In San Francisco yesterday morning, Google’s big developer conference I/O made a series of somewhat predictable announcements to the some 5,000 developers in attendance. Given the internet giant’s preference for cloud-based computing and open standards, it came as no surprise that Google is throwing its weight behind HTML5 and the first truly open and royalty-free video codec, VP8.
Born from the WebM Project, created to develop a high-quality, open video format for the web that is freely available to everyone, Google joins Mozilla, Opera and at least 40 other publishers, software and hardware vendors in bringing true open-source video to the web. Having acquired the video technology earlier in the year, developers have been anxious for Google to release it into the open source community. Finally, they have their wish.
On the HTML5 front, keynote speakers reiterated Google’s support for HTML5 and the resulting cloud-based browser computing that the company is known for. HTML5 pushes forward a browser-based experience that not reduces the need for plug-ins and eliminates the need to download and install specific programs.
To better drive that point home, a company named Clicker was welcomed and they demonstrated their product, Clicker.tv. The Clicker user interface allows users to search, find, tag and watch video from a myriad of sources across the web, regardless of whether it originates with YouTube or Hulu. And with Clicker, the user doesn’t need to go searching for the content on sites across the Web and doesn’t need to worry about installing special software to the machine.
In other announcements, Google is re-launching it’s Google Wave product, but this time around no invitations are required. Anyone can begin using it freely as part of Google Labs and as a bonus for Google Apps administrators, they can enable Wave for all users at no extra cost.
Recent improvements to Wave make it faster, much more stable and easier to use than when initially released. New features abound as well, including email notifications when updates occur, easier navigation, permission management options, an extensions gallery, and of course an improved Wave API for developers. If you haven’t already tried Wave, or even if you have and found it to be rather clunky, now would be a good time to check out the improvements.
Google’s I/O Conference runs through today, so stay tuned for further announcements.