Google I/O kicks off today: Here's what to look for
Google’s annual developer’s conference, Google I/O, is set to begin this morning at around 9 AM Pacific. Quite a bit of news has been leaking out ahead of this event and, chances are, we’re going to hear about some of the leaked products and services today.
I/O is a conference focused around development, so naturally, Android is going to play a big part. The big question here is what kind of update Google’s mobile operating system will receive. Will the company issue a major update to the current version, Jelly Bean, or will we get a small minor version update? Should it be an entirely new flavor of Android, many believe it will be called Key Lime Pie.
One of the few areas I’ve been disappointed with Google is with its chat tools. Don’t get me wrong — Google Talk/Chat/whatever is fantastic. But the service lacks a consistent cross-platform experience and can’t interact with all of Google’s other messaging tools. Google Babel is set to change all that, pulling all of the company’s chat and messaging services together into one streamlined experience. We’ve seen leaks of Babel over the past few weeks and wouldn’t be surprised if the service debuted at Google I/O today.
Google’s streaming music service
We got quite the surprise last night, as news leaked that Google’s streaming music service was all but a done deal. The service would compete with Spotify, offering a large library of music for listeners to stream on demand (as opposed to a Pandora-type radio model). The New York Times reported that Google would not be offering a free tier like Spotify — if this is the case, Google’s service could be priced lower, since the company wouldn’t need paid subscriptions to recoup the costs of free users. Think $4.99-$7.99 for both Web and mobile access. Spotify is a popular service, so Google will need a major hook to compel users to switch. Price could be that hook.
Second-generation Nexus 7
Google partnered with Asus last year to create the Nexus 7, a seven-inch Android tablet that became a runaway success. Sure, it wasn’t doing iPad numbers, but in the world of Android tablets, the Nexus 7 did extremely well. Rumor has it that Google plans on introducing the next version of the Nexus 7 tablet at Google I/O today. What will this year’s device have in store? Chances are, it won’t be a major update, but look for a slimmer profile and upgraded internals. Maybe even a rear camera? We’ll have to wait and see.
We already know about Google Glass and there will almost certainly be some time dedicated to Google’s wearable device — we just don’t know what about. Google’s Web browser, Chrome, will also play a role in I/O, as will Chrome OS. We just don’t know that any major news will be coming for any of these products at the conference.
Keep it here, as we’ll be covering any major news out of Google I/O all day long. Does anything in particular interest you? Let us know.