What to Expect from This Week’s Big Google I/O Conference
In early June, Apple held its Worldwide Developers Conference to bring app makers and consumers up to speed on all of its latest mobile device and computer software. Now it’s Google’s turn. Google I/O kicks off June 25.
Unlike Apple’s precise OS and apps presentation at WWDC, the Web search giant turned smartphone-, tablet-, and OS-maker is expected to show us a much wider array of projects, hardware, and software at its conference.
From new updates to Android to new smart-home devices, here’s what publications across the Internet are betting we’ll see when I/O kicks off Wednesday.
Smartwatches and Android Wear
After months of posting teaser videos and dropping tidbits on the development of Android’s smartwatch operating system, sources say Google will finally show off a real smartwatch on stage. CNET is reporting that LG and Samsung will unveil Android Wear watches at the event, and Motorola, known to be developing the round-faced Moto 360 smartwatch, “could” show that off as well.
As reported earlier this spring by The Verge, Google is taking another crack at television. This time it’s called Android TV. Google is said to be ditching the cable TV integration of Google TV and working in gaming and built-in apps (lacking in the Chromecast HDMI streaming stick). A source told Gigaom last month that Google will introduce the world to Android TV at I/O, so we hope to learn a lot more about it this week, not to mention the fate of Google TV and Chromecast.
Android and Chrome OS software updates, and hardware to run them on
In an interview with Businessweek published days before the start of I/O, Android and Chrome boss Sundar Pichai said he will introduce the next version of Google’s mobile OS at the company’s upcoming developers conference. Whether we should expect a full version release (5.0: Lollipop? Licorice?) or a smaller update to the current version, KitKat, remains to be seen. But Pichai said, “I want the world to understand what we are doing sooner,” in explaining why he and Google are forgoing the regular fall schedule for the Android update, which has regularly been accompanied by a Nexus smartphone unveiling.