We are just a few hours from the keynote address of Google I/O 2014.
There’s so much to expect from Google’s annual developer-centric conference and here’s a quick round up of what you should expect from later in the day till tomorrow when the event wraps up:
1. Android TV
There’s nothing for us not in the United States as far as Android TV goes but there’s all manner of confirmations in app updates that went live on the Play Store earlier in the day that Android TV will be a redefinition of the not-so-successful Google TV and will take centre-stage to its target audience much more than that dongle (Chromecast) will ever be.
2. Android Wear
Android Wear was announced back in March and it is one of the key items on the schedule today. We expect to finally see some hardware from Google’s launch partners like LG and Motorola who have already confirmed the same. There’s word that Samsung will also showcase its Android Wear device. We’ll have to wait to see that.
Android 5.0 Lollipop anyone?
We expert a new version of Android to be announced and this should be the climax since as you can note from this list everything in one way or another touches on the mobile OS. There’s talk that we’ll see the new version of Android announced on stage (a preview) but have to wait till later in the year during the usual Android update period to see it arrive on devices (Android chief Sundar Pichai already made this point in an interview with Businessweek). Since many expect a very serious overhaul of Android as we know it today including things like Project Hera and Quantum Paper the like, developers and OEMs will surely need a lot of time to get things right. The new version of Android also comes with a new runtime, ART, which will replace Dalvik, the current Java-based virtual machine that is widely associated with Android’s high battery consumption. What all this sums up is the possibility of seeing a beta release for developers to work just like Apple does with iOS releases before seeding out to everyone.
This could also be that 64-bit Android version we’ve been waiting for all along.
Also will we see that purported new Android logo the tech press was awash with after some hands on video of the LG G Watch was uploaded not so long ago?
4. Android in the car
Just that. Android as part of your car’s infotainment system. And more.
Back in January, Google announced the formation of an Open Automotive Alliance that will see it bring Android to your car’s dashboard. Google announced back then that it had teamed up with auto-makers General Motors, Hyundai, Audi Honda and chip-maker NVIDIA on the same. We’ve not heard much about it ever since. I/O 14 could be the moment.
5. Others: Google Glass, Project Tango, Project Ara
Google Glass just went on sale to the masses in the States a few weeks ago even though it still remains an expensive beta product. Yesterday, it went on sale in the United Kingdom. Still, Google announced a refreshed version of Glass yesterday and has been releasing a lot of software updates recently. Is this a sign that we’ll see it finally become available to everyone at I/O 14? That we have no idea but there’ll obviously be something on it. Something considerable.
After selling Motorola to Chinese company Motorola, Google surrendered everything bar the patents it was after all along and a small team called Advanced Technology and Projects group (ATAP). This is the team behind the awesome Project Tango and Project Ara. We should hear more about the two at I/O too and what they have in store for us.
6. Surprises: Android Silver, some new hardware, home automation and YouTube streaming service
These suprises are just things that those of us in the know have been talking about and feeding from the rumour mill about but are unlikely to show up today unless of course Google decides to SURPRISE us!
There’s been endless chatter of Google killing its Nexus programme in favour of Android Silver so that more and more people can get access to stock Android than things are at the moment. Those behind the same chatter point to 2015 as being the year this will happen. At this point we all know nothing about the programme but I/O could be where we get the hints as more details emerge as the year progresses. New hardware (remember HTC Volantis/Nexus 9?), though unlikely, could as well shed more light on the future of the Nexus programme.
Honestly, a YouTube streaming service is not something I would expect to show up at I/O but you never know. Google has been hard on various big name record lables that had not yet signed up on its new plans for the service as of last week but we don’t expect much about it at this point in time.
Home automation? Google acquired Nest. There’s more in that space and we could hear just about anything that is geared towards the “smarthome”.
There’s also Domains on the official schedule but we’re not likely to be hearing about it in the keynote. It should be just an item in the event sessions since it is a beta product we already know much about.
So we wait.
There’s still a lot of stuff that will go down at I/O 2014, I just summarized the main things we expect from the keynote.
You can grab a virtual front row seat by watching the event livestream on the I/O site or directly from YouTube or get real time updates, the schdeule and more via the official Android app. In addition, there are Google I/O Extended events all over the world. You can use the Android app to find one near you if you’re interested in physical attendance.