Google I/O 2012, keynote day 2: the highlights

This blog post describes the highlights of the second-day keynote of the Google I/O conference [1]. Just like last year [2], it was more Chrome-themed, as opposed to the Android-themed keynote yesterday.


  • Chrome now syncs its data (tabs, passwords, etc.) across devices.
  • Chrome is now on iOS. It supports syncing. The engine is the standard iOS UIView. That, among other things, means that its JavaScript engine is not V8. And it is slower than Safari’s, because only Safari is currently allowed to run the new JIT (for security reasons). Quoting Ariya Hidayat:
    For pure JavaScript, Chrome for iOS is 2x slower than Mobile Safari (iPad 2, iOS 5.1.1). Reason: no JIT in UIWebView.
  • Google Drive [3] gets more offline functionality in Browsers and is coming to iOS (mostly for viewing files).
  • Google Docs now allow you to edit offline and to sync back to the cloud later. Should be great for Chrome OS devices.
  • Chrome OS devices will be sold in retail stores. The devices from Samsung and Acer will be sold at Best Buy in the United States and at Dixon in Britain. Samsung recently introduced new Chrome OS devices.
  • Continuous Chrome OS updates: Even the first Chromebooks are still getting regular updates. Compare that to Android! I suspect two reasons: First, cell phone manufacturers are more eager to sell new models. Second, notebook hardware is more stable and thus easier to upgrade.
  • Google Compute Engine is in “limited preview”:
    Run your large-scale computing workloads on Linux virtual machines hosted on Google's infrastructure.
    If you have Linux software or want to write it, the advantages are lower cost and the ability to scale up to thousands of cores.
The new Aura user interface for Chrome OS looks quite nice. More information on Chrome OS devices: [4].


  1. Google I/O day 2 keynote [Ars Technica liveblog]
  2. Google I/O, day 2: summary of the Chrome keynote [2011]
  3. Google Drive – online storage
  4. Is Google's Chromebook a failure?