That mouthful is my one sentence description of Google I/O. The demo floors and tonight’s After Hours party are full of whimsy and wonder, literal playgrounds for technology geeks of all stripes.
The atmosphere at I/O is all about the possible, the future, and the fanciful. There are companies making robots, others building home mesh networks that can control all your lights, and yet others working on all sorts of crazy gadgetry. It was all very cool. I went from demo to demo filled with a sense of wonder of what the next few years might bring. Sure, there were really practical sessions about new APIs and tech, but stepping outside of the sessions put you in a geeky wonderland.
At the same time, I can’t help but see this as a metaphor for the differences between Apple & Google or Apple & Android. At Apple’s WWDC, it’s intensely about what will get done now. It’s about making connections and learning the tech that you’re going to put into your next application. Folks on stage demo apps that will launch very soon. Apple talks about features that will be available in weeks. It’s about go, go, go and very much about making money. It’s almost businesslike during the day, with fun during the evening.
WWDC is all about execution, making money, and shipping NOW. For Android, folks know it’s going to be huge, eventually, so they know they’ll make money, eventually. Every time I saw a cool hardware demo, or a neat looking app with some advanced tech, the answer I inevitably got to my, “When can I get it (I really want it!)?” was “fourth quarter this year” or later.
If that doesn’t summarize the state of the two app markets, I’m not sure what else does.
I’ll be adding more photos to my Google I/O 2011 set as I get time. I have some great photos of some of the demos at the party and around the daytime demo area. You can see what I mean for yourself.