Google’s Gundotra Goes After Apple: The Video

At Thursday’s Google I/O keynote, VP of engineering Vic Gundotra repeatedly ripped into Apple, and he did it right off the bat. The video above, which just came out, shows the first ten minutes of his keynote where he discusses why the world needs Android. But that is not the interesting part.

The interesting part is where he goes after Apple in a not too subtle way. He extols the virtues of an open platform and contrasts it with a “Draconian future, a future where one man, one company, one device, one carrier would be our only choice.” Then he shows a poster of 1984, with the title, “Not The Future We Want.” The reference is to Apple and the iPhone. Gundotra uses Apple’s own iconic 1984 imagery against it to great effect right at about 3 minutes into the video clip.

I can’t wait for Gundotra to appear next week at TechCrunch Disrupt, where we can ask him why he thinks Android will prevail, not only phones but also now in TVs.

Meeting Space Booking Site eVenues Wins The Funded’s Founder Showcase

eVenues, a service to book meeting rooms online, has won the top spot at won the Founder Showcase, which is a quarterly open start-up pitch competition and networking event held by TheFunded.

eVenues aggregates, searches, and rents meeting event space by the hour or day. It’s sort of like Expedia but for meeting spaces. The service is designed to also help small businesses and organizations like art galleries, city and county governments, and non-profits rent their distressed space for consumers and professionals looking for affordable space. SnapShop, an augmented reality shopping app that places furniture from catalogs in your home, was the official Runner-Up in the showcase.

David Jennings, Co-Founder of eVenues, won a cash prize, Startup Alley tickets to TechCrunch Disrupt, and free legal advice from Cooley by gathering the most votes from the crowd and judge panel, which included George Zachary, Rebecca Lynn, Jeff Clavier, Phil Libin and Facebook’s Bubba Murarka.

The Funded’s Founder Institute just announced the graduation of 25 companies from the incubator’s East Coast outposts and launched in Boston. Announced in March 2009, the Founder Institute offers entrepreneurs and very early stage startups an environment designed to help foster their growth and education. The program, which is now active in ten cities worldwide, holds two four-month long sessions annually in each location, which include mentorship sessions from experienced tech entrepreneurs.

Google Just Shot Cable’s Franz Ferdinand

One could be forgiven for writing off Google TV. After all, there are precedents for web TV failures (Apple TV) and precedents for ostentatious Google windmill-tilting (Wave, Buzz, a dozen others), so I don’t blame the doubters. I’d be one but for the fact that this is too big to be an experiment; it’s a declaration of war. The question is: against whom?

Against Apple? Yes, to some extent. Against set-top boxes? In a way. But primarily, I think it’s against the TV providers. Not in a direct way: as many have noted, Google TV, being a delivery system, relies entirely on others for its content. No, Google is leaning on Comcast and DirecTV and all them indirectly. Like the music industry and Napster, or the mobile phone industry and the iPhone, it’s less a direct assault and more an ultimatum: “Change or die.”

Continue reading…

Is the Next Prius Going To Be A Tesla?

Toyota and Tesla announced a new partnership at Tesla’s headquarters in Palo Alto today, the auto makers will collaborate on technology, the development of new electric vehicles and Toyota will purchase $50 million of Tesla’s common stock (to be completed after Tesla’s pending IPO). The press conference featured the Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tesla CEO, Elon Musk and TMC President, Akio Toyoda.

Calling it an “explosion” for California (I think he meant this in the positive sense, not the Terminator sense) Schwarzenegger framed it as a victory for California’s environmental agenda and the economy. He predicts it will create 1,000 jobs for the state’s embattled economy.

“Toyota is a company founded on innovation, quality, and commitment to sustainable mobility. It is an honor and a powerful endorsement of our technology that Toyota would choose to invest in and partner with Tesla,” Musk said in a statement. “We look forward to learning and benefiting from Toyota’s legendary engineering manufacturing, and production expertise.”

Significantly, Tesla announced that it will takeover the NUMMI plant in Fremont and expects to produce the Model S EV (a seven-seat SUV) at that location, starting in 2012. The hope is that once production truly ramps up, Tesla will produce 20,000 EVs from the plant (Musk predicts it will take 12 months, from the beginning of production, to reach this level). The company is currently adding 50 employees per month to keep pace with the expansion, Musk says that will likely accelerate in the coming months. Over the next few years, he says it’s reasonable to expect Tesla to grow to 2,000 employees, with roughly half of that working in NUMMI.

Earlier today, Schwarzenegger unexpectedly announced (at a separate Google event in Mountain View ) that Toyota was partnering with Tesla to build electric cars in California, according to reports. The possibly accidental announcement took some thunder out of Tesla’s 5 p.m. PST press conference.

For Toyota, it’s a chance to curry favor in the California and larger US market, for Tesla, the car maker gets Toyota’s resources (especially cold hard cash) to help it transition from a highly niche player to a more robust force in the domestic auto market. This is of course not Tesla’s first partnership with a big automaker. Last year, the company signed a deal with Daimler that gave Daimler a 10% stake and technology in exchange for roughly $50 million, according to reports.

Tesla hasn’t had a lot of trouble attracting capital, with investors like Google’s Sergey Brin, Larry Page, Capricorn Management, Compass Technology, JPMorgan— it’s a really long list. Even the US Deparment of Energy threw down a $465 million low-interest loan for Tesla last year. Attracting money is one thing, the real struggle for Tesla has been building on that base. The company has recorded net losses for virtually every previous quarter—investors should expect further losses until Tesla really ramps up production and deliveries of it’s more affordable Model S sedan.

New Logo/Name, Same Result. Twitter Dominates The App Store

It’s amazing what taking one of the best iPhone apps, making it free, and giving it a better name will do. Actually, it’s not. Twitter for iPhone has rocketed to the number 1 app (free app, but undoubtedly overall as well) in the App Store following its release yesterday. And Apple has wasted no time heaping praise on the app in its own way, by making it the coveted iPhone App of the Week in the App Store.

Twitter for iPhone, of course, is the new name for Tweetie, the app made by the company Atebits (really, Loren Brichter) until they were acquired by Twitter in April. While Tweetie itself was already extremely popular (that tends to happen when you make the best-of-class app), its popularity is bound to hit a whole different level now. First of all, the app used to cost $2.99, but Twitter decided to make it free. Perhaps more importantly though, the new branding — simply “Twitter” in the App Store — makes it much more visible to the masses looking for the best Twitter app through search.

And that’s exactly why Twitter made the purchase — they needed a way to further their brand on mobile clients, so users weren’t confused, and got the best experience. On BlackBerry and Android phones, they built their own apps from scratch. But they likely realized it would be hard to top Tweetie, so they just bought it. Smart move.

The app itself remains the best Twitter client for the iPhone. There are a few small changes here and there, such as more emphasis on the new-style Retweets, which some people still seem to hate despite seemingly huge adoption. Search is better, the app seems faster overall, and again, the price is now 100% better. The biggest complaint people seem to have is about the new icon. But I, for one, kind of like it. It makes a lot more sense from a branding perspective than the old chat bubble.

Perhaps Apple giving Twitter the App of the Week was to make up for their odd half-roll out of the app a few days ago. The app was showing up in users’ app update area, but you couldn’t click on it for over a day. Or maybe they just love the app. Either way, it’s going to get a ton of downloads. It already is.

As a somewhat related side note, Apple is also featuring Square as the iPad App of the Week. Square is the mobile payment company started by Twitter creator and chairman Jack Dorsey. Apple is also featuring Square on the iPhone side of the store, as well. Now we just need a version of Twitter for the iPad so Apple can feature that too — and to make me happy.

You can find Twitter for iPhone here. And Square for iPhone/iPad here.

CHINICT: China’s largest tech conference will be livestreaming on TechCrunch

Preparations for the launch of TechCrunch TV continue apace: we’re getting ready to announce our launch line up shortly after next week’s TechCrunch Disrupt conference in New York.

As well as our own exclusive roster of shows, we’re working hard to secure the rights to livecast some of the most interesting and entertaining technology events from around the world. One such event is CHINICT – “the largest conference on China tech innovation & entrepreneurship”, held in Beijing every year.

Annoyingly this year’s event falls a few weeks prior to our launch date so you’ll have to wait till next year for full-on TCTV coverage, but in the meantime we’ve convinced the conference’s organisers to allow us to show an uninterrupted feed of this year’s event right here on Fittingly, it kicks off next Thursday; the day after Disrupt ends.

With much of the agenda in English – and with speakers including Dave McClure – the event promises to be a fascinating couple of days for Chinese and Valley entrepreneurs alike.

More importantly though, the conference reflects the reality that, increasingly, the big technological innovations are happening not in Silicon Valley but in emerging markets like China. Of course none of this will be news if you’ve been following TechCrunch roving editor Sarah Lacy’s travels around the emerging world (see her post here on why China isn’t simply “The Next Silicon Valley”). But just in case you’re still not convinced on the significance of what’s happening outside of the US, I asked CHINICT organiser Franck Nazikian to explain to us why TechCrunch readers’ eyes should be on Beijing on May 27th and 28th. Franck writes…

“For good or for bad, China is now challenging Silicon Valley’s supremacy on two fundamentals which once made Silicon Valley the global brand for tech innovation and entrepreneurship.

Firstly, China is challenging Silicon Valley’s supremacy by becoming a leading hotbed for tech innovation of global impact. In other words, tomorrow’s Microsoft or Google are on the verge of soon coming from China. Indeed, the era of the Chinese copy/paste model, if there ever was one, is definitely over: the Western propaganda arguing there is no innovation in China does not change the facts.

A silent yet very real tech revolution is coming from China. The Chinese companies leading this revolution are called Tencent or Innovation Works. You might have heard their names but perhaps don’t  know why – or if – they matter on a global level. Yet, Tencent, for example, has the 3rd largest market cap in Internet business right after Google and Amazon. And Tencent business model is no copy/paste from the West. Actually Tencent generates billions of dollars from Chinese consumers – by selling them virtual goods – which no company from the West has so far managed to do (watch Tencent’s head of R&D at CHINICT, May 27th at 11:30am Beijing time – 8:30pm Pacific). Another example of this tech revolution coming from China: Innovation Works. Led by former founding president of Google China and best selling Chinese author Kaifu Lee, Innovation Works has raised over 100 million dollars to develop from scratch the future IT leaders of China and beyond (Watch Kaifu Lee, May 28th, 9am Beijing time – 6pm Pacific).

2. China is challenging Silicon Valley supremacy as a magnet to attract top-tier entrepreneurs coming from all over the world.

China is now more and more frequently attracting top-tier entrepreneurs from all over the world; and venture capital is more abundant than ever (watch the Investors funding the China tech revolution at CHINICT on May 28th, 2pm Beijing time – 11pm Pacific). Meet for example Jameson Hsu, the CEO of MochiMedia, a Silicon Valley company just acquired by leading Chinese gaming company Shanda for over 80 million dollars: “I had the opportunity to sell my company to several major players in the US, including Google, but I chose Shanda to start understanding better the Chinese market – where I plan to start my new venture at some point”, says Jameson. Mark Suster and Dave McClure, two prominent entrepreneurs/investors/bloggers from Silicon Valley are also embracing this trend and are speaking at CHINICT to explain why.”

CHINICT will be held on May 27th & 28th at Crown Plaza Parkview Wuzhou Hotel, and streamed live on from 8:30am Beijing time (5:30pm Pacific) on both days. See the complete agenda here – and more background on speakers here.

Carriers Will Be Able To Decide Which Android Phones Have Tethering (And They Can Charge For It)

Today during its keynote at I/O, Google officially announced that the latest version of Android, called Froyo, will feature tethering and wireless hotspot functionality — a big win for Android users. When we broke the news last week we questioned whether or not carriers would be able to disable or charge more for this functionality given that it was baked into the default Android OS. Unfortunately, at least as far as consumers are concerned, it sounds like carriers will get their say. In other words, expect at least some carriers to charge more for tethering.

I asked Hiroshi Lockheimer, who heads up engineering on Android, about the issue and the answer was confusing to say the least. Lockheimer said that Android doesn’t do anything special to tag data that’s being accessed through tethering, though carriers could probably find a way to detect it if they really wanted to. But they probably won’t have to, because Android is making it easy for carriers to either charge extra for, or disable entirely, tethering on the phones they sell. It sounds like these would both require small modifications to the OS.

That’s straightforward enough — carriers and OEMs have been molding Android to suit their needs for a while now. But what about phones that feature the “Google Experience”, which is the term used to describe devices that ship with the stock Android OS (Google Experience phones include the Motorola Droid and Nexus One)? Presumably carriers wouldn’t be able to insert their payment switch if the OS is unmodified, which means these phones could potentially get tethering included in their normal data plans.  We’ll have to wait to find out — Lockheimer said that the answer isn’t clear yet.

Information provided by CrunchBase

Brizzly Teases Upcoming ‘Picnics’ Feature

Not being a fan of memory-hogging desktop clients, I prefer to use Web apps in my browser of choice (Google Chrome) for most everything. For Twitter, I tend to use Brizzly, a product of San Francisco-based Thing Labs, which was founded by former Googlers.

It’s a nice Web app, apart from its annoying general sluggishness, and new features get added consistently so it has me sticking around for now.

This morning when logging in, I was greeted with a message saying that ‘Brizzly Picnics are coming soon’. Clicking through for more information, I found myself on this page, which talks a bit about what the new feature is or will be.

It’s all a bit cryptic, but here’s the whole message they’re trying to convey:

Friend is not a verb. Your real friends are already your friends. In Brizzly Picnics you can make sure they stay that way. Invite only the people you want to join you in a conversation. Much like you might do in real life. Sounds easy, doesn’t it?

Spam? What spam? When you’re in control of who you talk to, you won’t see unwanted messages. Brizzly Picnics put you in control of the guest list (just like a real picnic, or party, or conversation.)

The guy who bought your couch is not your buddy. I mean, he seemed nice and all when he answered your classified ad, but he’s basically a stranger. So why would he be in a list of people with whom you might share information with? We don’t think he should be. He won’t be, in Brizzly Picnics.

There’s a time and a place for Bieber. …and it’s probably not while you’re talking to your dad. If you care about celebrity news, there’s probably a good way for you to find out about it. It shouldn’t rudely interrupt conversations with your friends. Brizzly Picnics will keep news about teenage Canadian pop stars polite.

Your family doesn’t need a subject line. You’ve got a funny video, or an interesting news story, or a new website to share. Do you really need to open up a new email thread? Not if you’re using Brizzly Picnics. Just have a conversation.

You don’t want to hear about a pretend farm. You’re probably really happy your friend’s digital farm is going well and everything, but don’t want to hear about it every day. That’s why you should just invite them to talk. In a Brizzly Picnic. Coming soon.

You can cut the clutter from your conversations. Not everything you say needs to be broadcast. You might have different things to say to different groups of people. Brizzly Picnics will let you do this. Pretty easily, in fact.

Looking at past coverage, I noticed the startup talked about Picnics before, and even has a live example right here (a dead link to another one turns up in search results, too).

Sounds to me like a Twitter or Google Buzz type service but inherently private, for communication in small groups that doesn’t belong out in the open. Kinda like opening up a private chatroom or IM session – or is there more to it?

I guess we’ll find out more ‘soon’.

Though I’m hoping they’ll sort out the loading speed issues first …

Information provided by CrunchBase

Android Froyo Running Laps Around The iPad — Literally [Video]

Today at Google I/O in San Francisco, Google unveiled its new version of the Android operating system, 2.2, dubbed “Froyo.” While it’s not available just yet, Google put it all on display on the stage during the keynote. Perhaps the most impressive moment was when they demoed the performance increases in 2.2 compared to Android 2.1 — and compared to the iPad.

In the video below, 2.2 is the phone on the left, 2.1 is the phone on the right. And on the other side of the stage on the other screen is the iPad. All the devices have a 1 Ghz chip, and all are running the same (web-based) app (in which a creature races around a screen). As you can see Android 2.2 not only blows away Android 2.1, it destroys the iPad as well. In fact, it laps the iPad a few times over.

Obviously, this is just one app, presumably designed to show raw speed, but it’s impressive. Google claims that with Froyo, Android users will see a 2x to 5x speed increase (over the previous build of the OS). It looks like they’re telling the truth.

Information provided by CrunchBase

Google TV Vs. Apple TV Is Android Vs. iPhone Round 2

During the keynote at Google I/O today, Google took a lot (and I do mean a lot) of not-too-subtle shots at Apple. Most of this was related to Android vs. iPhone, but it also delved into something else with the new Google TV platform. At the Q&A following the keynote, someone asked the question: what does this mean for Apple TV?

Google dodged the question a little at first. Their line is that the TV ecosystem is now ready for something like Google TV (that implies that it wasn’t before with devices such as the Apple TV). But they also noted that their idea is different from Apple because they’re trying to do this in a different way. That way, naturally, is the “open” way.

Whereas Apple TV is a device and a piece of software, Google TV is just a platform. Sony TVs will be called something different, for example, but they’ll have Google TV built-in. And this is an important distinction because it allows Google to take what makes current TVs popular — showing TV content — and build on top of it. Apple doesn’t do that with Apple TV. Instead, they created an entirely new way to get content (by download via iTunes).

Users shouldn’t have to choose between TV or the web — they can have both, is the way Google put it.

Google’s Vic Gundotra went further. He called the question about positioning against the Apple TV “eerily similar to the questions we heard about Android.” Gundotra suggested that everyone look at the success they’ve had with Android. Success in an open way, he made sure to emphasize. “We’ll have similar success,” Gundotra said.

So yes, put another way, this is Android vs. iPhone round 2. Or maybe it will be round 3, depending on if Chrome OS netbooks beat Google TV to market. Chrome OS netbooks will compete with the iPad — which Steve Jobs has said is Apple’s solution that’s better than a notebook.

A follow-up question asked if this was really Google telling Jobs “where to stick his OS?” Gundotra tried to dance around the question, but noted the full keynote video will be on YouTube. “I’m sure if he sees it, we’ll hear from him,” he (maybe half) joked.

Gundotra then tried to dampen the cries of war a bit. “We continue to partner with Apple in many areas,” he noted. He said Google TV isn’t directed at Apple only. “Only” being the keyword.

Regardless of what happens, my position is the same: Google entering this space is great news for all consumers. It’s going to force Apple to move the Apple TV beyond a self-stated “hobby” and into a real product. As I (quite eloquently, I think) wrote back in March:

We, as consumers, need a living room arms race between Apple and Google (and Microsoft, TiVo, Roku, Boxee, and the rest) to kick the cable companies’ shitty television user experience to the curb.

Round 2. Fight.

[photo: 20th Century Fox]

Eric Schmidt Presides Over The Marriage Of The 50-Year-Old TV And The Teenage Web

“We’ve been waiting a long time for today,” says Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who is presiding over a power panel of CEOs helping to make Google TV possible. The panel, at Google I/O, includes the CEOs of Sony, Best Buy, Echostar, Adobe, Logitech, and, of course, Google. He needs all of them, as well as developers, to make his new Google TV a hit.

Google TV will be built into a new Sony TV coming out this fall in time for the holiday shopping season, as well a Logitech TV companion box which can be hooked up to existing TVs with an HDMI port. It is Google’s attempt to bring together the 50-year-old TV-watching experience with the Web. It does that in a variety of ways,from a universal search box which searches both TV and the Web to opening up the TV as an application platform for developers and media companies to enhance their video offerings. Its ambition is to bring the Web into the TV and have the same impact on TV as Android and other smartphones are having on mobile phones.

Brian Dunn, the CEO of Best Buy, calls it “an entirely new category: the smart TV. This is the first seamless experience that is able to pull up the things you care about in realtime. I think there will be an enormous consumer appetite to do this.” Schmidt needs Best Buy and its 180,000 “blue shirts” to sell this idea of a Web TV—which has been tried in the past and flopped—to consumers. And Schmidt knows this. He made a point of saying that people have to see this and have it demonstrated to them before they will buy. Best Buy is his surrogate Apple Stores, if you will.

Sony CEO Howard Stringer, who is “fairly giddy with excitement” about introducing a new kind of TV to the market, calls it “active television.” The Google TV experience as demoed today, includes a universal search box which scours both TV and the Web and delivers video from either source in the same user interface. That will be key to getting adoption.

Finally, there is the issue of Flash. Schmidt gave Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen a big bear hug, positioning Google as Flash’s friend (in contrast to that other Silicon Valley company which hates it and has been beating up Adobe lately). Schmidt threw Narayen a softball question, “Why are we fighting for Flash.” Narayen’s answer: “It is really about engaging content on the Web and getting it to any device. This is really about creating family harmony.” That’s right, “family harmony.” Way to drop the ball.

What he should have said is that Google Tv renders Web video in a browser on your TV and at that size the best way to get a clear picture right now is through Flash. But he didn’t say that.

Google’s True Secret Project: Google TV… Socks!

Today at Google I/O, Google once again made a splash by giving everyone in the audience an EVO 4G phone, the latest, greatest Android phone. It was the second time in as many years that Google had an “Oprah moment.” But that’s not all Google had up its sleeve in terms of giveaways. Behold. Google TV socks!

Yes, Google gave people leaving the keynote a free pair of socks. I don’t know why. At first I thought it was a phone holder. But whatever, free socks. Cool.

No word yet if Apple is working on a response for WWDC.

Zendesk Apologizes For Suddenly Hiking Its Prices, CEO Hopes For “Make-Up Sex”

A lot of companies can learn a thing or two from how Zendesk has now dealt with the huge backlash from its customer base after the startup changed its prices overnight (which resulted in a lot of their users suddenly paying up to 300% more than what they signed up for years ago).

In a blog post, titled “Sorry. We Messed Up.”, the company doesn’t mess up its mea culpa:

When we decided to make a change to the Zendesk pricing structure for our existing customers, we tried to be as thoughtful, transparent, and straightforward as possible. We failed. We let you down. And we apologize.

While it’s refreshing enough to see a company stand up in the middle of a shit storm and unequivocally state that they indeed screwed up, Zendesk is also trying to turn the ship around.

As a result of the backlash, they are now killing the time limit of the half-baked grandfathering terms they tried to appease their earliest and most loyal customers with at first.

That basically means all customers will continue to receive the same functionality they’ve had in the past, in addition to the new community support and knowledge base features that were announced on Tuesday, all while paying the same price they’ve been familiarized with. Which sounds to me like the only correct way to go about this.

As an added bonus, here’s what Zendesk CEO Mikkel Svane just e-mailed us:

Hey Robin and Leena,

We just rolled our price changes back for existing customers. It has been a hectic 48 hours talking to our customers. But it has also been a very educating process. We’ve had a very public argument. Despite our good intentions we understand we did wrong and we feel miserable. We hope our customers will accept our apology.

And we hope for make-up sex. But let’s see about that 😉


I wonder how many customers effectively jumped ship and are no longer interested in make-up sex, but having seen the company’s response to the backlash I do hope many of them will take Svane and co up on it. Just don’t send us pictures, please.

Information provided by CrunchBase

Froyo For Android: Tethering, Enterprise-Friendly, Handles More Monsters

Right now at Google I/O engineering VP Vic Gundotra is going over all the new features of Android’s newest release, dubbed Froyo. It is chock full of updates, including WiFi tethering (told ya), Microsoft Exchange support, APIs for enterprise device management, faster Javascript performance, auto-updating apps, and a new way to send data from a computer to an Android phone.

The Send-To-Android feature is particularly elegant. It is part of a new device messaging API. When someone sends a map or article link to your phone, for instance, instead of sending you the link via email or SMS, it actually launches the map or Webpage being sent. Gundotra showed this feature using a TechCrunch article (thank you). It launched the page right in the Android browser after being sent from a PC browser. Same for a map.

Android’s voice commands are also getting more sophisticated. In addition to voice search, it now supports other voice triggers. If you say, “Call Fifth Floor Restaurant,” it will try to find the number and give you the option to call with a pop-up call button.

Froyo also turns your Android phone into a WiFi hotspot so you can tether your laptop to it and get access to the Internet using your cellular data connection. Froyo also includes application data backup so that when someone upgrades to a new Android they can take not only their apps with them but all the associated data.

[5/20/10 12:02:48 PM] MG Siegler: that’s the tethering screen

It is also much faster. Gundotra showed off a new compiler that can boost the speed of certain apps by 2 to five times compared to the current version of Android (called Eclaire). He showed a game with tons of monsters. Froyo could handle a lot more monsters than Eclaire. He also compared the Javascript performance of Froyo to the iPad using an animation of the Android robot swimming laps around the screen. Guess which robot swam laps around the other one?

Making another dig at Apple, he pointed out how Flash-friendly Android is because “people use Flash on the Internet.” Froyo supports the Flash 10.1 beta. More interesting he gave a sneak peek at a future challenge to iTunes with music downloads and syncing from your desktop. The Android Marketplace, which will finally exist in a browser version, will start to sell music which you can download over the air to your Android phone—no wired syncing required. The browser marketplace will work the same with all apps: over-the-air downloads. How did Google do it? “We discovered something really cool,” quipped Gundotra, “it’s called the Internet.”


Information provided by CrunchBase

YouChannel: YouTube Leanback

YouTube’s Director of Product Management, Hunter Walk unveiled YouTube Leanback, a personalized channel that you can access on Google TV and the web. The point of Leanback is to give the user a customized and easy viewing experience, the well designed interface lets you access full HD videos. The presentation was thin on details, but Walk said YouTube will be able to create a feed based on what you might be interested in. A beta web version will soon be available. Expect to hear more in the coming weeks.

YouTube’s Leanback will likely jeopardize similar “leanback” programs like Nowmov, which recently launched in March. The YC-funded company allows users to easily access the web’s most popular videos— based on Twitter and YouTube and other metrics— through a steady stream of content (you can skip a video if you’re not interested). Nowmov is working on personalizing its service— given Walk’s aggressive timeline, YouTube will beat them to the punch.