I was fortunate to be provided a press pass for the 2nd year in a row for Google I/O which is the same number of years its been a defacto Android I/O conference.
I am not only an Android advocate but also an Internet marketer so below are my views from both perspectives.
First I landed in San Francisco from San Diego Wednesday morning & took the BART to arrive at the Moscone Center West in time for the first day keynote.
The initial day keynote was underwhelming in my opinion especially with my priorities, but the Android team all told me to wait until Thursday keynote as it will include huge Android news.
Beyond several of the Android sessions during the day I spent time at the Android manufacturer & application display area which also included a grand case of all the available Android devices
Later I had lunch with Matt Cutts, Head of Google webspam who is leading the Google I/O SEO session, & Vanessa Fox, who is a former Googler with a great new book out Marketing in the Age of Google and came in for an Ignite presentation along with helping Matt on his SEO session.
Matt stated he doesn’t miss his iPhone and has been completely Android for about 6 months where he even got rid of his old iPhone to his grandmother.
Then it was the after party that included an open bar, amazing food, video games, dance music, engineering displays, & of course Google cupcakes.
There was an after after party at Slider Lounge in downtown San Francisco where already rumors were running that Google was to be giving out the HTC Evo 4G phone to Android tablet or TV itself.
Thursday was the key day for Google I/O as Android was the front focus as kicked off with the keynote.
Android 2.2 Froyo was announced which included vast speed improvements, support for FLASH, & SD card storage for applications among others.
The new Google mobile advertising options looked really impressive and something that will only get better with the FTC approval of the AdMob purchase the day after Google I/O ended.
Then came out Google TV with demonstrations frustrated by the bluetooth interference from the audience before the major players CEOs took the stage.
After the keynote we not only got the HTC Evo 4G phone but were also handed out Google TV socks while I was also able to get a collectible Android figurine.
Then it was off to the press room where I got to talk to the Sony CEO, Howard Stringer, about the XPERIA X10 phone I had as he said no one in the US has it yet and “its too good to be given away for free” when he told me keep talking about it as it will come to the US eventually.
The Sony team then told me the reason for the XPERIA X10 delays to the US were due to FCC certifications and it should come out in the US this summer along with the X10 mini phones.
Interestingly the Dish Network CEO, Charlie Ergen, was asking me why I liked the XPERIA X10 so much and seemed to be taking mental notes as if Dish Network will be making an Android phone of their own.
During the press Q&A I asked the Adobe CEO, Shantanu Narayen, why we should trust FLASH on mobile when I had interviewed the leaders of the original Flash Lite team that left to form Ansca Mobile due to the perceived slowness & bureaucracy at Adobe…of course the answer was sidestepped.
Then was the Android leadership team press conference where I asked if they internally talk about the parallels to the Mac PC wars in the 1980s which they passed off as an apples & oranges argument.
I then asked Andy Rubin, the founder of Android & now Google VP of mobile platforms, what his ultimate vision for Android will be as I stated I felt a true Google phone would be one that is carrier independent relying instead on universal WiFi or whitespaces…I saw Andy smirk as an indication that may be on his mind as well before answering that there will be many forthcoming revolutionary features.
I then privately asked Andy Rubin whats it like to be the non-evil Steve Jobs and then thanked him for coming up with Android as he said to continue enjoying the ride as it advances further.
To help Android on this ride is the team behind him that includes recent addition Tim Bray who helped found XML as well the former Director of Web Technologies at Sun.
I enjoy Tim Bray as his opinion on Apple & the iPhone follows closely to mine when he was quoted as saying, “It’s a sterile Disney-fied walled garden surrounded by sharp-toothed lawyers. The people who create the apps serve at the landlord’s pleasure and fear his anger. I hate it. I hate it even though the iPhone hardware and software are great, because freedom’s not just another word for anything, nor is it an optional ingredient.”
After this was Matt Cutt’s SEO session which had the largest crowd of any session I saw trying to get in and then after there was a huge crowd ringed around him that was bigger than I seen at any Internet Marketing conference in recent memory.
I was mostly with the WebProNews crew of Abby Johnson & Chris Crum when we had to become defacto security to get Matt free for his video interview.
After his interview I asked him about microformatting helping SEO which he said will be sped up for rich snippets and have some SEO benefit where I then asked him about the mobile index forking from the standard.
He stated the internal team is really trying to prevent any index forking with the hope that when the Caffeine update rolls out it will further remove this need.
I then proceeded to the do the final WebProNews interview of the day as I talked about Android & mobile marketing with a seqway to the Mobile Location panel I will be speaking on at SMX Advanced in Seattle on June 9th, 2010.