MIA at I/O: 8 Products That Google Didn’t Mention
SAN FRANCISCO — This year’s Google I/O keynote clocked in at 2.5 hours — relatively short compared with last year’s 3.5-hour stem-winder. And yet some Google products received no mention or only the briefest mention:
• Google Glass: I thought the displays of prototype Glass units on the ground floor of the Moscone Center meant we’d get a major update on this venture into wearable computing. Not so: The only Glass news here was an increase in memory and some other tweaks announced Tuesday, before the conference.
• Google+: The social network that got a huge chunk of time onstage the past two years was barely noted this time around. Key factor: G+ godfather Vic Gundotra left the company in April.
• Gmail: Google announced a new way for third-party apps and sites to connect to its email service beyond the Internet-standard IMAP synchronization that has sometimes been an awkward fit, but that didn’t get a shout-out onstage.
• Google Fiber: Google’s gigabit fiber-optic service has cities and counties prostrating themselves before Google to be added to its list, but I/O brought no news about that — or any other ventures into Internet connectivity like Google’s “Project Loon” scheme for balloon-broadcast access.
• Driverless cars: The only vehicles discussed during the keynote had human drivers at the wheel — which they kept their hands on while interacting via voice with Google’s Android auto system.
• Home automation: On Tuesday, Google’s Nest subsidiary announced a platform for third-party apps to connect to home appliances like its smart thermostat, but that was treated during the keynote like, well, yesterday’s news.
• Nexus and Play edition phones: Unlike in prior years, this keynote didn’t include any news about new Nexus phones or tablets or “Play edition” versions of existing phones that ship with stock editions of Android.
• Google Voice: The call-management service that Google has lately appeared to forget it owns was also left on hold during the keynote. And my hopes of a quiet update to the Hangouts app for Android that would add the same Internet-calling feature already present in the iOS version seem to have been dashed. No, I’m not bitter.
There was plenty of other news at Google I/O, however, which you can read all about right here.