Eric Schmidt Keynote at MWC: Notes & Thoughts


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.


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.


Rob Jackson
I'm an Android and Tech lover, but first and foremost I consider myself a creative thinker and entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for ideas of all sizes. I'm a sports lover who cheers for the Orange (College), Ravens (NFL), (Orioles), and Yankees (long story). I live in Baltimore and wear it on my sleeve, with an Under Armour logo. I also love traveling... where do you want to go?

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  1. boring.

  2. Nooooo!
    I don’t want ChromeOS. I want Android on my computer.
    In fact, for years, I have very much bought into the future that the Atrix promises. But it needs a universal standard connector. Your magic touch screen voice operated computer is always in your pocket. Data on the device, but always backed up in the cloud. Drop your computer into a laptop dock, or a comfortable large screen desktop dock, anywhere even at your friend’s house or a hotel.
    Oh, and your magic touch screen voice operated computer in your pocket just happens to also make and receive phone calls.

  3. If Schmidt is serious when he says it shouldn’t take long to update, then what the #### is holding up Gingerbread for Google’s own Nexus One?!

  4. PHANDROID! What is this? !!!!!!

  5. Why didn’t anyone ask why I don’t have Gingerbread on my N1 yet…I’m starting to get very pissed at the Big G.

    Stupid of me to think a device only one year old would still have good support…

  6. Dear Phandroid admins/staffs,

    Your commenting system SUCKS!

  7. I do agree with AndroidToy, in addition yall need to switch to disqus

  8. You don’t have Gingerbread coz they’ll directly update to 2.4 or whatever number is Ice Cream.

  9. @Danny: I agree, right now Android has everything I want and need for my netbook. Flash, Apps, simple netbook friendly UI. Once the guys at Androidx86 get Honeycomb working thats gonna be on both my netbooks.

  10. Oh god no.. Disqus sucks. This system is great, allows people to comment with out any anoying log ins.

  11. does anyone have cr-48. if so how are you likening it

  12. @Len,, agreed.

  13. @Tyler, amazing, but gotta be near intranets (i tether to my EVO) but amazingly quick platform to pick up and use as a daily “buisness-type” platform

  14. @Pitrick- AGREED. Nobody has the guts to ask Schmidt why fragmentation has hit the Nexus Series. Nexus was supposed to be the one platform we could count on unobstructed upgrades of PURE ANDROID. It’s been 2 months now and officially fragmentation has hit the Nexus One. There is no reason why my Nexus One does not have Gingerbread. The only reason I can think of is that they want to sell more Nexus S phones. Thanks Google!

    Why did I pay $550 again?

  15. @tyler
    Yeah, I have it. It’s allright for a netbook, because all you do is being online, but if want to get something downloaded, moved on flash or other file menagement it gets really stupid.

  16. @10 because you’re a naive and irrational consumer

  17. I don’t give a shit about anything Eric Schmidt says except when Honeycomb is going to be finalized. FUCK YOU GOOGLE GIVE US HONEYCOMB

  18. Sorry to jump off topic, but thank you Phandroid for finally putting a time stamp on your articles, as opposed to just the date. Nice touch!

  19. “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!)”
    This doesn’t reflect well on the Nexus team at all. They’re really testing their best customers’ patience now. (Fortunately for me, I’m very patient, but as one can see from the posts here, many aren’t.)

  20. @Tyler I have one. Without an internet connection, it’s just a paper weight (and a heavy one, at that, considering there’s no HDD in it). They do give you Verizon 3G for two years, but limit it to 100 megs a month. Everything is done in the Chrome browser. Their “apps” are nothing more than bookmarks. Most flash videos besides YouTube are choppy and unwatchable. Flash crashes a lot. Sound has a tendency to crap out, requiring a reboot to fix. It has a USB and SD card slot, but I haven’t been able to get anything to work with them. Overall, it’s pretty slow.

    The only pluses in my experience, so far, is the battery life and the boot up speed.

  21. @Tyler
    I have a better overall impression. It is still in experimental stages, but, works well for what it is designed for. I do not see it as a replacement for a desktop or laptop, but, lesser, more than a tablet.

    Youtube and other streaming videos are a little choppy, but, have improved a lot (at least they nearly always play now) than the first week it came out.

    Battery is great, it’s heavier than you may think, but, not what I would call heavy.

    They do need to work on their ‘apps’ and I think it’s almost like fragmentation for developers to work on Chrome Apps and Android Apps. A combined or cross platform (java-esque) system would be nice.

    I like it for light travel and ‘time wasting’ or as a potentially inexpensive child laptop. I think with the lack of potential for viruses and the ability to automatically track their website usage (with google history) it is a nice alternative for younger children to ensure they do not go places they shouldn’t.

    I would definitely buy one next with, if there are some basic improvements and at a decent price.

  22. What I hear from people who have the Nexus S, it’s fairly unstable. It feels like they rushed Android 2.3 to market, and it’s not yet in a version stable enough to OTA to the world. I’m feeling it’s probably a Good Thing, that us Nexus One owners are still on a reliable 2.2.

  23. With regard to the rollout of Gingerbread (2.3), the problem isn’t when N1 owners will get the update, but whether they’ll ever get it and why Google can’t provide a clear answer on the upgrade policy for devices which are not carrier or manufacturer dependent. As far as I am concerned, I do not expect any further Google upgrades to my N1. A major reason for purchasing an unlocked and unaffiliated device at a premium price is significantly devalued. Doesn’t exactly endear me to the Google ecosystem.

  24. @everyone who replied to me.

    I got one out the blue the other day.Did not think i was getting one. I have it a few days. I’m getting used to. I’m getting bored with the cloud computing and going to install ubuntu one of these days. I”m going to keep testing out the os for a little bit longer. i hated Chrome browser when i first started to use but now it’s the only one i use.

    i reason i asked if anyone had it was i just wanted to see how other people felt out it, or knows good tricks to hack it

    already got the dev swtiched and can access their “shell”

    ps sorry about bad grammer. I’m at work and trying to this post fast ….

  25. For all those complaining about n1 and updates. How many updates has it already received? They have now released their next iteration of the google phone. Upgrade! iPhone 1 users don’t get to make use of all the new functionality iOS offers today either. Technology advances at a fast pace. To expect manufacturer updates on a smart phone past two years should not be realistic expectation in my opinion. It is cost prohibitive and in some cases counter productive to keep supporting devices that old as backwards compatibility can prevent advances in some cases.

    Personally I applaud the amazing pace of advances Google has made going from very behind Apple to equal or arguably ahead of them. I eagerly anticipate new developments each day like a child on Christmas morning :)

    On that note… Release the release date and prices on the new honeycomb tablets already! The delay in those details is eating me up inside not to mention the cutting edge wanes a little every day on those devices! I see Android crushing Apple in this relatively market as well as long as they are able to hit the market with reasonable prices. If they try to match or go above Apple prices they will never get the chance to get the word out that they rival other options. Apple earned it’s name already … Android tablets will have to earn theirs in the public eye before they could charge on equal ground to Apple regardless of the obvious possible difference in profit margin which consumers don’t care about.

  26. (to add to that thought line) … I should clarify I do not think feature updates should be expected after 2 years. However major security issues should be addressed quickly for up to 5 years IMHO. After that your battery is probably toast and hard to replace anyway. :)

  27. it should be showing, i’m looking forward to it.

  28. Hmm my memory was off. N1 was only pulled from Google’s shop May 2010. So for some people purchased less then a year ago. Complain away ;). Tho my understanding is upgrades for it are being worked on now?

  29. LOL @ that pic! It looks like he’s dancing to that Men at Work song:

    “We can dance if we want to
    We can leave your friends behind
    Cause your friends don’t dance
    And if they don’t dance
    Well they’re no friends of mine”

  30. We can dance we dance, oh its the safety dance

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