Google held it’s annual I/O Developer Conference this year on May 10th and 11th, holding sessions ranging from that’s-what-we-expected to I-want-it-now. Being stuck in Ohio, I wasn’t able to attend, but here are some key points that I found to be interesting.

You get a car! And you get a car!

The freebies alone would have made the $450 ticket price well worth it, even if you are someone who thinks he can scare a fly off the monitor with the mouse pointer. Attendees were given a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1” tablet, a Samsung 4G Mobile Hotspot, Samsung Chromebook, and a free trial offer for Verizon’s 4G service for 3 months, which ZDNet values at a retail value of $1448. It’s reasonable to assume that they didn’t pay full price, as this will obviously help spread recognition of the Samsung devices, but regardless you’ve probably already paid for your ticket and round-trip flight.

Ice Cream Sandwich

Google announced that they will be unifying the OS for both tablets and phones with it’s next version of Android, named Ice Cream Sandwich. They plan on refreshing the user interface with a new framework that has yet to be unveiled.

Piggybacking with the news of this release is the upcoming release of Honeycomb 3.1. Perhaps the most interesting bit of this announcement is that it will be powering new Google TVs, which will also be given access to the Android Market. Personally, I’m excited about the promise of finally being able to leverage the power of the SDK and develop native Android applications for the TV, rather than web applications.

Eclipse and the Cloud, made easy

Unlike the Microsoft “To the Cloud” commercials that create an irrational amount of hate in my soul, Google really is trying to speed up adoption of cloud-based services. They released the Google Plugin for Eclipse, which enable developers “to quickly design, build, optimize, and deploy cloud-based applications.” Essentially this eases the pain of having to manage your large libraries of your own code for connecting your app to the cloud. Once you past the development phase, they also give you the Google App Engine to deploy your application. Be ready to see some innovative uses for these products.

Chromebook heads to the market

As mentioned previously, Google and Samsung (and Acer apparently) will be pushing the Chromebook out on June 15th. They claim that you will be able to go from boot to using your email in only a matter of seconds, and the charge on this device will last you day on a single charge, finally untethering the laptop from the wall. While most companies who make this claim generally underwhelm, I’m a little more inclined to believe them, mostly at least. Also contrary to some claims, Google will not be releasing an ad-supported, low cost version of the Chromebook.