Google I/O 2013 is only a month or so away, so let’s jump right into our guesses and hopes for what we’ll see at Google’s biggest conference of the year. For those who may not know, Google I/O isn’t all about Android — Google covers a wide variety of technology and services, and tries to cover a lot of everything at the conference. This year we expect to hear more about Google+, Chrome, HTML5 improvements, APIs, Google TV, home automation, and yes, Android will be in there somewhere.
At last year’s Google I/O we saw Google’s answer to Siri: Google Now. Since then we’ve seen a few updates and to Google Now that have added features and functionality, but many in the industry (myself included) are suspicious about why we haven’t seen more. I think Google’s been holding back on us and we’ll see a rush of new features for Google Now that will blow us away. What’s more, we’ll probably see Google Now for iOS demo’d.
At last year’s I/O we got to see Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and all the coolness that came with it. This year I suspect we’ll get our first look at Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie — I also predict that people will shorten the name to KLP, and pronounce it “kelp”. We didn’t see a major update in UI with Android 4.1 or 4.2 from Android 4.0, nor should we have. Android 5.0, however, is going to look significantly different. It will still look like Android, it will just be refined, polished, and smooth — and it will be fast!
A New Tablet
It’s a bit too soon for us to see a new smartphone from Google, so no Nexus 5 at Google I/O. That doesn’t mean that we won’t see new hardware. If you remember, we were introduced to the Nexus 7 tablet at the last I/O. I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw a new version in a very similar form-factor but with a bigger screen and more built-in storage — running Android 5, of course.
Something to Resurrect the Nexus Q
We also saw the Nexus Q, which was made available for pre-order then later given away for free. Will we see the mysterious Google “ball” reborn?
I predict we’ll see a new Nexus Q, still a ball, but more will be more like a Miracast adapter so end-users can finally have something official that supports Android’s Wireless Display to hook to their big-screen TVs.. This “New Q” will essentially be a slimmed down version of the old Q, but the old Q will get an update so the Qs will be unified in software and experience.
Maybe we’ll see some home automation exposure and functionality come to the strange orb, turning the Q into a hub for home automation and ambient information. Of course, it will also play Music, Movies, and YouTube from paired Android-powered phones and tablets.
Last year developers were able to purchase their very own Glass — for the small fortune of US$1,500. We have started to see more Google Glass videos, images, and use-cases in the recent months. I suspect we’ll see Google Glass officially announced as a consumer product at I/O 2013 and available for sale within a few months following the conference. The price will still be somewhat high, but not prohibitively so. Also look for partnerships with makers of both prescription as well as sun glasses.
It’s been a while since we heard about the ADK and Google’s push for home automation. This time around I suspect we’ll see some real-world products that can be easily controlled by your Android-powered phone or tablet. Either that or the ADK will fade into obscurity, never to be heard of again.
What Did I Miss?
Google I/O will doubtless have more fun and goodies tucked away inside and Pocketnow will be here to report everything as it happens. In the meantime, what do you expect to see at this year’s Google I/O?