Google: web apps to be as good as desktop apps

iPhone 3.0 Latitude demo

The close connection between Google and Apple meant Vic Gundotra got to give one of the first public demonstrations of Apple's next generation mobile OS. He showed off a new version of Google's Latitude social location application running on iPhone 3.0.

Latitude on iPhone won't be a standalone application; instead it'll run in the browser, and use the new browser geolocation features Apple will be providing for web developers.

HTML 5 is showing up in some unexpected places; Palm's Senior VP Michael Abbott explained how Palm WebOS uses several HTML 5 features in the Pre including using Canvas to make the Calendar scroll quickly and CSS transformations to rotate an album. Palm would like to add its new JavaScript accelerometer extensions for detecting how you're shaking your phone to HTML 5.

Google IO is an event for developers and there were several announcements for people building on the AppEngine cloud computing platform, including the launch of the Java service for App Engine and new techniques for the Google Web Toolkit Java to JavaScript compiler to make applications faster to download.

Get Google Elements for your own site

Google hopes the new Google Web Elements service will make Google's complex APIs – like Maps and Apps – " as easy to use as cut and paste" said Dewitt Clinton, and proceeded to do just that, quickly adding maps, discussions and search to a web page.

Google Elements could be a powerful tool for adding a little bit of shininess to your personal web page or a blog. The initial batch of Elements includes a Map tool, Google News, and a Conversation widget powered by Google's Friend Connect social networking tools.

More on Android Donut

Android, in the shape of the upcoming Donut release, got a quick look in – along with its new text to speech engine. Demonstrated as part of a translation application, this open source and can be embedded in any Android application to read information in a range of languages.

Donut also supports much more complex gestures than before. You'll be able to scrawl a letter on a screen to filter contacts or search media files. There's going to be more, but the Android team isn't ready to make any major announcements just yet.

Rather more exciting for the developers in the audience was the way Gundotra ended the keynote with what he called an "Oprah Moment", announcing that every attendee at IO would receive an unlocked developer Android phone. Distributing 4,000 handsets should mean more entrants for the second Android Developer challenge, which will give users a chance to vote for the winning apps too.

Google latitude on iphone 3.0


Mary (Twitter, Google+, website) started her career at Future Publishing, saw the AOL meltdown first hand the first time around when she ran the AOL UK computing channel, and she's been a freelance tech writer for over a decade. She's used every version of Windows and Office released, and every smartphone too, but she's still looking for the perfect tablet. Yes, she really does have USB earrings.