The greatest event of the year is over and once again I started making my plans for the next year. I must admit since 2009, every year I attend I see a better an more exciting event. This year the event was sold out just in 50 minutes and even myself barely got a last minute ticket. After 2010's two phone giveaway the expectations were high and rumors were around.
This year something slightly changed. I/O is not gift for everyone conference anymore. Although they had given the marvelous Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 to everyone several sessions offered gifts only to their listeners. Also some vendors had their own after I/O events and had their own gift sessions. I was lucky to attend LG's 3D event to pickup a Optimus 3D phone. I must confess although i am not a 3D fan for movies and tv i am very impressed and excited about 3D phone which can shoot 3D content.
Unlike last year, this year IO had a better organised pre-conference event called Bootcamp. Bootcamp had 101 sessions on most of the conference topic and let developers had lab sessions and code side by side with google employees. One of the interesting topic on bootcamp was running PHP on Google App Engine. PHP is not natively supported and performed by the jvm you will still face problems like can not querying sql and still need to connect to jdo/jpa from php.
The IO kickoff with android logos floating around 5000 people in the keynote which is watched live all around the world. Keynote day 1 rocked the android world with the announcement of Open Accessories and the development kit. This will definitely be a huge leap in Android platform since this is something much different and bigger than made for iphone program which was aimed third parties to build accessories and speakers for the device. Open Accessories is definitely target much more than a pair of speakers and simple docks. Very soon our android devices will be tightly integrated with our homes, cars and other electronic equipments around us.
Google IO also introduced us the Music Beta and Movies. Music Beta is a very interesting and new concept which would store whole your music on cloud, letting you to listen anywhere on any device. Movies would be offering similar service as other movie rental services but with an option of watching even when you are offline.
Google IO keynote also had important news on Android OS. Version 3.1 is very close. Another great news is device manufacturers and operators agreed on bringing the latest firmware to their device as long as the hardware supports it. This will greatly decrease the fragmentation and most probably keep the market on two main OS versions (which was google's prediction and goal). Finally the great news! The new version of Android called Icecream Sandwich will be targeting all devices from phones to tablets.
The keynote followed by great android sessions introducing the Open Accessories, going deeper into Honeycomb (by Chet Haase and Romain Guy), expert tips for Android development (Reto Meier) and finally the long waited NFC session. I must confess seeing the nfc tags in our badges really made me believe we would be getting nfc phones on the second day. With that much Android content I had no chance but to skip other stuff including GWT. Thanks to Google all those sessions we missed are available online.
Second keynote of the IO was all about news and announcements about Chrome Store and Chromebooks. Chromebooks are targeting to change the way we use and administer computers and also the way applications installed. Thw whole OS, applications and user accounts rely on cloud which may seem troublesome today. However in near future when internet connectivity will become even more stable.
The second day of the event offered great HTML5 and GWT sessions as well as more Android sessions. Some of the highlights were Android TV, bringing c and c++ games to android (where listeners received Sony Ericsson Experia Play) and High Performance GWT. Sadly I missed most of those but had chance to attend a private Developer Advocate event where we had chance to directly meet and talk to Google stuff. Listening Vic Gundotra's positive and sincere talk was really encouraging and inspiring. Seems like the following years Google will keep up the IO tradition both with the quality of sessions and gifts.
IO 2011 is over and there are tons of session videos available to watch (even rewatch). So till next IO take your time watching the sessions and following events in your local area.