Google I/O 2014: What to expect from Android and more

Google’s annual I/O developer conference kicks off today with a keynote address at 5pm UK time, where the company will announce a host of new products, software and services.

Last year’s event clocked in at almost three-and-a-half hours, so expect a huge amount to be announced by the search giant today. Google Glass, Android, Nexus phones and tablets and Android Wear will all be mentioned

Google I/O 2014: Android

Google senior vice president Sundar Pichai revealed this week that a preview of Android 5.0 will be shown off at I/O. Google usually waits until the autumn before revealing its latest Android, so opting to show off a preview several months early suggests Android Lollypop, as we expect it to be called, will have plenty of treats for us to enjoy.

That name, in case you’re wondering, hasn’t been confirmed by Google yet, but it makes sense given all previous versions of Android have been named after sweets or desserts and in alphabetical order. As such, as expect Lollypop to follow Ice Cream Sandwich, Jelly Bean and Kit Kat.

Google I/O 2014: Android Wear

Announced earlier this year, Android Wear will be a major attraction at this year’s I/O, where developers will learn more about how to create apps for the smartwatch software. Every attendee of I/O is expected to be given an LG G Watch to get them started with Android Wear. We believe the G Watch will go on sale imminently after I/O, and will be soon joined by the Moto 360 by Motorola.

Samsung is also said to be developing an Android Wear device, and this may also break cover during the I/O keynote address.

Google I/O 2014: Google Glass

It’s now two years since Google Glass was first shown off, at the 2012 I/O conference, and the sci-fi gadget is still only available as a prototype. This week, Google started selling Glass outside of the US for the first time and it can now be bought in the UK for £1,000.

The gadget also received a minor hardware upgrade this week, doubling RAM to 2GB and improving battery life by 15%, but it’s still a long way from a product the masses will want and be able to afford.

Glass wasn’t mentioned at last year’s I/O, so this time around we hope Google will at least explain its plans for Glass andtell us when it expects a cheaper and consumer-friendly version to be ready.

Google I/O 2014: Android TV

Google will use I/O to anounce at leaset one set-top box running the new Android TV operating system, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal. This tallies with remarks made by Pichai, where he said the company has several Android TV announcements to make at the event. The box will be aimed to compete against the Apple TV, Roku and Amazon Fire TV.

Google I/O 2014: Nexus tablets

The Nexus 10 tablet is two years old and with a rumoured upgrade failing to arrive at last year’s I/O, we expect to see something new from Google this time around. Joining it could be an upgraded Nexus 7, plus the highly-anticipated and slightly larger Nexus 8 tablet. This week it was whispered that HTC could be the manufacturer of Google’s next Nexus tablet, and that it will feature an 8.9-inch display.

As for the Nexus smartphone, we doubt we’ll see anything here. The Nexus 5 was only launched in November so it’s very unlikely that Google would announce an update already.

Google I/O 2014: Google @ Home

With its acquisition of Nest, producer of smart thermostats and smoke alarms, and its Google @ Home software platform, Google is setting itself up for an assault on the home automation market. We expect to hear more about the company’s plans for connecting our homes and everything in them.

And the rest...

Any number of products from Google’s vast catalogue could see considerable updates this week, so brace yourself for new features in Maps, Chrome, Gmail and more.

Watch it live

Google will provide a live video stream of the opening I/O keynote address. We’ll be providing access to this stream once it goes live, so come back to Mobile Choice later today to enjoy the show.

 

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