How Long Will Australia Wait For The New Google Goodies?

Last week, we rounded up Google features we wanted to see rolled out in Australia. Today's announcements at Google I/O add a whole new set of options to that list.

Picture by henofthewoods

The major announcements at Google I/O (which I had hoped to attend in person before other factors intervened) were Google Music, the new feature list for Android 3.1 (code-named Ice Cream Sandwich), a promise that phones would receive at least 18 months of Android updates, an API for home automation and the ability to rent movies from the Android Market. Let's dive into each of those from an Australian perspective.

Music By Google

Right now, Google's music service is invitation-only, and those invitations are only being sent out to customers in the US. That's annoying, sure, but there's no particular reason to assume that the service will remain a purely American option long-term. Since users have to upload their own music to Google's cloud storage, licensing issues shouldn't get in the way (as they have for other services such as Google TV). I'd imagine the main reason Google is restricting the rollout is so that it can scale up the service over time, rather than having several million people simultaneously trying to upload their Metallica collection.

Android 3.1

History suggests that the first phone to get this following its Q4 2011 release will be a Nexus-branded device, which Vodafone will eventually sell in Australia some months after its launch. By the time that happens, keen early adopters will have either imported their own devices or installed a custom ROM version.

Regular phone updates

This is an appealing-sounding commitment, but I'm sceptical as to how well it will work in practice. Carrier and manufacturer customisations still represent a major delaying factor in getting newer versions of Android out there, although the number of really old 1.5 and 1.6 devices on sale in Australia is thankfully shrinking. For all that, I still suspect that rooting your phone and then flashing your own ROM will remain the speediest route to up-to-date Android goodness.

The home automation code

Other than mysteriously blocking local developers from selling on the Android Market until recently, Google rarely imposes restrictions on its developer code. As such, I can't foresee major delays with this stuff.

Renting movies

Frankly, I'll be amazed if we ever see this option: local licensing deals and bandwidth caps will be too big a blockage.

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Comments

    You left Google Books out of both articles, when will they hit Australia?

    "Android 3.1
    History suggests that the first phone to get this following its Q4 2011 release will be a Nexus-branded device, which Vodafone will eventually sell in Australia some months after its launch. By the time that happens, keen early adopters will have either imported their own devices or installed a custom ROM version."

    -- Wow, glass really is half empty isn't it?

    I'd very happily settle for Google Voice Australia...

      Oh man I want google voice so bad
      Please google Australia is waiting

        Google voice please. We have been patient enough. Please give us voice.

    I imagine google music is going to do their usual storage-saving thing - hashing each file and storing only a single copy, hotlinking to it from elsewhere. Most people listen to a relatively small subset of bands downloaded/ripped from the same sources, so an individuals music library might use a surprisingly small amount of space on their servers.

    Relatedly: If they can do the hashing at the user end (pre-upload), they can just skip uploading duplicate files to save time. If you can upload your 50gb music collection in an hour because 90% of it already exists on google music, You'll get a great first impression of the service.

    sure the music service is invite only atm, BUT the new music app itself should be available NOW to all froyo phones but it is not.

    YouTube's new movie pages at youtube.com/movie does appear in Australia but with only free content and no rentals like what the U.S. gets.

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