Google I/O 2015 is back in San Francisco on May 28th to bring new products and updates to some old ones. Though we don’t know exactly what the digital giant has in store for us this year, we do know it’s going to be big. 2014 wasn’t a huge year for the conference with the now almost dead Google Glass as the highlight, but we expect a more significant showing in the coming week. Unless you were lucky enough to have $900 handy for a ticket to the event you can watch certain events on the live stream, or even install a news widget. Nothing has yet been confirmed, but this is a list of what we think is most likely to be discussed.
Apple came to the bat earlier this year with the Apple Watch to mostly positive reviews, so it only makes sense that Google will have something to contribute. All that can be gleaned so far on the I/O website is there is a dedicated hour to wearables that will “knock your socks off.” Either that is a cliche or they have created smart socks or shoes, only time will tell. All we know for sure is the ATAP (Advanced Technologies and Projects) team will be revealing some sort of wearable.
As you would expect, Google is banking a lot on their new mobile products this year. We should be seeing a new phone, tablet, and perhaps an updated operating system.
Project Ara is Google’s crack at a modular phone, meaning that it will be completely customizable. Choose the camera, display, shell and more. Essentially you can change and upgrade any part of it you want to make something truly unique. All we have about Ara is a vague and dreamy website with no photos and an FAQ page filled with buzz words. If the phone can be all the website says it can, it could be a game changer.
Google has already been talking about Project Tango, which gives your mobile device spatial awareness like it were actually experiencing the world you do, but the company will almost certainly do some sort of demonstration on the 28th.
Seeing that still only about 15 percent of devices can use Lollipop 5.0, Google could either reveal plans to expand it or focus completely on Android M or 6.0. The original I/O schedule mentioned an hour for M but that was later removed, but this doesn’t mean they’re not planning on releasing it. Hopefully M brings Android users better security, less notifications or an easier way to consolidate them and synchronization with Android Wear.
We don’t expect much to be done with Chrome, but it is included under mobile because there has been some talk about better integration with iOS 8 on phones and tablets.
3. Virtual Reality
Oculus Rift is still the big dog virtual reality, but we think Google has something up its sleeve. In March, the Wall Street Journal reported the company assembled a team of engineers to work on Google Cardboard. I/O would be the perfect time to reveal a VR device for a smartphone. Check it out on the 28th at the “Make Believe” session.
Chromecast is still going strong, but Google TV, Googles answer to Apple TV is not doing as well. That’s why in January, the company announced Android TV. Download apps and customize your home screen to access a number of movies and TV shows. The best part is you can use your phone as your remote so you’ll never lose track of it.
The first thing is self-driving cars. We know Google has been trying out prototypes in Northern California, so it makes sense there would be a demonstration at I/O. There are two Android Auto sessions scheduled and we could either see something revolutionary or more of the same.
The truth is we don’t know for sure what the team in Mountain View will release, but these are the things we’re hoping to see demonstrated. We will have an updated post the day of the event and after when we get more information.