Last week I went to the Google I/O developer conference in San Francisco and as usual (I’ve only missed one I/O, you see) I came back excited about the future and all hot on new technology.
Of course the stark contrast to all this cool innovation is the current state of the newspaper cum online news industry, which left a very small tinge of sadness around things — but that’s a post for another time.
Android was, naturally, the big focus but Google is a lot more than a one trick pony (again, there’s that tinge) so there was plenty of developer love for the non-Android types. There were tracks on Geo, App Engine, Google Apps, and handful of others as well. Some of the things that caught my eye were:
Man, Fusion Tables rock. I’ve known about them for some time but never really used them. Basically they’re database tables “in the cloud” and you can do all kinds of stuff with them — like SELECT and such — via a RESTful requests.
I was unaware how powerful they can be, especially for mapping — and I loves da mapping. I fully expect to use Fusion Tables in my next project.
Google App Engine
I spent some quality time talking to some guys from guardian.co.uk about how they use App Engine for their news publishing.
I’ve been intrigued by Chrome OS for some time. I know a lot of people don’t get it, not seeing how a Chrome OS powered device (aka a Chromebook) fits in with a tablet, but I see a distinct difference in the two and am really looking forward to getting my hands on a Chromebook — to both play with and develop for.
Included as part of the famed I/O swag this year was a new Android-powered Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet and the opportunity to pick up a Chromebook when they ship in June. So far I’m been underwhelmed by the tablet — so far it’s just a big iPod — but I have high hopes for the Chromebook.
Chrome Developer Tools
As a web developer, Firebug has been a staple but Chrome’s developer tools have really come of age and I was really excited to see some of the things they can do. Setting breakpoints on DOM element changes was pretty freakin’ cool.
So all in all it was two days of uber-geeking and I enjoyed myself immensely. Now I need to go build something.