Google I/O 2012 Day 2 Keynote: Google Chrome & Drive for iOS, Offline Reading for Google Docs, Google Compute Engine

We’re back again with the followup to Wednesday’s keynote with some more news from Google I/O 2012.

Chrome and Drive for iOS

Google Chrome for iOS

Some big news for iOS fans today. Google has released Google Chrome and Google Drive for iOS, and I’ve been playing around with them.

Chrome is fantastic on my iPad 2, and the tab sync between devices is really handy. They’ve introduced a new mobile tab solution that is quick and easy to use, and handles the ridiculous number of tabs I use (just look at that, really!) without any trouble so far.

Chrome is basically a new UI added to the standard Safari rendering engine, as is typical on iOS devices, though in the few hours that it has been available it has already been noted that it seems somehow snappier and faster at rendering than Safari is. If you give it a spin on your iDevice, let us know in the comments how you find the speed!

If I had any bones to pick with  Chrome, it’s that it doesn’t play nice with Google Reader so far, and there doesn’t seem to be a way to pin tabs. Aside from that, it’s just fantastic. I will be doing a lot more browsing on the iPad with this.

Google Drive is what it sounds like, an interface for getting the files you have stored on your Drive into your iOS device. Unfortunately it does not work like Google Docs; you can access all your documents, but you can’t edit them directly from the Drive app. You can send docs to other apps, but it sends a PDF version of the doc, so even that can’t be edited. Your only editing option, for now at least, is to instead open in Safari.

This seems terrible, but it is Google Drive for iOS, not Google Docs, so you have to factor that in.

Google Drive for iOS

Offline Editing for Google Docs

There’s much better news for Google Docs users who use any platform other than iOS though; Google announced that offline editing is back and better than it ever was. You may remember that they used to have offline editing by way of Google Gears, but that Gears never fully lived up to users’ hopes for it. Desktop, laptop and Android users of Docs will be happy with this, with the caveat that you can’t yet edit spreadsheets or presentations, only word processor docs.

Google Compute Engine

Google IO 2012 Compute Engine

On the more Enterprise-level side of things, Google talked about their Compute Engine project which enables companies to run their cloud-based applications across hundreds of thousands of processor cores at once, making supercomputing available to far more people than would ever have been possible at much more affordable prices than before.

Return of the Squirrel Suits

Of course it wouldn’t be Google I/O 2012 without more base-jumping in squirrel suits. This time, Sergei Brin goes into the details of how they pulled yesterday’s spectacular stunt off, and they jump out of the zeppelin again.


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