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Home / News / Google I/O 2013 liveblog

Google I/O 2013 liveblog

The Big G is set to reveal all its plans for the year ahead – find out what's coming up here

Google I/O is a developer conference like no other – with the big G delivering a ridiculous number of product and software announcements each year. Want to get the skinny on the latest from Google I/O? We’ll be liveblogging right here from 5pm BST (9am PST) today.

To whet your appetite, check out everything we expect to see at Google I/O. From new gesture control systems for Glass to Android 4.3, there’s plenty to get excited about.


20:28 Women in tech: “We didn’t want our company to be all men. We have to get young girls excited about technology.”

20:27 “We’re not making the kind of fundamental changes we need to make.”

20:26 More on healthcare: “DNA sequencing will cost a dollar and things will come out of that.” Larry’s shared his voice issues and he now feels he should have done that sooner. “Why are people so focused on keeping your medical history private? Probably insurance and worries about being denied insurance. We should change that.”

20:25 Larry talks healthcare and Google Health: “We found all the issues were regulatory. It’s very hard to get technological leverage there. We found in that the kind of things we were working on, we weren’t able to move behind them due to the restraints.

20:23 Larry: “We’ve haven’t built mechanisms to allow experimentation. We don’t want the world to change too fast. As technologists, we should have safe places to try out new things to see the effects on society and people. We should launch things in a more humble way.”

20:19 “I could not be more optimistic. Computers and software will help us solve problems.”

20:18 “We’re not worried about personalisation confirming our own world views. A wide world view is good but the right answer to it is not randomness. 50 years from now hopefully our software understands what you’re knowledgable about and can organise the world to solve problems.”

20:16 “We’ve had a difficult relationship with Oracle, including having to appear in court. Money is more important to them than having collaboration.”

20:15 “Making a smartphone for a dollar is impossible. But take a longer view and you’ll probably start to make the investments you need to and you’ll start to make money.”

20:13 “The raw material cost of a smartphone is a dollar – glass, silicon and metals. Smartphones are expensive right now. As a technologist, we need to ask the questions about what the real issues are.”

20:12 “Ultimately, a lot of your experiences can move to Glass,” he says.

20:11 “We’ll get the minimal spec out there and then work on it for 10 years. Basic use cases around photography and video. For me, that’s enough reason to have Glass. Communication and navigation is amazing, on foot. Core experiences are pretty amazing.”

20:10 Re: Glass – Larry’s not sharing production numbers. “It’s quite different from existing devices. Our main goal is to get people happy using Glass.”

20:09 “They don’t really cost the business too much either.”

20:08 “Every time we’ve done something crazy, people say you’re nuts. Like Gmail. We understand basic things about networking and storage, so we’ve become emboldened.”

20:07 “I would encourage more companies to do things outside their comfort zone, gives them more scalability about what could get done.”

20:07 “Sergey is focused on real atoms and not bits. He’s having a great time. Autonomous cars are just one things – we think there are many others. It’s one way the company can scale.”

20:05 “We need low latency connections that operate at computer speed.”

20:05 “One of the biggest problems we have in our data centres is networking. All these computers in the world are connected on a tiny pipe that is slow. Most comptuers are in people’s houses and can’t be used for anything useful. If we build that capacity via Google Fiber, it will enable lots of things.”

20:03 “We’re making sure we’re working hard to protect your private information and freedom of speech and security. It’s a big area of focus for us.”

20:00 Larry: Software you write shouuld be able to run anywhere.

19:57 Staged question from Robert Scoble! Please tell us about your lovely new sensors.

19:57 Hang around for the Q&A though.

19:56 I think that’s all the news!

19:56 Wow – Larry’s taking questions. That’s a bit new.

19:55 Hopefully not The Internship 2.

19:55 “Still just scratching the surface of what’s possible. I cannot wait to see what comes next.”

19:55 “That’s why we got involved with the film The Internship. Computer science has an image problem. We’re the nerdy curmudgeon. Well, I am.”

19:54 “We need more people like you developers, more kids falling in love with science and maths at school. More people working on important technological problems.”

19:53 “Sergey and I talk a lot about cars. We’re working on automated cars. Imagine how self-driving cars will change our lives. More green spaces, more freedom, fewer accidents – imagine getting your average 50min commute back to do other things.”

19:53 Long ago. humanity was basically farming or hunting all the time. That’s still true for a lot of people in the world and the reason for that is technology.

19:52 Larry finds the negativity about Google against other companies disappointing. The most important things are not zero sum.

19:51 Technology can improve people’s lives and the world. Google only has 1 per cent of what’s possible, and is still moving slower relative to the opportunities it has.

19:50 Technology should do the hard stuff so people can get on with doing the things that are important in their life.

19:49 We put so much focus on our platforms, Android and Chrome. Tremendously exciting about all the innovation developers are bringing to life.

19:48 Phones have the same resolution as TVs and monitors. Smartphones and big displays are almost the same thing now. Lots of devices we use interchangeably.

19:46 In a raspy voice, talking about his family and his history with computing. Rate of adoption of mobile devices is incredible.

19:45 Larry, at last!

19:44 maps.google.com/preview – sign up now, first invites go out tomorrow morning.

19:43 Globe view has real-time weather. Zoom out again and you get the Earth in its real location, with stars in the background. Launches today.

19:42 Photospheres (like Microsoft’s Photosynth) can now be uploaded to Google Maps, so you can make your own Streetviews. (Lawsuits not included).

19:41 And now you can get the full Google Earth experience in the browser – 3D exteriors, lovely Street View style interiors of big landmarks, automatically generated from user uploaded photos.

19:40 New navigation feature directly compares driving to public transit on the map – this is clever.

19:36 Some tweaks to the road maps, where roads get labels as you click on destinations. Or click on one place and similar destinations are highlighted.

19:34 Right, they’re also adding indoor pictures of businesses, like Bing Maps.

19:33 Simpler map. All the results are labelled, not just pushpins. Pop-up menus to see ratings of businesses. There’s also a filter that shows only places your friends have reviewed.

19:32 Why yes, yes it would.

19:32 Wouldn’t it be awesome to have billions of apps, one for every user? A map just for you. Also, bringing together underwater and space maps, in a simpler, more powerful interface.

19:31 About to reinvent modern mapping again – Bernhard Seefeld and Jonah Jones.

19:30 Nearly 11.30 and no sign of any new hardware…

19:30 New tablet Maps experience. Tens of thousands of indoor maps, with an explore option to window shop malls, museums, sights and so on.

19:28 Road navigation is getting real-time incident alerts, just like in Apple Maps, and dynamic rerouting.

19:27 Aha, Maps now includes offers from trusted partners. Better than ads, anyway.

19:26 Also expert reviews from Zagat and so forth – seems to be just smartening up the UI for stuff that Maps already does.

19:24 New Maps app includes social reviews of businesses from your mates.

19:22 Daniel Graf talking about Google Maps for mobile. Talking up iOS app – “it’s sleek, beautiful and… accurate.”

19:21 Visited by 1bn visitors each week – more than Google Maps home page.

19:20 Over 1m websites using Google Maps.

19:19 50 countries on Street View. 5 million miles in cars.

19:17 43 countries mapped by Google itself. Other places are covered by Map Maker, now up to 199 countries, including North Korea.

19:15 Talking of beauitful journeys, Maps. Brian McClendon.

19:15 Wow, search will change “how we experience this beautiful journey called life”.

19:14 Amit says the Queen of England can use voice search, which we suppose means it can handle accents.

19:12 Some nice features – say, “Show me pictures from my trip to New York last year,” and they pop up.

19:11 Voice actions for reminders, working for time and place.

19:10 Will work today for people participating in the Search Field Trial.

19:09 It’s all a bit Wolfram Alpha – but based on everyday activites rather than atomic weights and solar eclipses.

19:07 And it remembers previous searches, so she can just say, “How far is it from here?” Moving towards conversational interactions.

19:06 Johanna Wright shows off hotwording – OK Google, show me things to do in Santa Cruz. And it works, no hands.

19:04 Anticipate – Google Now. Getting better by the day. The more you use it, the more useful it becomes. Soon, you’ll be able to set reminders in Google Now and they’ll show up at the right place and the right time. Like Apple does. Also new cards on public transport, music, TV and games.

19:02 Voice recognition. Ask a question and get a spoken response – all desktops and laptops and mobile devices. Conversational Search and Hotwording – just sit back, say OK Google, ask a question and have Google speak back an answer.

19:01 Relies on mining your Gmail account. Currently limited to just some users?

19:01 He’s now promising we’ll be able to take some things for granted – just search on ‘my gate number,’ my holiday photos’, ‘my dinner reservation,’ etc.

19:00 Three zones. First up: Answer. Knowledge Graph becomes more powerful every day. Starting today, Google will not just give you the answer to the question you asked – but guess what you’ll ask next.

18:58 He dreamed of building a Star Trek-style voice recognising computer. And, guess what, his dream came true!

18:56 Now it’s back to Google’s spiritual home – search. Amit Singhal tells us search as we know it is ending…

18:54 Phew. Auto Awesome creates new image from ones you’ve taken. Animates sequential stills into little motion movies. Also does HDR, smile, panoramas and mix group portrait to get the best result.

18:52 Applies on all of your photos, if you want. Rolling out today.

18:52 It will make all your photos look like estate agent shots – crazily wide dynamic range, super-saturated tones.

18:49 Adjusts dynamic range. Analyses faces for hair line, teeth, wrinkles. Subtle but effective.

18:47 Enhance is next. Obviously, image editing tools are out there. Today, Auto Enhance will make your memories look beautiful. Tonal distribution, skin softening, noise and red-eye reducition and vignetting.

18:47 Big cheers from the room. But just a little bit creepy.

18:46 It eliminates blurriest pictures, duplicates, bad exposure. Then analyses to recognise landmarks, smiles and now even accounts for aesthetics. Obviously it recognises your family.

18:45 Next feature is Highlight. Lots of image but no time to edit. Google can now pick your best photos for you – takes 100s of photos and edits down to a dozens.

18:44 A slide comparing Google+ to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram gets a laugh – G+ photos are bigger.

18:43 Backup. Unlimited photo back up at standard size, or at full res – now up to 15GB free.

18:43 Google wants to give you time back by doing tasks for you. Google’s datacentres are your new darkroom.

18:42 Now he’s talking photography. Apparently, photograhy is labour intensive, taking, editing and sharing pictures.

18:41 One other feature – face to face to face. One tap to drop everyone into a group video conversation – and it’s free.

18:40 Android, Web and iOS. All available today. Big cheer. Obviously, notifications are synched.

18:39 Although you can delete them.

18:39 So not part of Google+. It’s conversation focused, but any format, images, texts, video. Persistent conversation streams, like text messages today but for all content.

18:38 New application is Hangouts. It’s about conversations that last with people you love. It’s a standalone app.

18:37 Really.

18:37 Gadgets get in the way of real-time communication. You have to think about OS and devices before communicating in various ways – text, photos, video. “Even Google’s own services have been fragmented and confused at times”

18:36 More than half of all sharing on Google+ is done to private circles.

18:35 I imagine it will work with facial recognition for your friends too, right? Of course, Google ‘deeply respects’ the content producer and you can turn it off.

18:35 It will even analyse your images to recognise, say, landmarks and tag it automatically.

18:34 Then Google+ content is ranked and indexed so you can click through to personalised content that’s relevant. Actually, this seems pretty interesting.

18:33 Not just design, also about depth. Introducing Related Hashtags – Google+ will analyse posts and add its own hashtags.

18:33 It’s fast, fluid and fun. Menus and boxes that slide, cards that flip and fade.

18:32 New look is a multi-column, newspaper-style design. Dynamic columns – one on phone, but more columns on bigger displays.

18:31 Stream first – new on all platforms. And fixing the ‘flatness’ of feeds – it’s  nearly impossible to go deeper on a topic or interest at present.

18:30 Vic returns. What’s next with Google+ – 41 new features. New stream, new hangouts and new photos.

18:29 This one is on Google+. It has happy looking people and swelling guitar chords. That is all you need to know.

18:28 Lordy, how many upbeat corporate videos can one keynote contain?

18:27 “The web is your school. Go and learn.” About LOLcats?

18:27 Aww, Malaysian schoolkids are adorable! And smart, thanks to Google.

18:27 Strummy upbeat guitar music accompanying video about Chromebooks in Malaysian schools.

18:26 Sundar says over 3000 US schools running Chromebooks.

18:25 Launching Google Play for Education in the autumn.

18:25 That news again, every primary school child will have their own Google account. A huge opportunity says Chris, for educators, schools – and developers naturally.

18:23 Every student will have a Google account! Teachers can push downloads to hundreds of kids with one button.

18:23 Annoucing a new initiative to put cheap Android tablets in schools with content and apps. Google Play For Education, categorised by school years, subject and so on.

18:21 Chris Upson is back to talk about teaching with tech – and the gap between what’s possible with technology and what actually happens.

18:19 Education now, starting with Google Apps. 25m users in 200 countries. 74 US universities run only on Google Apps.

18:18 Well, it’s a way to get the shipping numbers up, eh?

18:18 Pixel – sounds like a giveaway! There is some excitement.

18:18 Sundar is back!

18:17 Seriously ripping off Philip Glass with the soundtrack.

18:16 Another multiscreen video – this time on the evolution of the web.

18:15 The game works on devices (including iOS) that are just lined up together, seamlessly moving the action from one screen to the next. It’s pretty cool – a collaborative gaming experience.

18:13 Racer – An experimental Chrome game. A simple Scalextric-style racing game, seems to be people playing multiplayer on different devices.

18:10 Apparently we’ve been seeing a ‘modern elegant design philosophy’ in Google services recently. Anyone? Anyone?

18:09 A jarring shift to mobile shopping, which is rubbish today – 97 per cent of carts are abandoned apparently. Chrome will make shopping from your phone easier by autocompleting payment and shipping information.

18:09 Beta service to compress data on Chrome for mobile.

18:08 YouTube will roll out VP9 support ‘later this year.’

18:07 Now talking about VP9 for video. 63 per cent smaller than H.264. This is good news – typically 50 per cent on most files.

18:06 So this isn’t new, this is the same WebP as last year.

18:06 Supports lossless, lossy, metadata and animated images.

18:06 Oooh, a new open source image compression software WebP. 30% smaller than JPEG at same quality.

18:05 60 per cent of bytes are images.

18:05 In the last month alone, we’ve had a 2.4x speed time from some lovely Mozilla code. Thanks Mozilla! Thozilla.

18:04 Speed. In the last year, performance of JavaScript has gone up 24 per cent on web, over 50 per cent on mobile.

18:03 Chrome focus is speed, simplicity and security.

18:02 Now Linus Upson of the Chrome Engineering team.

18:02 A hippy music touchy-feely game set in Rivendell.

18:01 So there’s a 3D WebGL game on the Nexus 10. Lovely 3D graphics.

18:00 Hobbit trailer on a Chromebook Pixel, and on a Nexus 10. It’s Google Middle Earth!

17:59 Thought not. Lovely machine but still very pricey for what it is.

17:58 Chromebook Pixel – the goal was to build the best laptop possible. Best screen on any laptop. Any news on sales figures Sundar?

17:58 People are buying Chromebooks. Honest. Sundar says so.

17:57 Adding 300m users of Chrome in the last year. Now up to 750m+ active users, increasingly on phones and tablets.

17:56 On to Chrome. Snazzy video.

17:55 US$649 dollars from June 26th on the Google Play store! No great surprise. But is this Google admitting that it can’t make phones? Where’s the Googlorola handset?

17:54 Biggest cheer of the day, maybe?

17:54 Samsung Galaxy 4 running the Nexus phone’s skin. Available through Google Play in the US (only?), unlocked and boot loader unlocked, and prompt system updates.

17:53 Here’s a Samsung Galaxy S4 home screen.

17:53 Just silence.

17:53 Silence.

17:53 Hah – Hugo intros talking about devices by saying the audience isn’t going to get one!

17:52 But no free option – Google is no longer the king of free.

17:51 Start by June 30 and it’s US$7.99 a month. Er, forever? Not a bad deal.

17:51 US$9.99 a month. Everyone gets 30 days free. Lots of whoops for that, but really, which subscription service doesn’t do that?

17:50 Yes, but how much does it cost Chris?

17:50 Listen Now is a home for suggested content. Not immediately clear how this is different from the Explore option. 

17:49 All Access blends together music. You can add albums and tracks to your library.

17:49 Not much enthusiasm for James Blake in the audience.

17:49 It’s radio without rules. And without ads, Chris?

17:48 You can turn anything you’re listening to into a never-ending mix radio station. You can see the future playlist and adjust it, dumping artists you don’t like.

17:47 It’s all about personalisation – fresh tracks, recommended playlists and suggestions even within genres. Plus curated lists and ‘key’ albums. Anything you see you can immediately start playing.

17:46 Google Play Music All Access.

17:46 Here it comes – millions of tracks from the Google store, combined with the power of Google search.

17:45 Started with locker service two years ago, then the music. But what’s next Chris?

17:44 Here comes that music service we’ve heard about. Will it be a Spotify killer?

17:42 Tablet specific view on the Play Store, plus apps made for larger screens.

17:41 Google Play Store has personalised recommendations – rolling out soon. Definitely a long way to catch up with Apple and Amazon.

17:40 Talking about improvements to Google Play, scaling over phones, tablets and web.

17:40 Next up, Chris Yerga, Engineering Director Android.

17:40 Hugo is API’d out. I know how he feels.

17:38 You can select, say, 10 per cent of users, and see if the app breaks.

17:37 Start your own Google – adding beta testing to apps so you can push out content to a larger group of users.

17:36 Now some referral tools to help developers see where their apps are being installed from.

17:35 Averages out at about US$100 per app, per language.

17:34 An App Translation Service puts devs in touch with professional translators – real humans who translate content in about a week for foreign versions.

17:33 New features for the Android Developer console – supposedly to make it easier to get customers and earn more money for developers.

17:32 Now Ellie Powers from Google Play development team is up.

17:31 OK. It’s a WYSIWYG coding tool, with live updates and working on lots of devices.

17:30 The audience of devs can feel their job getting easier by the second. Lots of cool preview tools for code, internationalisation.

17:29 Forget multiplaying – these devs want to see sick coding skills demo’ed live. Serious whoopage.

17:28 Android Studio based on Intellige.

17:27 As an aside, don’t see any journos here using Chromebooks – mostly Macs, a few Surfaces, Windows devices.

17:26 Total RF overload in the room – network fail. Ouch.

17:25 Ah, people love Google. Lots of sympathy in the room. trying to get a multiplayer game up.

17:24 Awkward silence as P2P mesh fails.

17:23 Big news – cross platform with iOS and Web. Real cross platform (although not Xbox)

17:23 Social leader boards – compare with your mates.

17:22 Aiming at Xbox, Apple. Achievements and leaderboards in Google Play.

17:22 Google Play Game Services. Cloud save – pretty obvious. Switch devices and continue play.

17:20 Google Cloud Messaging update lets you dismiss a notification on one device and have it dismissed on all of your gadgets. Big response to that – notification overload is obviously perceived to be an issue. Dismiss a notice on one device, and it disappears on all.

17:18 Cross platform, single sign-in make sense for power users – not sure it’s a big standalone feature.

17:17 Activity Recognition API – works out whether you’re walking, driving or cycling, without using the GPS.

17:16 And Geofencing. Put these together and you’re talking indoor location.

17:15 Fused Location Provider is big news. Less than 1 per cent of power per hour opens up location to virtually all apps.

17:11 48 billion app installs, apparently.

17:11 Hugo Barra’s up.

17:10 Everyone here was hoping for a billion.

17:10 Whoops. missed it.

17:10 I’m guessing. A billion

17:09 Massive build up. The bass is mental.

17:09 Still the worst logo of any operating system.

17:08 So Google is not competing with devs – it’s helping them.

17:07 But more excited about Chrome? Probably not. More claps, fewer whoops.

17:06 These guys love Android. And they like not being Apple.

17:04 Where are Larry and Sergey? I think I’ve stumbled into a history of computing lecture.

17:03 And he’s introduced Android chief Sundar Pichai.

17:02 Vic Gundotra’s up!

17:02 Best of Google video – maps, code, Android, video, lots of apps, “here’s to what you build next.”

16:59 Things are going a bit mental here. Chanting in the aisles. A pulsating O from the I/O logo on the screens – screams as we enter the last minute countdown.

16:55 And we’re in. Countdown timer, cheesy electro music and a billion geeks.

15:46 Some bacon-flavoured T-shirts.

15:45 And we’re in!

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