Google I/O 2013, Google’s annual developer conference, starts this Wednesday, but rumors are already circulating about a lackluster event. New head of mobile development Sundar Pinchai has already said not to expect many big announcements, but there could be some important announcements regarding Google Glass and the Android ecosystem. Here’s what you need to know.
1. There Could be a Slight Nexus 4 Upgrade
2. There Are Conflicting Reports About A Next-Gen Nexus 7
Conflicting reports about a next-gen Nexus 7 make it difficult to figure out what we can expect. Ars Technica says you can expect “a thinner screen bezel to reduce the device’s overall size, and it could have increased resolution from the tablet’s predecessor… a processor manufactured by Qualcomm rather than NVIDIA…a 1080p display…a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera, an HD front-facing camera, Wi-Fi and NFC, as well as a 4,000 mAh battery pack with Qi wireless charging capabilities.”
But other reports say that we may not see the device until July 2013. But, as Gizmodo notes, after Pinchai’s comments about the upcoming Google I/O, we may not see such a major hardware change till later in the year.
3. We Could See Android 4.3
Android 4.3 is Google’s rumored operating system update, and we could be seeing it as soon as this week at the I/O conference. As we previously wrote, Android 4.3 could have Google Babble, Bluetooth Low Energy Technology, and Open GL ES 3.0. It would make sense since Google has decided to push back the release of Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie.
4. We Won’t See Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie Probably
With the rumors surrounding the Android 4.3 ramping up and the reports and leaks about Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie getting quieter and quieter, it seems like Google has decided to delay Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie. Why? Maybe development for the update is running behind schedule — like Apple’s iOS 7, reportedly — and Google wants to add some even crazier features in the brand new update.
5. What Is Google Play Games?
The discovery comes from securing the latest version of Google Play Services, version v3.1.36. In it, a little green game controller represents Play Games. When you tap on Play Games, it opens up the settings for the game center to edit who you can send game invites to or receive invites from, save synced games, and see achievements, scoring and the leaderboard. The icon also serves as a shortcut for activities you do on Play Games.
6. We Can Hear More Details About Google Glass
7. We Shouldn’t Expect To See the Motorola X
8. We Should See Google’s New Messaging Service — Babel
Google Babel should also help Google’s Android ecosystem become more unified and easy to use. Similar to Apple’s iOS iMessage, which works on Mac computers running 10.8 Mountain Lion, iPhones, iPod Touch’s, and iPad and iPad Mini’s. Google, unfortunately, doesn’t have the same easy-to-use messaging service…yet. TechRadar reported about Babel first, but now some are hypothesizing that the service will be called “Hangouts” instead. Either way, it should be a service that we’ll really appreciate — with so many messaging services from Google, unifying them could be a great decision for Google.
9. There Could Be a Google Maps Update Too
10. Hopefully, We’ll Hear About Some Longshot Projects
Google X Labs secretly works on some amazing and farfetched projects — including Google Glass. There is evidence (from Google) that they’re working some amazing products, including a super-fast Internet service called Google Fiber and a self-driving car. We’d love to see updates on these potentially-groundbreaking projects…maybe when we can buy them? We’ll find out soon enough when Google I/O 2013 starts on Wednesday.