Google’s I/O developer conference is starting in just a few hours from now, and we expect that the company has by now packaged all it has in store to show us during the event at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, California. With the various products and services provided by the tech giant in various tech industries, there’s a lot to see from tomorrow; a lot of surprises. However, before Google I/O 2018 dates in the month of May every year, we are able to decipher most of what Google has in store to present based on how it prioritizes some products, before the Google I/O announcements.
A major Google I/O keynote is a proof of what Google has been cooking in its DayDream platform, the Lenovo Mirage Solo VR headset. Other keynotes would include a new wearable platform, Google Home, Android TV and new applications of Google Assistant.
Google I/O registration is only open to invited individuals in various categories; general admission, community and academic. The event starts on May 8 at 10AM PT / 7PM CET / 1PM ET / 10:30PM IST. Google I/O livestream is also available if you want to follow up the events as it happens. However, below are what to expect.
The second preview for Android’s latest mobile operating system released earlier this year is definitely going to be a keynote at the event. As we are anticipating the OS new changes to be announced on stage, we also have a good idea of what those changes might be. The navigation buttons at the bottom of Android phones would become a single button and the functions of the previous buttons would be moved to gesture controls. We are expecting to see more smoothed corners in the UI.
The way people interact with notifications would be changed and more ways of carrying out basic functions without opening specific apps. As the second preview of the operating system, the security system and battery life are both expected to be improved, and changes to how it performs background processes.
Google’s push for competition against Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa and Cortana is not something that can stand down for a year without being reviewed. Google Assistant has become a useful tool in various smart home devices even as it has found a way to live on iOS. We expect to learn about new features for the Assistant, mostly for Google Home. And we are not expecting new hardware announcements because of the upcoming Pixel event, it may only give insights.
To clarify that Google’s wearable platform is compatible with Android and iOS, the company renamed it to Wear OS from Android Wear earlier this year. We are expecting a default dark theme and battery optimizations in the next preview. And more features involving the integration of Google Assistant is highly anticipated, since improving lately. Support for Actions similar to those on Smartphones has already been added by Google lately. We are expecting to learn about many things that can be performed with Wear OS since it now has support for more than a million Actions.
Android TV & Android Auto
For some time now, we have heard nothing about Google’s set-top box software, in-car infotainment product and Android TV from the company. But that’s not likely going to happen this year. We already have rumours that Google would be releasing a new 4K Android TV dongle as an improvement of the Chromecast dongles used in streaming a wide range of content on TV. We expect the 4K Chromecast-like TV dongles to include a remote and full Android TV interface. The existence of your phone features on your Automobile dashboard is a glorified version of Android Auto, but this is becoming a reality, with Google Assistant expected to power most voice functions. We are expecting Google to announce a few additional features at the event sequel to the wider use of its Assistant.
This year’s I/O is likely going to feature one big update for everyone’s favourite browser-based operating system. Google has recently succeeded in building Linux app compatibility into its Chrome OS, something they have been working on for some time now, according to Chrome Unboxed. Running IDEs and Linux tools on Chromebooks looks like a done deal and this puts Chrome OS which has made its first outing onto a proper tablet into a rival position with traditional PCs utility wise. We are not expecting this to gain a lot of spotlights as Google may still have some work to do, but seeing some neat demos on the work is done so far is not completely a ruled out.