Jun 28 AT 2:39 PM Sean Riley 18 Comments

Google I/O day one leftovers: Glass, Chrome, Books, Movies and remote Play


Yesterday was a real action packed thrill ride of an event from Google. Along with the reveal that they apparently have a squad of elite extreme athletes prepared to invade a keynote at any moment, they also imparted a flood of new info on us and I’m going to endeavor to cover some of the spillover here.

Project Glass

Out of respect for the sheer ostentatiousness of the Glass presentation, I have to address that first. First of all if you somehow failed to watch it already then the video is below. Feel free to skip ahead a few minutes to their jumping out of the zeppelin (yes, you read that correctly).

So that happened, but what did we actually learn about Project Glass? Well the most exciting (and depressing) news for attendees of Google I/O is that they have a chance to pre-order a pair of the glasses that will be delivered to them early next year for the low price of $1,500. These will still be early prototypes and Brin went out of his way to stress that it won’t be ready for consumers at that time and that this pricing wasn’t reflective of what Google hopes to bring to retail by early 2014.

Chrome Browser

The Chrome Browser has finally had it’s beta tag revoked and is running free in the Play Store. If you were already using Chrome on your device there isn’t anything particularly new in this release other than improved stability — which is quite welcome — and performance enhancements. Some UI adjustments were made for tablets, not surprising considering the Nexus 7 will be running Chrome out of the box. Unfortunately no word on availability for anything prior to Android 4.0.

Google Play Books

The Play Books app saw some updates yesterday which caught it up to the rest of the major players in my eyes. The most significant of these updates was support for embedded streaming video and audio in books which has been taking off of late, in particular for educational texts. One nice new UI touch is the ability to simply tap the upper-right corner of a page to bookmark it. New settings options allow for auto text-to-speech and the ability to lock downloads to WiFi only. The rest of the updates were improving support for various formats and other stability fixes.

Google Play Movies

The highlight for movies was definitely the fact that you can now actually purchase movies rather than just rent them and TV shows have been added to the Play Store as well. This was a critical step for Google if they are going to draw users away from the iBehemoth. Now if Google could just get a competitive subscription service together I could actually start living in Google’s universe most of the time.

Google Play Remote Features

We’ve been installing apps from Google Play for over a year now and I personally use it all the time so I was thrilled to find out that Google is now also giving us the ability to uninstall or update apps from the web as well. As an admitted app hoarder I think this will be a big help in quickly sorting through and tossing some of the crApps that I installed on a whim and just never got around to ejecting.

Hopefully that helped get you caught up on some things you may have missed from day one. Out of everything that was announced yesterday what got you the most excited?

Sean has been with Android and Me for over 8 years and covering mobile for the last 9. He occasionally muses about gadgets and tech outside of the Android universe at Techgasms.

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  • droilfade

    The first day sure was thrilling!!! Can’t wait to get my hands on the Nexus tablet. What I was hoping was a Google Play redesign or something to make it easier and better to use. I would love a subscription service from Google. Will ditch Netflix in an instant :p. I hope they get something together with Gaikai too and get cloud gaming on to Play Store. That would be awesome!

    • http://facebook.com/jestertx2001 Jesse Moreno

      +1 on the Google subscription service.

    • erikiksaz

      +1 on not getting that rumored GB-play store lookalike =p It was uuuuuggggly.

  • spazby

    will looking at calendar make the nexus 7 show up faster at my door??? Can’t wait for it…

  • Noven

    I am happy about how everything is flowing together now. The demo of 4.1 showed how the OS is becoming more and more seamless. ‘Butter’ truly is making it seem more smooth as well.

    Chrome as the standard browser makes me happy as well. I’ve been using it on my One S and it is fantastic! Just wish I could set it as my default browser. Anyone know how I can?

    • droilfade

      When you open a link through a message or an email..it will ask you open through..Browser or chrome. Tick make this default and that’s it.

      • droilfade

        Or settings>Applications>browser>clear all defaults and then set Chrome as default.

      • Noven

        I know that is how it usually works, but I have not been given that option when opening a link. Maybe I’ll try to clear the defaults and see if the option will pop up then.


        • droilfade

          It should after you clear default s… let me know :)

        • Tony

          Another beautiful feature of ICS is that you can disable apps… I disable the stock browser the moment I install Chrome :) (works just great)

    • Steve Barry

      If I could +2, I would. You deserve one for a good post, and AT LEAST one more for a Billy Madison reference. Well done.

      The problem I see with Android and people thinking it’s ‘laggy’ is because it is…on devices that people get for free. The hardware is 100% crap so no wonder an OS can’t function properly. It would be like complaining that Windows 7 is a horrid OS because it won’t run properly on a PC built in 1995. Okay, a bit drastic but you get the point. There are no ‘low budget’ iPhones, so it’s no real surprise why it runs smooth on their one and only device.

      People with either a mid-range or a high-end Android phone don’t complain about it being laggy, do they?

      I’m running CM9 on a two year old Epic and it runs quite well…why? Because it had good hardware to support the software to begin with.

      • Androidicus_Maximus

        Absolutely. I think a lot of people over look that very important factor. I started out on a crappy Mytouch 3G which at the time I enjoyed but as the newer hardware came out able to run the OS properly it was such a better experience. Currently using a Mytouch 4G that my sister handed down to me and it runs just great.

      • Jimmy_Jo

        I totally agree! (I up-voted) It’s all about the hardware. My EVO 4G (no, not LTE the original) runs ICS pretty well and Gingerbread great once I rooted it and got some decent software on it. When you have limited internal storage and RAM and a UX/UI skin that bogs down resources you’re going to have problems. The OEM’s basically didn’t know what they were doing and they limited the experience due to hardware constraints. I believe with the One X and Galaxy S III we’re finally getting past that.

        This is crucial nowadays, as we’re often locked into 2 year contracts not 1 year anymore.

  • http://pallensplace.blogspot.com/2012/03/asus-eee-pad-memo-370t.html Pallen

    It is known among my friends that I have been following this tablet since its idea sake as the Asus 730T. One of my friends refereed on of his friends to me who is looking to get tablet for his wife and wanted to know whether to get the iPad or iPad 2 or if there were any other options…well I set him straight on that one and he also liked the price much better and he asked about some app alternatives to what he knows the iPad has. He is now considering the neXus 7 instead. YES, this tablet DOES compete for customers with the iPad.

  • skugern

    I am delighted with the Play Remote features – it will be especially useful to manage app updates for my not-so-tech-savvy family members.

  • izzo

    yea, woo-hoo, yea