This week, some of us at Telerik are attending Google I/O in San Francisco. We're not just attending though, we've been invited into the Sandbox for the second year in a row to show off some of the really amazing things that the engineering team has been doing both with HTML5, and Mobile. This includes not just Kendo UI, which has become a world class framework for HTML5 web and mobile development, but also the brand new Icenium platform for seamlessly building cross-platform mobile applications built on Cordova.
We additionally have some pretty nifty mobile billboards on display for Kendo UI.
There are nearly 6000 people in attendance here from all over the globe. It's not just Google. Microsoft, Opera, Mozilla - virtually everyone is represented and we're all brought together by the power of the web.
The keynote is a total of 3 hours today and there is far too much packed in for one post, but here are some of the highlights and things that jumped out at us as being really important to the web.
There have been major improvements in Chrome over the past year across all platforms.
Chrome now boasts over 700 million monthly users. Google has additionally been working hard to make the web faster by pushing forward technologies like SPDY, a faster protocol for transmitting data. Their image compression format WebP is up to 30% smaller than your average JPEG, and it additionally supports transparency, and of course animation for all your GIF needs. They have also introduced a video format call VP9 which is up to 63% smaller than H.264.
Chrome for Android has had an over a 50% performance increase in the past year. This is INCREDIBLY important to those of us who build HTML5 hybrid applications.
Google announced data compression on Chrome For Android which automatically converts your images to WebP and uses SPDY. This is highly important for users on limited bandwidth.
They also showed a new unified wallet mechanism that makes filling out shopping cart forms on mobile a snap. Shopping carts on mobile have a 97% abandonment rate because filling out forms on the web on your phone is painful, and honestly just not worth it. This new payment mechanism syncs across all of your devices running Chrome. Sync is still a huge part of the Chrome experience.
The enhancements here include a brand new timeline which shows you your information in a deep experience. Now the cards flip around and show you additional information related to that story. If you don't tag your posts, Google will do it for you based on the content of the post.
There are also massive improvements in photo handling including automatically touching up your photos and upgrading everyone's photo space from 5 to 15 gigs.
Search as we know it is evolving. In the past year Google has launched services based on something called a "Knowledge Graph". This is an algorithm that stitches together all of the disparate information floating around by defining relationships between them. This means that you can literally ask it a rather general question like, "When is the release date for the new Star Trek?" movie. It also is tied into your personal information so you can find out the status of your flight simply by saying "What is my flight status?". No need to be any more specific than that.
Being able to speak your search query is not new, but tapping or clicking a mic icon to do it can be fairly clumsy. Now you can simply begin talking to your browser, and it will converse with you to effectively search for what you need. The demo for this was really impressive. By starting with "ok google", the voice search is immediately active and can answer a question like "How far is Santa Cruz from here?". Chrome then responds with an audio answer as well as showing the map with the route already routed for you.
There was a lot more that was covered including a brand new Google Maps app for mobile and a completely redesigned web experience that you can request an invite for today.
If you are here at Google I/O, and you come and see either myself, Todd or Brandon in the Sandbox tomorrow and Friday. We'll be there talking about all the interesting things that we are doing with Google Chrome and for the Android Platform.
If you could't make it to I/O this year like so many, you can checkout Icenium or Kendo UI yourself and begin building the next generation of web and mobile apps today.
Burke Holland is a web developer living in Nashville, TN and the Director of Developer Relations at Telerik. He enjoys working with and meeting developers who are building mobile apps with jQuery / HTML5 and loves to hack on social API's. Burke works for Telerik as a Developer Advocate focusing on Kendo UI.