Google cracks open Jelly Bean OS at Google I/O
June 28, 2012 —
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Search in the spotlight
Google Now is the newest search capability on Android. With a user’s search history, location data and calendar info, Google Now can tailor search results for that user. Given a calendar item referring to specific flight information, Google Now returns results that may include the arrival time for that flight, public transit information for getting to the airport, and any other pertinent information it can find.
Google's other product lines were also updated at Google I/O. The company pushed hard to expand the capabilities of its social network, Google+. On the second day of the show, the company unveiled versions of its Chrome browser for Android under Jelly Bean, and for both iPhone and iPad.
For cloud users, Google App Engine has been a popular way to host applications on Google's hardware. At Google I/O, Urs Hölzle, fellow and senior vice president of technical infrastructure at Google, introduced the Google Compute Engine, which allows users to run virtual machines inside of Google's infrastructure.
“In 2008, we launched App Engine,” said Hölzle. “It lets you write simple, intuitive code to build your applications, then we take that and scale it. Today, it's supporting over a million active applications. App Engine receives 7.5 billion hits per day, and performs 2 trillion data store operations per month. We're very proud of what App Engine has enabled developers to do. You've told us you want VMs on-demand, with industry-leading performance and scalability.”
Unlike App Engine, which restricts users to specific languages and storage methods, Google Compute Engine is a standard public cloud offering that can host virtual machines. Hölzle showed a demonstration of the system with a genome mutation connection-detection application. When run on a 1,000-core cluster, he said, the application took 10 minutes to find each connection. On 10,000 cores in Google Compute Engine, finding each connection took seconds. He then cranked the application up to 600,000 cores, and watched as connections were discovered in milliseconds.
Hölzle said Google Compute Engine is available in a preview form today. He said the pricing scheme for it would be lower than industry standards, but did not detail pricing any further.
The company also announced the availability of its first consumer product, the Nexus Q. This spherical device plugs into televisions and stereos to bring content purchased on the Google Play store to home media systems. The Nexus Q ships in mid-July, and is manufactured in America.
Google Drive was also updated, with the online storage service now supporting clients for Android and iOS. Chrome OS was also added to the list of supported platforms.