This week Google held a Developer Day in Sydney, where it discussed a number of emerging technologies coming out of the company.
One of the interesting things from the Google Developer Day keynote was the number of new releases announced by Google.
App Engine is now out of “Preview” , allowing cloud base development of scaling for both web apps and mobile apps. App Engine is fully supported and has a 99.5% uptime service level agreement alongside paid support and platform certification.
The company also announced Google Cloud Storage with US and European data centres as well as another release, the Google Prediction API – an API for machine learning in the cloud which it says can be used for tools such as spam filtering and language prediction.
Also mentioned was Google Cloud SQL, that allows SQL engineers to leverage the power of cloud computing and scaling within the Google App engine system.
HTML5 and CSS technologies were also demonstrated and displayed rendering and manipulate graphics in 2D and 3D, and allowing the graphics card to do the heavy processing freeing the CPU up.
On the social side, Google Plus Pages allowing companies and brands to have a presense on the Google Plus social Network, including hangouts video conferences.
Google also announced the immediate availability of its eBookstore in Australia, with an Android Marketplace section for book purchases also going live.
Android Ice Cream
Google also showed off the latest edition of its open source mobile OS, Android 4.0 aka Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS).
The goal of ICS is bringing the changes from Android 3.x (Honeycomb) to the phone platform.
One of the first points raised was the navigation bar in ICS. Ankur Kotwal began talking about having low and high profile navigation buttons to ensure navigation does not overwhelm the applications. An example of this can be seen in the Kindle App, where the onscreen navigation icons appear as dots (which is the low profile setting).
Further UI change are the Stacked Action Bar and Split Action Bar, allowing menu options for phones in portrait and landscape modes. Stacked adds further menu bars above the action bar, and split adds the menu on the botom of the screen.
Launcher Widgets will receive a revamp with multiple views (listview, gridview and stackview) and are now resizable. Anker also mentioned that widgets are a good way to draw users into developers apps.
More effort has been put into the idea of sharing. The sharing button in Android is easy to implement, with one line HTML5 to add it to an app UI and 4 lines of Java. Google is also providing yet another open API with the use not restricted to developers.
Multimedia in ICS was explained with products like Openmax al, media effects framework, HTTP live streaming v3, and support of additional formats as well as access to the low level of devices helping reduce latency and improve performance.
WiFi also has a direct change that allows ad-hoc WiFinetworks between Android devices with the data usage user control also implemented including data usage breakdowns and the ability to restrict data to apps or the device (for example, set data to use network during off peak periods).
Finally new enterprise features demoed by Google included certificate management (keychain api, install certificates and key stores and certificates chain) and VPN support.