Google unveils powerful new arsenal for web developers

27 May 2009

Google has unveiled a range of new technologies for web and app developers, including tools for Android developers and a product called Web Elements that allows developers to incorporate Google products onto blogs and websites.

The theme of this year’s Google I/O developer conference is the unprecedented acceleration of the open web platform.

Nearly half a billion people now use web browsers that are rooted in open source technology. These browsers, Google says, have quintupled their processing power in less than a year.

As well as this, new functionality in HTML 5 – from graphics and location to local storage and background processing – is enabling developers to build uniquely powerful web applications.

Web Elements is a new technology that makes it easier for developers to incorporate Google products – including Maps, News and YouTube videos and social comments via Friend Connect – onto a website or blog.

Google said it has some four billion API calls a day. The new Web Elements technology makes it easier to add Google products by copying and pasting a few lines of code.

Google also announced the general availability of Java language support in Google App Engine, providing all developers with an end-to-end Java language solution for building AJAX web applications.

An early look at Java language support in App Engine was released to a limited number of developers at Google’s 7 April Campfire One developer event, and over the past two months, more than 10,000 Java language applications have been deployed on the platform. Over 80,000 applications have been built on App Engine since it was launched in April 2008.

Google also launched the second phase of the Android Developer Challenge, a Google-funded initiative to reward developers for building innovative and useful applications for the Android mobile platform.

Google will let users of Android-powered phones participate in the judging process through the use of an on-phone judging application. Awards will be presented to the top applications, up to US$250m for the overall winner, which will be announced in November 2009.

“Bet on the web,” said Vic Gundotra, vice-president of Developer Products at Google.

“Its rate of innovation has dramatically accelerated over the past 12 months, giving rise to an open web platform that’s fundamentally more capable and more sophisticated than even a year ago.

“The combination of HTML 5, a vibrant developer community, and the pervasiveness of modern web browsers is delivering a programming model and an end-user experience that will surprise and delight people,” Gundotra said.

By John Kennedy

Pictured: Google Web Elements