Feb, 15 2011

Consider this a post-event live blog of sorts. Notes and thoughts written in real-time as the event went down.

They just showed an awesome timeline and heat map of Android activations since the G1, highlighting the launch of the Droid and the dramatic sky rocketing adoption of Android. Along with mass distribution of devices has come development of apps: 150,000 applications are now on Android Market – a figure that has tripled in 9 months.

It’s not surprising he claims Android is the “fastest growing mobile platform in the world”, and I don’t have to do any cross-checking to believe him. I doubt you do either. Of the news you’ve heard at Mobile World Congress, how much is Android related? Thought so.

Schmidt gets into the discussion of people becoming consumed with technology so much that they don’t interact with eachother socially, in person. He argues the counter-point, that mobile technology and what Google is hoping to do is give you great access and capabilities so you can spend MORE time with the people that matter in your life.

I see his point, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been to restaurants and see a group of people at a table all playing with their phones, none of them talking to each other. Head down. Different world. I’m guilty too. You can’t blame technology though… people need to find a balance themselves. Self-control?

Last year, Schmidt predicted that within 2 years, smartphones would surpass PC sales. He admits he was wrong because smartphones have already surpassed PC sales.

Hardware capabilities have advanced dramatically. Carrier data networks have advanced dramatically. Next up? Cloud computing. Schmidt poses a lot of “Why doesn’t your phone do XYZ?” questions, suggesting it should, and it will.

Schmidt brings a guest on stage who shows us a new Android application for editing videos on Android Tablets, illustrating with the Verizon-connected Motorola XOOM. The app has pretty cool functionality to alter video looks, crop, add music, mix and mash videos, shift everything around and compose a pretty nice polished final product.

The app is called Movie Studio and I get the impression it was created by Google but I’m not totally sure.

Now Schmidt continues the discussion of “new apps that could be built”, explaining how you could extend Google Instant Search to Google Autonomous Search which, while you’re walking, would automatically pull up information depending where you are, displaying the data it thinks you needs based on date, location, time, and other trends.

“Mobile search is a core part of our business” but then jumps into Chrome and YouTube:

  • Chrome has 120 million active users
  • 6 times faster than a traditional browser
  • YouTube has 35 hours of video uploaded every minute
  • 2 billion views per day
  • YouTube Revenue doubled in 2010

The Next Decade

Schmidt wrapped up his talk by suggesting be “believe in the optimism” that we can use technology, phones and computers to make the world a better place. He then talks about small ways they’ve made the world a better place, two of them being:

  • You never forget anything
  • You never get lost

He rhetorically asked, “when is the last time you had a good getting lost experience?” and got a few giggles. Although I’m not sure this is the optimism that makes the world a better place – some other examples may have sufficed. Never being lonely or bored were other examples he gave… hardly the mobile version of Ghandi.

In decades, your car will be able to drive you home. Of course it will have a kill switch in case of any bugs, but this technology IS coming in the years ahead. Perhaps not a couple years but probably a couple decades.

One point he made that I rather enjoyed was the explanation that our future is, “a future of the masses, not the elites.” He explained how historically information was for the elites which is an interesting and truthful point. With the proliferation of technology, many, many people have a voice when before they didn’t even have access to information.

Q&A

Question #1: Goals for mobile advertising growth?

Answer: targeted TV quality ads, personalized (with your permission) to the viewer to provide a relevant experience that provides return on investment for the advertiser.

Question #2: Fragmentation (*sigh*)

Answer: there are standards people need to meet in order to get Android Market on their device. Companies want Android Market so they should conform. It should only take a couple months to update. Gives Gingerbread as an example. (I think Schmidt needs to tell some of the carriers/manufacturers it should only take two months!)

Question #3: What will Google do to improve financial part of our lives?

Answer: Schmidt pretty much explains NFC and says it will revolutionize the game. Claims that “within that there are opportunities for large businesses”. (I start thinking of new business ideas)

Question #4: Asks about ooperation with partners and do you like Twitter?

Answer: Leads with “First of all I like twitter and I tweet”. Then talks about partners

Question #5: Asks about 2.X for phones, 3.0 for tablets, Chrome elsewhere.

Answer: Gingerbread for mobile phones, Honeycomb for tablets. A dessert with I will combine the two branches. Roughly 6-month development cycles.

Question #6: Asks about HTML 5 and why Larry Page isn’t here

Answer: “HTML 5 is the way almost all applications will be built, including for phones.” and Larry told him part of the CEO deal meant Eric had to fly all around.

I took a break to post this story and then picked up the Q&A again below.

I picked it back up right when Schmidt mentions that Google tried to get Nokia to run Android and they chose Windows Mobile instead. That’s pretty crazy. I mean, it’s pretty logical and what we were all hoping for, but it makes me sad inside. Nokia Android phones would be an awesome addition to the world. Oh well.

Question #7:  How can Google get educational institutions to embrace Google’s platforms

Answer: Google has tried but doesn’t have a killer education app. Incumbencies is a problem. They’re trying to get Android into the educational circuit much more though.

Question #8: Android is successful, moving to computers?

Answer: Yes, it’s Chrome OS. Everything in the Cloud.

ALRIGHT TIME TO PACK UP!