An unofficial blog that watches Google's attempts to move your operating system online since 2005. Not affiliated with Google.

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June 1, 2008

Google Invests in a Better Web

Google I/O's keynote, titled "Client, Connectivity, and the Cloud", discussed the latest Google developer-orientated initiatives and their significance. Vic Gundotra, vice-president at Google, explained that Google wants to make it easier to develop web applications by transforming browsers into powerful clients and by making "the cloud" more accessible.

Gears is an open source plug-in that adds offline storage, a local database, asynchronous threads, and other features which could be used to create web applications that are closer to their native counterparts.

In the fragmented mobile space, Google bets on Android, an open mobile platform that includes a powerful browser and APIs that enable developers to create applications which take advantage of the connectivity.

Google App Engine lets you build web applications without having to worry about infrastructure, setting up servers and databases. Anyone can create a web application for free and pay for more resources, once the applications becomes popular.

Google APIs could be used to enhance web applications by integrating them with Google's services: you can get data from Google's apps or from the content indexed by Google.

Web Toolkit lets you use Java to create the front end for AJAX applications and translates your code into optimized JavaScript.

OpenSocial is an effort to make the web more social by providing a standard for creating social web applications.

Most of Google's solutions are open source software (Gears, Web Toolkit, Android) and steps toward creating standards (Gears, OpenSocial) that should move the web forward. Google says that its only incentive for building these tools is that enabling the development of more web applications brings more Internet users and, indirectly, more Google revenue. Some of that revenue is invested in other initiatives that fuel Internet's growth and the cycle continues.

Here's the full 90-minute keynote. Don't miss the cool Android demo at min. 26.


  1. If Google wants to re-create the Internet as a full platform, they need to move beyond the strong limitations of AJAX applications - namely that they're difficult to write (compared to a desktop app) and so slow (it's just a script, not real code). Google's just pushing the web to adapt rather than evolve. We need a new language or a new browser, or a new platform or something. Adobe Air seems to have the best strategy for this so far.

  2. @ephilei
    google has started that. GWT is an initiative to simplify code development. Try it ...Believe me, its damn simple and easy to maintain too. And regarding 'script' and speed; Google gears deals with speed issue. It puts more responsibility on client. (cos now browsers are smart :)). What Adobe is trying is to redefine web. So consider a million of web developer redesigning all webpages :)

  3. I must say, this is a really cool blog. Usually you write about the good things and a bit less about the others.
    I use ff2 and Google browser sync. I tried to switch to ff3. I was surprised. There is no support for the extension.
    You can read very interesting info at:
    Do you know any further about a possible upgrade?
    cheers, P

  4. @pvojnisek:
    From what I know, Google Browser Sync is no longer maintained, but it could be open sourced. I find it surprising that Google didn't include its features in Google Toolbar.


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