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The Lowdown: Google I/O 2012 Day 2 – 310M Chrome Users, 425M Gmail & More


Google announced Chrome for iOS, extended Google Drive to iOS and Chrome OS and launched Google Compute Engine on the second day of Google I/O, its ongoing annual developer conference at Moscone Center, San Francisco. Here is a quick lowdown on all the announcements:

Google Chrome Stats: Sunder Pichai, Google’s Senior Vice President for Chrome and Apps, announced that Google Chrome now has 310 million active users, up from 160 million active users in the previous I/O. He stated that users have typed 60 billion words and downloaded more than 1TB of data via Chrome everyday. Further, he also claimed that users have saved 13 years due to Chrome’s page pre-rendering since its launch in June 2011 and claimed that Chrome is now the most popular browser in the world. Pichai also added that users have installed 750 million apps from the Chrome web store till now.

Chrome for iOS: Brian Rakowski, Vice President of Google Chrome division, launched Chrome for iPhone and iPad running on iOS 4.3 and later, which brings in features like Omnibox, Chrome Sync which allows users to sync open tabs, bookmarks, passwords, and omnibox data from their computer, and Incognito mode among others. Like its desktop version, Chrome for iOS has been localized for 50 different language including eight Indian languages - Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu. The app is currently available for free download on the iTunes App store.

In what seems to be quite ironic, this announcement suggests that Chrome browser will be available to iOS users before most of the Android users, in spite of the app being available on Android since February. Chrome for Android works only on Android devices running on Android 4.0 or later and according to latest stats from the company, only 7.1% of Android devices run on Android 4.0 or later.

Google Apps Stats: Pichai announced that Gmail currently has 425 million active users, up from 350 million in January 2012 and Google Apps is currently being used by 5 million businesses including large companies like KLM, Roche among other. He also claimed that 66 of the top 100 universities and government agencies across 45 states have “gone google” i.e. adopted Google Apps suite which includes Google Documents, Spreadsheets, Presentations, Gmail, Google Drive, and Google Calendar.

Clay Bavor, director of product management for Google Apps, announced that Google Drive now has more than 10 million users in 10 weeks since its launch. Although it must be noted that Google Drive is essentially an upgraded version of Google Docs, and there is currently no information on how many users of the 10 million were upgraded Google Docs users.

Offline Editing in Google Docs: Bavor introduced offline editing for Google docs which allows users to create and edit Google documents offline and leave comments on documents which will be automatically synced to Google Docs once the user goes back online. Users can set up offline editing on Google Docs by clicking on the gear icon in Google Drive and following the instructions. Bavor noted that offline editing is limited to documents at present but they plan to add offline editing for spreadsheets and presentations in the future.

Google Drive for iOS: Bavor launched native Google drive app for iOS and Chrome OS, which allows users to search and open files stored in their Drive, edit documents offline and add collaborators to documents on the go. The app works on iOS devices running on iOS 5.0 or later and is currently available for download on the iTunes app store.

Google Drive SDK v2: Google launched version 2 of Google Drive SDK which was first introduced in April 2012 and allows third party app developers to develop web apps for the Google Drive service. This new version brings along several new features like an expanded API, a simplified developer experience and mobile app support, allowing mobile apps to securely use the Drive API to read and write files directly to Google Drive. Google claimed that existing Drive apps have seen significant growth in its usage, with LucidCharts registering 3x more diagrams, Hello Fax registering 25% more faxes being sent and Slide Rocket saw a 3.5x growth in presentations being created.

Google App Engine Stats: Urs Hölzle, Senior Vice President of Technical Infrastructure at Google, announced that Google App Engine now hosts 1 million active apps and gets around 7.5 billion hits per day with 2 trillion NoSQL DataStore Operations per month.

Google Compute Engine: Hölzle launched Google Compute Engine which will provide infrastructure as a service to developers and enable them to run linux virtual machines (VMs) on the same infrastructure that supports Google. Developers can also connect these machines into clusters by using Google’s high performance networking technology. Further, they can also configure and control their VMs through a scriptable command line tool or a web interface or else create their own dynamic management system using Google’s API.

Google stated that they have tied up with several partners like RightScale, Puppet Labs, OpsCode, Numerate, Cliqr and MapR to integrate their respective products with Google Compute Engine. The service is currently available in limited preview and developers can sign up for the service from today.

RelatedThe Lowdown: What Google Announced On Day 1 At I/O 2012