huge. So far 48 billion apps have been installed from the Google Play store…in my book anytime a number in the billions is thrown around, that’s a big deal.
These are just my highlights, for full coverage I highly recommend you head over to TechCrunch and soak it all in. Oh and sign-up for Google’s new streaming music service if you want to lock-in the $7.99/month rate or at least to just play around with it for a month. I’m a big Pandora user so I’ll be doing some heavy comparisons of All Access vs. Pandora over the coming weeks.