Another Google I/O has come and gone, and I had a fabulous and geeky time there. The great thing about Google I/O is that it’s geared toward developers, so the sessions are usually code-based or overviews of new APIs and developments over in Google HQ.
Of all the things I learned about this year at the conference, the most exciting was learning what direction HTML 5 is heading in. Last year, I learned about the new <video> and <canvas> tags, but there’s so much more now.
This year’s conference was much bigger than the previous years. The conference sold out quickly with 5000 attendees. There were sessions going on in every room on the second floor of Moscone West Hall. I was most impressed with the bigger Developer’s Sandbox. It was 4 or 5 times bigger than last year’s. It was great talking to companies and developers who are already implementing Google products into their products.
Although I was drained from attending all the sessions, I didn’t want to miss the Google After Party. It’s actually a very geeky event with food and robots! The MakerFaire was in town and they had some amazing displays, robots, and man-powered machines all over the party.. definitely something you don’t want to miss while at the conference.
There was a lot of fun and excitement at this year’s Google I/O. There were many amazing announcements as well, including the Web-M project (standard video codec), new features in Android Froyo including support of Flash, Google TV, and our fabulous gifts for attending — the Sprint HTC Evo 4g — a gorgeous smartphone running Android!
Below is a summary of all the sessions I attended. For more information on each session, please follow the links to the Google Waves. The official YouTube videos will be coming soon. For more information about the conference, see the official Google I/O 2010 website.
Summary of each Session
Bringing Google to your Site – In this session, we got many different examples on how we can add Google to our websites. Some examples were using custom searches (now with auto-completion), Google Feed API, Adsense with AJAX (new), SideWiki, Buzz API and Google Font API.
Beyond Design: Creating positive User Experiences – In this session, I learned that there are 7 principles for creating positive user experiences: 1) Be fast 2) Be yourself 3) Engage in conversations 4) Be willing to give up control 5) Be polite 6) Be prepared for failure 7) Be reliable. Examples of these principles were also talked about.
Developing with HTML 5 – This session was great since the presentation itself was written in all HTML 5 tags and coding. If you flip through the presentation, you can try out the bleeding edge features available for browsers in the near future. Some new HTML 5-specific tags and features are offline data storage, JS APIs, <head>, <hgroup>, <nav>, <section>, <article>, <aside>, <footer>, new form field types, <audio>, <video>, <canvas>, new CSS selectors and font support, transitions, and so much more. Run the presentation in a Chrome browser to see what lies ahead.
Ignite Google I/O – This session was a lot of fun. Ignite sessions capture geek cultures in a series of 5-minute speedy presentations. Each speaker gets 20 slides that auto-advances after 15 seconds. Topics were of various topics, from surviving the North Atlantic ocean and breaking world records, to our habits of searching on the internet, to playing battleships in a pond. It was very entertaining and super geeky.. and is best if you see the videos once they’re up.
Google Analytics APIs: End to end – This session was given by a UCR Alumni, Nick Mihailovski! This session demonstrated advance techniques of tracking statistics on your website using the Google Analytics API. For more information, see “What is Google Analytics”
Surf the Steam: Google Buzz, Location, and Social Gaming was not my favorite session since they spent a few minutes talking about the new Buzz Api, and then started stepping through code on how to implement the BuzzBingo game. The one thing I learned from this session was that there’s a new Buzz API — great if you want to create a social game!
SEO Site Advice from the Experts was an excellent session. It was a panel of SEO experts who went through a list of submitted sites and let us know what the site is doing right and wrong about SEO. They talked about how important it was to use text on your webpages, how meta keywords aren’t indexed by Google because people inflate them, branding techniques starting with the domain name, content needing to be above the fold, page ranks, 301 redirects, and much more.
Optimize every bit of your site serving and web pages with Page Speed – In this session, I learned about a new project called Page Speed. It’s an open-source Firefox/Firebug Add-on. Developers can use Page Speed to evaluate the performance of their web pages and to get suggestions on how to improve them. Showslow.com is a demo website that shows the speed of websites. For more information, see Page Speed.
HTML 5 Status Update – In this session, the Chrome team went over new features in HTML 5 we should keep an eye out for. Their demo of the new Gmail was fun and quite intuitive. Drag and drop attachments as if it was a desktop app. New areas in HTML 5 include Offline storage, Media, Networking, CSS3, and Platform Integration (drag and drop, notifications, geolocation).