Google's I/O developer conference kicked off today with several big announcements. We'll give you the short view here:
1. Music: this beta service (you'll need to apply for an invite) lets you store up to 20,000 of your own tunes on Google's cloud. You can stream your music from the cloud server to any device with Adobe Flash (sorry iPhone and iPad users). Google says the service is free while in beta, and there's no price set for the final release service.
2. Honeycomb, Android OS 3.1 is coming to the magical Motorola Xoom (Verizon 3G version) today. Though we've been checking like mad and haven't gotten it yet on our beloved Nexus of Android tablets. It adds goodies like USB host-- that means you can plug in USB flash drives and periherals (low powered, not hard drives).
3. Movie rentals. Visit the Android Market using your computer's web browser to peruse Google's hearty selection of big studio movies and indies films too. Rental prices start at $1.99, though most seem to cost $3.99. You can watch these on your computer or your Motorola Xoom (sense a trend here with the Xoom?). The movie service will roll out to the Android Market for phones running 2.2 or higher within a month or so.
4. Ice Cream Sandwich. Android OS 4. Yummy. For both tablets and phones, the new OS will be out in Q4 and Google touts it as the unifying holy grail for all manner of Android devices.
-------------------- Lisa Gade Editor in Chief, MobileTechReview