We've got another Chromebook to cover today, as the Acer Chromebook was announced this morning at Google I/O 2011, in addition to the Samsung Series 5 model. This one is smaller, with an 11.6-inch display, Intel Atom N570 processor, 16 GB SSD, two USB ports, HDMI, and a battery that lasts for 6.5 hours. Google promises an 8-second boot time on these as well. The Acer model seems to be the budget line, as these are going to sell for $349 for the Wi-Fi model (if you want worldwide 3G, those cost a bit more.) Look for these on June 15th at Amazon and Best Buy.
Read More | Acer Chromebook
Google has finally set the path for the introduction of Chrome OS devices to go on sale to the general public, as they announced plans this morning at Google I/O 2011 for the introduction of Chromebooks. First up is the Samsung Series 5, which packs in a dual-core 1.66 GHz Intel Atom N570 processor, 16 GB SSD, 8.5 hour battery, 12.1-inch display, and 802.11n Wi-Fi. Other nicities include things like an HD webcam, clickable trackpad, two USB ports, and optional 3G. The Series 5 weighs in at 3.26 pounds, and you'll be able to get one from Amazon or Best Buy starting June 15th. If you are fine with just Wi-Fi, those will run for $429, but if you want worldwide 3G (which includes 100 MB of Verizon data per month for free,) that will cost $499.
Read More | Samsung Series 5
Just under a year from when Google and Logitech first unveiled the first Google TV, otherwise known as the Logitech Revue, Google I/O 2011 is this week in San Francisco with some real hope for the platform. Google just signed a deal that brings thousands of videos YouTube.
Content, content, content. Without it, you're as dead in the water as the some extended cable channel at 3 a.m. The only reason that fools like me own one is the vague hope that Google might see the light, open its pocketbook, and perhaps give us some real content to watch.
It's odd, in a way, that consumers could even gripe about such a thing. A few bucks to Netflix or to Hulu opens up a wealth of fresh and archived content that should keep the most devoted couch potato rooted for weeks. But there's something inutterably frustrating about visiting a website and seeing content blocked—blocked!—just because you own a particular piece of hardware.
It seems likely that Samsung will announce its Google TV devices this week, in addition to a Chrome OS netbook. With Logitech reporting just $5 million in sales for the Revue, it would seem that the supply will outstrip the demand.
But with Google's deal that brings rentals to YouTube, there's hope for the platform yet. While Google TV doesn't look likely to dominate the media streamer market, let's look at what Google could do to make the next generation of Google TV succeed.
It was just announced during the Google I/O 2011 keynote that the next version of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich, will be the melding of Honeycomb and Gingerbread. In other words, as Google puts it, you'll have one OS that runs everywhere instead of one for phones and another for tablets--hence, the name "sandwich." Makes sense. The universal Android 4.0 will run on both small screen and larger screen devices, and will automatically adapt based on the size of the display. It's expected to be released in Q4 of this year, which means that most devices won't be updated with Ice Cream Sandwich until 2012.
The Google faithful have converged at San Francisco's Moscone Center this morning to dive deep into the guts of the search giant's myriad services at Google I/O 2011. Sprinkled throughout the two-day blockbuster event will surely be some very important announcements (watch those keynotes closely) plus product and technology introductions. Here is some of what I expect.
No discussion of what Google has up its sleeves is complete without a lengthy discussion about the fate of Google's converged TV and Web technology. Logitech, Sony and others have bought into it—big time. But consumers aren't buying and it's clear that Google has yet to arrive at a winning formula. I have an Apple TV device at home and I can guarantee you that at least one key ingredient is simplicity. No external keyboard, no large, hoary box, nothing above $150 dollars. That, for the most part, does not describe the current Google TV. Apple TV also has a super-easy—if you're an iTunes/AppStore member—way of purchasing new content. Google's focus on Web-based content and letting everyone handle commerce in their own way is not helping Google TV or any of its partners.
I expect Google to introduce a significant update to the Google TV platform. One that will shrink the hardware, swap out components, and introduce a wholly new commerce strategy.
This morning, as part of Google I/O, Google announced their new music streaming service. They're calling it Google Music Beta, and it's currently an invitation-only affair. It's only available in the US for the time being. If you wanna get in on this one, you can request an invite through the portal that Google set up. No word on how long it will take to receive the invite once you put in your request, but hey, it's better than nothing.
Read More | Google Music Beta invites
Google I/O 2011 just kicked off, and you can watch how everything unfolds live using the video embed above. We expect news on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, Google Music beta, maybe some updates to Google TV, and some news on Chrome OS devices shipping. Hit play for the details!