Google I/O 2012

You might have heard that we just got back from Google I/O (it was sort of a big deal for Android fans). We're tired, we're cranky, and we're sitting with our sore feet propped up just waiting for next year so we can do it all over again. It's work, but it's the best part of the best job a nerd could ever want. You also probably heard about the "big news" from Google I/O, namely Nexus tablets and Jelly Bean. But that's not what I/O was really all about. 

Google stretched I/O into three days this year, and that gave us 33-percent more of what's really important about the entire event -- code-jams and sessions for developers by developers. Google I/O is all about the code. I had that epiphany sitting in an overcrowded room waiting for one of the great talks from the Android developers to start, looking at the excited faces of people who felt exactly the same way I did. I was there on a press pass, but at heart I'm just a code-monkey (Thanks for this Dr. Lee, I owe it all to you). I've moved away from it as of late, but every time I see brackets or a .h file I can't help but remember what I really am. The under-appreciated folks who gave the talks and answered all our questions left me star-struck, and satisfied in a way that wine or women never will.

The keynotes were impressive, there's no doubt. Skydiving and magic glasses are impossible to ignore. The toys kick ass, and I'll use them until I wear them out, knowing all the while that getting them from Google makes me lucky as hell. But for me, they were just the appetizer for the main course, which was held in each of the smaller rooms where geek-speak ruled the day. Some were more interesting for me than others, some I attended simply to stay abreast of Android's direction, but every one of them was important to the future of technology. Google I/O is good for Google and all their products, but you still have to appreciate the lengths they go to so that we can learn. It really is Mecca for a Google fan.

There's one other thing that a trip to Google I/O (and probably Apple's WWDC or any similar event) will remind you of. In a room full of Android phones, MacBooks, iPhones, and Blackberries (sorry Windows Phone) you realize that squabbles about which platform is better don't amount to a hill of beans and all the noise about lawsuits and rivalry is just that -- noise. We were all there to learn, and we all learned how to make technology better. Better for Android, better for iOS, better for the web, and most importantly, better for you and me. News is news, and we still have to make a bit of noise ourselves, but I want to take this one chance to mention that it doesn't matter what brand of consumer electronics you use, only that you like it.

I've got a head full of Google and Android to try to put into words the next couple of days, but I wanted to start with what's important. I cant wait for next year!


Reader comments

Google I/O 2012 - more than swag and Jelly Beans


I felt it necessary to register for AC just to say, "I concur." Well done Jerry. This article is like a rainbow amongst the storm clouds.

Absolutely agree, look forward to all articles by Jerry. He is an Android fan, but respectful of other platforms (as demonstrated in the article), is extremely knowledgeable about all tech (not just Android), and has an excellent writing style. A "code-monkey" with excellent writing skills, a rather rare combination.

WOW Jerry! That was one of the most inspiring editorials I've ever read, seriously! I'm not a code-monkey, as you put it, myself but your passion here made me want to be one!

Too bad that press pass didn't say Jerry Hildenbeard. That would have been epic. Also I'm still laughing over the guy a while back who said. "Beard, what a nice Jerry you have there"

Thanks Jerry love your writing perspective.

very well written. I will be passing this along to friends, some of whom are ios friends. The ones who I talk to about the difference between android and ios, but never try to convince the other that one is best. It's nice to know that while everyone has a platform of choice, this article shows that we all just want the same thing. I great platform to use.

2nd last paragraph is pure win. Epic. And not that I'm a writer's critic or anything but the feel and tone of this post was different. You can tell it was written from the gut about something you care about. You weren't just replying to the week's hottest topic, or covering the newest chunk of hardware. No, this time it was from the gut and from the heart -- and to me it came through quite clearly.

Thanks for sharing Jerry. I don't know QBasic code (anyone else remember that?) from Linux code... but a post like this makes me want to attend I/O next year

Excellent article. Are these events open to the public to attend, or do you have to be a writer, developer, etc? I would love to attend such an event next year.

Well said Jerry.. I really appreciate that you are more like me than your cohorts over there, and I really respect your point of view. This post really sums up my feelings when I was able to attend last year. Was not able to get in this year. Hopefully with any luck and a quick finger next year will also be my year. This post deserve more +1's and likes than I can offer.

Great Post... Glad to you enjoyed yourself and highlighted the REASON for IO.. not just the cool gifts but the knowledge and relationships that are built over 3 days of fun, drinking and learning. Course magic glasses and Skydiving is rather cool :)

Jerry, you're one of my favorite code monkeys, but if code on a computer screen leaves you "satisfied in a way that wine or women never will," well that's just...that's just too bad.

Well put Jerry. It was obvious in this writing that you "Get it". "Get it" as in truly appreciate the times that we, as tech junkies, currently live in.

I'm hoping to have a large enough following for my small time, electronic tech rag, that will make attempting to attend Google I/O 2013 that much more rewarding.

Hope to see you, and the rest of the Android Central team, there. In the meantime, I look forward to the great tech that is in the pipeline.

- Kevin

Well said. Its the sessions and code labs for the developers that really make IO what it is.

I wish I could have gone. But since Android development is still just a hobby that doesn't bring in much money, it would have been a hard sell to convince my wife that it was worth the money to go. I am in the process of watching every session that they have video up for. Excellent way to learn.

This post has "geek" written all over it, and I admire that :)

The reality is that Day 1 of Google I/O makes all of the headlines and marketing hype, but day 2 (and 3) is what makes Android what all of us consumers know and love...even if we are completely oblivious to what goes on. It's where all of the magic happens that we eventually benefit from. Those devs deserve all the free goodies they get.

Great post. You're totally right about the rivalries. In a conference like this or WWDC, it's about software engineers/programmers, using companies' visions and funds to make our lives better. Regardless of platform or even company, there is usually some amazing stuff coming out of Apple, Google, Microsoft (sometimes :P), or independently. Politics ruin everything!

Really liked the article!

And if you are not going to keep your Google I/O lanyard, please, send it to me!!! If possible with a Lloyd pin. ;)

Well said, Jerry. I especially appreciate your words and tone about platform loyalty and using what works for you. I completely agree, and wish more felt the same. I own a Galaxy Note phone and an iPad 2 tablet so I see both sides of the fence, and to be honest, both a wonderful devices I wouldn't want to live without. The bickering and moaning about which is best and who copied what and got what device banned is ... sickening.

Let's all just use what's best for us, and hope the companies that make our beloved devices wake up to themselves and get back to developing, improving and making new toys for us, rather than waste god knows how much money in the courts. That hurts all of us.

Well said Jerry, I may not be a code monkey but I love what y'all do! in less than 24 hours I had the ability to flash the latest version of Android onto my phone and that just gets my geek going! I have lots of friends with iPhones and we like to poke fun at each other but what it really comes down to is we have some very neat gadgets in our pockets, gadgets that are more powerful than our first computer for many of us! That is dang cool! now, if you don't mind I have Jelly Bean to flash onto my phone! :D

so say we all!

I just love the "Neckbeard" bit Jerry. Thanks for the coverage of io so far. Looking forward to hear more in the next podcast. I hope the benefits of "project butter" reach my UK- Galaxy S2 one day, 4.0.3 seems to have made the screen less responsive for some reason. I was also surprised to see how tall Alex is.

Have a good one.

I see the problem: the reason Google I/O "satisfied in a way that wine OR women never will" it's because you have been using them incorrectly. Instead of the disjunctive "or", try them with the conjunctive "and". WAY BETTER RESULTS!