Google Developer Day 2009 has finally arrived in Japan!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009 | 12:21 AM




This morning more than 1,000 developers gathered for the opening of Google Developer Day 2009 Japan.

The opening keynote was attended by mixi's Kenji Kasahara, NTT DOCOMO's Kiyoto Nagata, as well as Google Japan's President Koichiro Tsujino. Joining in on the fun were Google's head of Android in Asia Pacific Tom Moss and OpenSocial engineering director David Glazer.

Due to some unexpected announcements, expectations of an exciting keynote were easily surpassed.

The keynote, entitled "A More Powerful Web, Made Mobile, Made Social, Made Easier", covered many topics:

HTML5 and Chrome

The standardization of HTML5 will finally bring application-class functionality to the browser, and it will be difficult to differentiate between desktop and web applications. Already, most modern browsers implement many of the elements of this emerging standard. Some new elements that were demonstrated:
  • Canvas - a place for doing real-time 2D/3D graphics/drawing within the browser, controlled by Javascript.
  • Video - another standard html element for embedding video, without the need for Flash, which allows for all control from Javascript.
  • O3D - an open source Javascript library that allows for 3D simulations within the browser.
  • Geolocation API - web applications can now access user location, with user consent, from both the desktop and mobile environments.
  • Web workers - threading and background processes will now be available, allowing for Javascript applications to be responsive in the face of long running events.
  • App cache and database - web applications can work offline, allowing for reliable applications in an unreliable network. The IPhone Safari version of Gmail already uses this feature.
  • WebSockets, Notifications, Rich Text Editing, and others - real-time chat applications, notifications, and full rich text editing now bridge the functionality gap between desktop and web applications.

Android and the Special Surprise

NTT DOCOMO's Kiyoto Nagata talked about the reasons why they chose to release a smartphone using the Android platform. Most important were the open platform and ease of use that Android provides. He spoke about how much he expected the smartphone market to grow, and announced that the HT-03A would be released in Japan this summer. He encouraged developers to innovate with new interesting applications that take full advantage of the smartphone capabilities.

Google discussed the Android Market, with its paid and free application options, highlighting the business opportunities available by releasing applications for the platform. Importantly, the Android Market is open, applications can be uploaded directly by developers. Once on the market, applications will be sorted based on user feedback and sustained interest.

Given the success of the first Android Developer Challenge, Google announced Android Developer Challenge 2. To assist developers with creating great new applications, Google surprised everyone and gave away a special developer version of the new HTC Magic Android phone.

OpenSocial

The web becomes ever more powerful when applications can address a large set of users, without needing reimplementation for every social platform. With OpenSocial, social applications can be deployed to many of today's most popular social websites simultaneously. In addition, Google introduced the OpenSocial Payments API. This API lets application developers easily collect money for application features and other purposes.

mixi's Kenji Kasahara gave an overview of the mixi platform. He explained how mixi benefits from working with OpenSocial, and the growth that mixi has seen as a result. Encouraging developers to add to the vast ecosystem of OpenSocial applications, mixi announced the mixi App Contest.

Open Social allows users to connect with each other and creates a more vibrant community within websites.

Google Wave

Developers were also impressed by the new Google Wave collaboration and communications platform, enamored with the real-time interaction and the productive possibilities it would bring. Among the demos was an automatically translating chat client, using Google's Translate functionality in conjunction with the Wave platform. All event attendees will receive access to the Developer Preview version of Google Wave.

Others

Google Web Elements - easily add bits of functionality to any website.
Maps API v3 - new API designed for Performance, Mobile applications, and Keyless usage.
Google Technology User Groups - first Japanese user group formed, focused on Google technologies. Monthly meetings will be held in Tokyo.

Afternoon sessions covered many of Google's newest technologies, such as
OpenSocial, Android, Google App Engine, and the Google Maps API. There were many Google engineers and partners on-hand to introduce these powerful technologies and answer developers' questions. At "Office Hours" between sessions, developers were invited to speak directly with top engineers on many Google products. Please check the full schedule for details on all the events and participants.

As Google Developer Day ends, don't forget to take part in our support programs, including Hackathons that will immediately follow Google Developer Day!

Pictures of the keynote are available here.



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