Google’s mega conference kicks off in a few hours (17:30 GMT) so we thought we’d highlight some of the tech that’s rumored to be making an appearance for the first time.
If you’re one of the unfortunate ones who haven’t been able to get out to San Francisco then you’ll be able to stream the event in full here. If you are at the event then we 100% envy you.
You can also check out the full schedule here.
What can we expect from this years Google IO 2015 conference?
In the last year we’ve been teased with various products and mind-boggling concepts. We’ve seen more Android Wear smartwatches than we’ve had hot dinners, but what is it that’s been talked about the most in the run up to this year’s event? We take a look at the most exciting products/ concepts.
Android ‘M’ – Marshmallow??
Many of you will still be waiting for Lollipop to arrive on your smartphones, but Google are about to announce their latest update to its Android OS.
Tech site ‘The Verge’ managed to grab a screenshot from the latest schedule before it was promptly taken down which highlighted that Android ‘M’ will ‘bring power of Android to all kinds of workplaces’.
Since ‘The Verge’ got hold of this information, it’s been confirmed by a Google employee that Google are now planning to roll out yearly updates to their OS meaning that ‘M’ is probably closer to a consumer launch than we first thought.
Check out all our Android phones here.
Self-drive cars hit US roads
Autonomous vehicles are likely to start hitting US roads shortly after the conference, yes, you read that right, vehicles will be appearing on public roads without drivers…
Google are expected to go into more details on Android Auto since Chevy announced that they’ll be bringing Android Auto and Apple Car Play to 14 of their models in 2016.
We’re expecting them to announce more partnerships with vehicle manufacturers and potentially new functionalities.
Project Tango & Project Ara
Project Ara is Google’s modular phone and is due to be a large talking point at IO 2015. Many people are questioning whether this thing will get off the ground so it will be interesting to see what they’ve got to say during their Day 2 session.
Project Tango is Google’s tablet that combines VR, AR and 3D mapping into one. There is also a session based around this at the conference with Google due to make some further announcements. According to the schedule, the session will offer a ‘sneak peak at how Project Tango will help users connect the virtual world with the real world’. Exciting stuff!
What else can the big tech companies get us to wear? ATAP, the team behind Project Tango and Project ARA are also running a session named ‘Badass and beautiful. Tech and human. Love and work. ATAP’.
According to a description of the session, the team will debut ‘wearables that we hope will blow your socks off. (We mean this more literally than you might think…).’
We have no idea what this might be, fitness socks maybe?
Android 5.0 Lollipop & Chrome
We’re expecting Google to announce that Android 5.0 will be rolling out onto various other flagship smartphones.
Various forums have been speaking about a Chrome update which is likely to feature an updated U/I as well as more cross -OS functionality.
Google Cardboard & Other VR Innovations
We don’t know much but we expect Google to announce updates to Cardboard. We’d love to see more apps announced, plus there is also talk of Cardboard being available to purchase in more stores so users don’t have to make their own.
Google have various sessions set up for VR during IO. One that caught our eye was called ‘Make Believe’ which is due to kick off today. Google Cardboard isn’t mentioned in the session description so we aren’t sure whether it’ll be about a new product entirely or if a Google Cardboard update is in the works.
Android TV & Chromecast 2?
Back in January 2015, Google decided to kill off Google TV due to the strength of Android TV.
Sony have planned to put Android TV in all of it’s 2015 models with developers now being encouraged to create Android TV and Cast-enabled apps.
Google Cast also looks to be a big focus at this years IO with numerous sessions being dedicated to the music and video streaming platform. Gaming on Android TV is also set to be a topic for Google at IO.
Chromecast has been a huge success for Google due to it’s low price point. However, it’ll be 22 months old when IO kicks off later today meaning that it’s starting to feel a little dated. It’s definitely due for a refresh and here’s what we’d like to see from the second-gen Chromecast:
- 4K streaming
- 802.11 AC
- 5GHz Wi-Fi
- 1080p 60fps support
- Maybe a remote?
- Same price point
Apple have taken the US by storm with their Apple Pay product. We expect Google to up their game with Google Wallet and announce something big.
It’s been reported that many US retailers are shunning Apple Pay for their own mobile-payment system so maybe this is a chance for Google to step in and offer an alternative. We’re certainly looking forward to what they’ve got in store.
The Future of Google Glass
Since the launch of Android Wear, there’s no denying that Google has pushed Google Glass to the bottom of the pile.
We’ve also heard reports that Google co-founder Sergey Brin left his Glass in his car when he attending an event in Silicon Valley back in November which doesn’t exactly show consumers that the Glass is something you can’t leave the house without.
We feel that there are three things Google can do with the Glass:
- Give it a full revamp.
- Announce more apps.
- Keep quiet and let the world forget they ever existed.
We reckon that Google might not give up on the Glass just yet and might announce a host of new apps.
PS. if you’re reading this Sergey, maybe bring the price down a bit…
Google Fit officially launched back in October as Apple just introduced their HealthKit for iOS. Developers were also given full access to the platform’s APIs.
Expect to see how far Google have come in the last 6 months with their Google Fit product. We’re excited to see what the future holds for Google Fit seeing as Apple managed to secure backing from various researchers and health giants.
Are Google about to announce their own branded hardware into the wearable arena?
Android Wear has taken some major steps forward in the last 6 months or so and it’s only a matter of time before Google announce their own watch.
We’d want to see the Nexus Watch arrive at IO 2015 and we’re sure we’re not the only ones.
We’d love to see new hardware but apart from the Google Watch (which seems rather unlikely) we doubt that Google are going to introduce anything at IO 2015.
Take a look at some of our Google products here.