A Few Things to Look Forward to in Google’s 2013 I/O Event

13 May


Now that Google’s much anticipated I/O Developer Conference is drawing near, the speculations, naturally, are mounting.To get a sense of what to expect in the next few days (May 15 to 17), here are a number of possible product/service announcements to look forward to:

(1) The Nexus 7 refresh: numerous reports, from Gigaom to KGI Securities, are suggesting that an updated Nexus tablet is in the works and could make an early appearance during the upcoming developers’ conference. Rumored specs for the new device include a possible 1920×1200 resolution, a Qualcomm Snapdragon or NVIDIA Tegra 4 processor, and a likely starting price of $US 299. A more comprehensive set of details, along with the rumored list of component suppliers, can be seen here.

(2) Potential Debut of the Motorola “X Phone”:as of late, there’d been no shortages of speculation pertaining to the much-talked-about X Phone from Motorola; to add to the recently leaked set of photographs, various benchmark performance tests have emerged indicating that the handset will include a 1.7Ghz quad core Snapdragon processor, 2GB of RAM, a 1196×720 display, and 32GB of storage. The smartphone, according to USdailyvoice and Businessinsider, will also come with the latest Android 4.2.2 OS installed and may feature a nearly unbreakable, fall-resistant body. The level of attention being paid to the X Phone has been excessive lately, a reasonable indication that we will see the Motorola-Google joint effort a lot sooner than anticipated.

(3) Another “Google Glass” Presentation/Demonstration: given the existing set of bugs reported by the early Google Glass testers, the early round of doubts regarding its usability, and mounting concerns over its societal impact, it is reasonable to expect further discussions of Google’s wearable device throughout the May I/O conference. Businessinsider suggests Google will elaborate on the kind of apps that the product will be imbued with as well as its proper release date.

(4) Updates to Android OS: expect to hear some updates and changes to Google’s existing Operating System. While sources like Businessinsider believe the updates will be incremental rather than major, the possibility of seeing significant overhauls—as well as a completely revamped version of Android, dubbed “Key Lime Pie”—has not been ruled out completely. Informationweek has noted in a recent news article that Google could introduce a new version of Chrome that will effectively integrate Android functions using NaCL technology.

(5) Google Map Design Changes: a Google Map screen shot featuring a new interface has recently been leaked on the website, GoogleSystems, indicating a series of potential changes to come. One of the most talked about new features include the ability to integrate Maps with personal content from Google +.

(6) Increased Gaming Presence: AndroidPolice mentioned recently that Google will be planning to expand on the Android platform’s gaming features by taking advantage of the Google + social network and improving the OS’s multi-player support and cloud syncing capability. Further evidences of Google’s gaming ambitions include its recent hiring of a “Chief Game Designer”–which, according to CNET, happened early this month–and the leaked coding documents that had been obtained by AndroidPolice.

UPDATE: The New York Times noted in an article today that Google could also be announcing an audio streaming service that will enable it to compete with Spotify. The original article can be seen here: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/15/business/media/google-set-to-introduce-music-service-to-compete-with-spotify.html?_r=0

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