Google’s annual developer conference Google I/O is kicking off this week. At 9:30am on Thursday 28th of May (2:30am AEST Friday 29th for those wanting an early start on Friday), Google will be running a two-and-a-half Hour long keynote address to assembled developers, media and staff. The sessions that Google will be hosting are now mostly live on the Google I/O 2015 website – but we all know that the good stuff gets updated after the keynote.
The Moscone Centre West is in the final stages of being dressed up for the event and what the company will announce. We’ve had a brief look through the schedule, but there’s a lot more that’s been hinted at/mentioned in the last year that we could see this Thursday:
We’ve seen what’s possibly a 5GHz Wifi enabled Chromecast 2 pass through the FCC, and a Google executive has spoken about the 2nd generation device. Chromecast is responsible for launching Google back into the race for the loungeroom after two wildly unsuccessful (Google TV and Nexus Q) attempts.
ATAP (Advanced Technologies and products):
Project ARA, Wearables that will ‘blow your socks off’, what else will Googles advanced labs show off? 2nd Generation Android Wear?
Android TV and Auto:
We’re definitely going to see more Android TV and Android Auto. Android TV is just launching and Nvidia are set to launch their high powered Shield console – as evidenced by the multitude of Shield advertising banners that are on the street corners around Moscone West.
Android Auto has really only just launched both in the US and here in Australia, so expect to see more from Android Auto, with perhaps a few more product announcements.
Google Glass Gen 2:
This one’s a stretch, after the original Google Glass Explorer program was halted in January. The project was handed over to Tony Fadell from NEST, to oversee, but it could make a brief appearance in terms of SDK or some sort of API for developers. Tony Fadell has been quoted as saying NOTHING is sacred when it comes to Glass, so we could see a quite different piece of hardware at least shown off.
Duh. Google themselves let this one out of the bag, but then we saw a preview of Android L (which we now know as Lollipop) at last years I/O, so an Android M preview will be seen as well. Best off getting those Nexus 6 and Nexus 9 handsets ready to flash a dev preview on Thursday.
ChromeOS keeps going from strength to strength. Reported sales in the US are apparently insanely high, with Australian schools adopting Chromebooks as the preferred option quite quickly as well. We’ve seen Google release the Chromebook Pixel 2 earlier this year, so it’s no surprise that it’s still a strong contender, but what features we’ll see on ChromeOS in the next year remains to be seen – more Android Apps? Further partnership with Adobe? Who knows, it’s going to be exciting.
Google Cardboard – writ LARGE:
The appearance of Google Cardboard last year shocked the absolute hell out of everyone last year as a simple, affordable platform for everyone to access. Moves into other areas with major partners like Mattel and launching the ‘Works with Cardboard’ certification program have shown Google is serious about VR. The fact that other companies like HTC, Samsung and Facebook via Occulus are eyeing this space off too are all indicators that Google is serious about Cardboard.
Android @Home finally:
Google got everyone excited back in 2011 and since then – nothing. Google has made pretty good headway with at least some home automation with purchasing NEST, who subsequently purchased remote video camera maker Dropcam, and smart home hub maker Revolv – so the time is right, the ducks are in a row and we heard last week that Google even has a new low-power OS called ‘Brillo’ to power it all. Could this be the year that Android @Home finally makes it?
Google Play gets Kid and Family Friendly:
Google Play can at times be a mess. The search is terrible, the Books section is full of garbage masquerading as apps and it’s a bit of a wild west (Which some say is part of its charm) – but Google is cleaning it up. Google is now manually reviewing app submissions, they’ve added a classification system, they’ve also started taking submissions for apps to be included in a ‘Family Friendly’ app store.
Whether this all extends to family sharing of Google Play content like apps, games, movies, books, TV shows and more remains to be seen, but we have everything crossed.
The builders are hard at work, and we’re sure the coders at Google are too, putting the finishing touches on what’s sure to be a great show. We can’t wait – will you be getting up at 2:30am on Friday morning or checking out all we have to cover at a more leisurely hour?