Google I/O 2013

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Take Away from Google I/O 2013

One of the problems with being too close to something is that you tend to be early on adoption.  I would  like to think with maturity and  wisdom comes patience to wait before jumping in.  After watching last year’s google i/o keynote, I immediately pre-ordered a 16GB nexus 7 with Android 4.1.  At the time, my wife and daughter thought it was another toy and a phase like my embedded platform experiences with  home brew tiny routers built on soekris in 2003 or perhaps the java rings in the 90’s. 🙂 Both my wife and my daughter are apple fans and own iMac’s and ipad, ipods so our family enjoys its share of technology trashing talking. I am a unix and linux user and my first pc was a sunos 3/80 workstation and not a pc running windows. Here at the house we have had a GigE network since 2002 and one can find almost anything from a ESXi server to windows clients booting off iSCSI.

After my nexus 7 arrived, they slowly became believers and my wife exchanged her phone for a Samsung Galaxy S3 running android 4.0 only a few months later and my daughter is now an Nexus 4 owner as of this week. The point I am trying to make is that I believe android and Google are very close to having most of the pieces in place to really change how we use computers and cloud services in the future and more importantly how businesses might layer their own services on top.  I still have a lot of concerns about privacy and security because I still haven’t found enough answers to what they are doing here.  I am free to structure my own security on top of their solutions which is my current work around.

I found myself moving in similar lock step fashion with our services in recent years by rolling it myself having been through leased lines to office space, colocation and cages in data centers, dedicated servers, and finally slices of virtual machines on demand. Through this period, I have also had a google premium account for 7 years to play with app engine, jotspot and been an Amazon cloud user since their pre beta days when you needed an invitation to use EC2.  Over this period, I have layered some of our services on top of this to provide our customers with additional redundancy that we use to pay a lot more $$$$ for that benefit.

Here is my take away from Google I/O 2013.

  • Google App engine now runs PHP… They showed drupal and wordpress.  This site is wordpress and we use drupal for non profits and corporate customers we help. That is big as anyone that has attempted to make PHP scale and protect it from security holes can attest. This is going to change the way we  think about solutions going forward. I am sorry that our beloved mod_perl sites have gone by the wayside.  It wasn’t for technical reasons because nothing beats it from my perspective. I have moved on with the exception of my poison ivy site however.
  • 900M android installs – up from 400M a year earlier
  • smart phones are mainstream.  I am not convinced people know how to use them completely but google is aware of this problem and this conference addressed why context matters and many of the developer talks were about making this user experience so easy that the device knows what you are thinking or asking without additional context to become useful.
  • The platform is no longer the news but the next generation apps.  Having geofencing, activity recognition, cross platform single sign-on, sync notification on devices (GCM – server to client, and client to server), youtube live video API, gmail inplace actions, etc, etc.
  • A really good IDE in android studio for the masses.
  • Google appscript with google docs
  • Chrome Package Apps
  • And so much more

I need to step back and really think about how we are approaching and architecting solutions for problems and layer more things on this and similar platform going forward.  Exciting times.