With less than two hours left for Google I/O 2014 to kick off, rumors about what Google could announce at its annual developer event indicate it could be one of the biggest and most exciting ones ever.
We have already heard about Google’s connected home strategy with Nest Developer Program going live and Google Glass getting a hardware and software update. But Google I/O has lots more in the offing both in terms of software and hardware that is likely to be announced tonight. Here’s our rumor roundup of what Google is likely to announce at Google I/O.
Android 5.0 Lollipop
While we are not 100 percent sure if it will be called Lollipop, but Google will unveil its Android ‘L’ update tonight. It is likely to be a major redesign with an overall flatter look and redesigned Google apps that will be consistent across operating systems and form factors. Android 5.0 is also likely to have a do not disturb feature. Google might also court enterprise users with better security features and demarcation of the user’s personal and work related content, apps and services.
Google will finally show off the first generation of wearables running on its Android Wear platform, which has been made specifically for such devices. We will finally get a look at how apps will work on smartwatches. LG and Motorola have already unveiled their Android Wear smartwatches but we should hear more about pricing and availability. Samsung too is expected to launch its Android Wear smartwatch at the event.
After failing with Google TV and Nexus Q, Google will give TV another shot. This time Google will take the set top box, not very different from how Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV. Google will have a similar card UI and will even launch a game controller that will enable users to play games on a bigger display. There is also likely to be a multi-device play where you start something like watching a YouTube video on your smartphone or tablet and then seamlessly transfer it to a bigger display.
Nexus 9 tablet
Earlier this week we got our first glimpse of HTC’s Volantis tablet, which is supposed to be a Nexus tablet. Called the Nexus 9, it will sport an 8.9-inch display, Nvidia Tegra K1 chipset among other top-of-the-line features. However, this is in contrast to rumors of Google killing the Nexus lineup of devices and opting for an Android Silver program instead, that will feature more brands.
Project Ara and Project Tango
Both these projects come from Google’s Advanced Technology And Projects (ATAP) team. Project Ara is Google’s modular smartphone project and while we expect Google to talk a bit about it, we doubt if there will be any announcements. Project Tango is the 3D sensing smartphone and tablet platform that enables developers to create 3D maps of indoor spaces. Again, we expect some mention about this project but no major announcements.