Probably the biggest event on the Android calendar is Google I/O, and it's just around the corner, running from the 18th of May to the 20th. This year's event will be held at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, where the first Google I/O event took place in 2008, rather than the usual Moscone Center in San Francisco.
There has been much speculation as to what this will look like. This is, after all, relatively new territory for the company. But thanks to a custom map released by Google, and built using Google Maps' MyMaps feature, we now have an idea.
For Android fans, Google's corporate head quarters in Mountain View has taken on the mythical status of Willy Wonka's chocolate factory. But for all the cool stuff that comes out of it, the Googleplex is essentially just a collection of big office buildings, no more or less interesting than any of the wide office parks in that part of California. Google is preparing to build a new campus, and its current proposal to the city council shows off a series of buildings that aren't quite like anything else in the world.
The most striking part of the proposal is the huge translucent covering that wraps around the Google spaces, creating an effect somewhere between an enormous circus tent and greenhouse.
Earlier this week, the following crane lift project notice was posted around the famous Android statue lawn next to building 44 on Google's Mountain View campus:
Of course, this sighting sparked a variety of rumors - after all, it would only be natural to assume that any work requiring a crane lift involved a new statue being installed, which would mean we'd finally find out the name of the L release. Lemon Meringue Pie, as the LMP abbreviations have been suggesting, Lollipop, or something else?..
Our tipster Seth reported getting 4G connectivity on his Galaxy Nexus around Palo Alto and Mountain View, getting Speedtest.net speeds of 13+Mbps down and 8+Mbps up. After looking into the situation, I found a number of users of the S4GRU forum confirming connectivity in the same area, along with Sunnyvale and Cupertino, the home of Apple.
If the imminent announcement of ICS and the Galaxy Nexus isn't enough to sizzle your circuits, here's another little tidbit coming down from Mountain View. The date and location for Google I/O 2012 has been set in stone. 1 million or more developers, as well as journalists and lucky Google enthusiasts, will converge on Moscone Center West in San Francisco on April 24 and 25.
I/O has become a Mecca of sorts for tech fans, where gifts of tech from the not-too-distant future are bestowed on all, such as last year's special version of the Galaxy Tab 10.1. As such, a ticket to get in the door is a hard thing to come by, and Google usually gets pretty creative with giving them away, holding developer contests and the like.
Earlier this year, on June 16th (which also happens to be my birthday), I stepped out of a train in Mountain View and, to my delight, caught my first ever 4G signal in the Bay Area. It seems I was not alone, and soon many of you were reporting seeing a weak signal, which slowly grew stronger and spread across the Bay.
Fast forward 6 months, and the announcement is finally here - Sprint just unleashed the 4G hounds and is officially supporting San Francisco, Palo Alto, San Jose, and Oakland in full capacity. The new WiMax connection has smaller latency and is over 5 times faster than 3G, although the coverage area still lacks quite a bit.