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Um, Did Google Just Quietly Launch A Web-Based iTunes Competitor. Today at Google I/O, Vic Gundotra introduced Froyo, aka Android 2.2.

Um, Did Google Just Quietly Launch A Web-Based iTunes Competitor

But he also went a bit beyond Froyo. Coming soon, is a way to download an app through the Android Market over the web — and have it automatically download on your Android devices too. Google Buys Simplify Media To Power Music Syncing For New iTunes. Google just announced that it bought Simplify Media, a startup that offers software that lets you share your iTunes music across platforms, including the web.

Google Buys Simplify Media To Power Music Syncing For New iTunes

The software lets you share your photos and music using programs like iTunes, iPhoto and Windows Media player. According to the startup’s site Simplify Media “connects people directly with their content, without the hassles of synching or uploading all their files. Simplify users can also share their personal media with family and close friends in a private, secure group.” It appears that that deal may have taken place in March, when the company announced a “new direction” on its blog, discontinuing its software to users and removing its iPhone app from Apple’s App store.

Other announcements

Chrome Web Store. Robert Scoble (bertagni) Google I/O Activity - Live From The Google I/O Keynote. Google’s biggest developer conference is kicking off, and it’s starting with a 90 minute keynote that’s sure to bring some major news. My live notes from the event are below. Note that Google is live streaming the event — we can’t embed the video, but you can get to it by clicking on the photo above, or by going here. -Google VP Vic Gundotra has taken the stage. He says that this is the third I/O and it sold out faster than either of the events before it -The web is the most important platform of our generation. VP Product Sundar Pichai has taken the stage. About 24 months ago this effort had just gotten under way.

Now showing a demo of Gmail, used drag-and-drop (File API) to drag an image into a new message. -Charles Pritchard of MugTug has taken the stage.

Froyo Android 2.2

Froyo For Android: Tethering, Enterprise-Friendly, Handles More. Right now at Google I/O engineering VP Vic Gundotra is going over all the new features of Android’s newest release, dubbed Froyo.

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

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). Android’s voice commands are also getting more sophisticated. 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. 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.

YouChannel: YouTube Leanback

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. Guide to Google TV’s Ecosystem [Video] At this week’s Google I/O Conference, the company carefully articulated its vision of the world.

Guide to Google TV’s Ecosystem [Video]

There’s Apple in one corner, carefully controlling its ecosystem, rejecting Flash, and conjuring images of an Orwellian Big Brother. As the “one man, one company, one device” (Vic Gundotra’s words) becomes more powerful, Google is trying to posit itself as the other choice. The more “open” choice. Google Voice Now Open to All Students. Google just announced that it will now make Google Voice - the company's free VoIP telephony and voicemail transcription service - available to all students with a valid .edu email address.

Google Voice Now Open to All Students

Skype on the iPhone Goes 3G … Finally - Gadgetwise Blog - NYTime. Skype, a leading provider of inexpensive phone calls over the Internet, has finally completed a long-awaited move to make its service available over AT&T’s 3G network.

Skype on the iPhone Goes 3G … Finally - Gadgetwise Blog - NYTime

Before, you could only make Skype calls from an iPhone when it was connected to the Internet through Wi-Fi. Now people can make low-cost Skype calls any time their phone has a connection, whether it is to AT&T’s 3G network or through Wi-Fi. AT&T had announced that it would allow phone calls over the Internet, known as voice over Internet protocol, or VoIP, phoning as far back as October of 2009.

But Apple first had to make some changes in terms of service to allow that to happen. Those changes came last February. An app called iCall went live almost immediately, becoming the first app for Internet calls out of the gate. There is no charge for the Skype app, and through the end of the year calls placed to other Skype users through the service over 3G will be free.