Google I/O is primarily a developer focused event, but is known as the big Google conference of the year, when it comes to major announcements from the company.
In previous years, we have had products such as Google Glass, new version of Android, Google TV, Android Pay and more announced at these events and here is a list of what I expect to see and chances of them happening.
Android N being the new version of Android from Google has already been announced a few months ago with a lot of features, but it is believed that not everything has been announced for it yet.
One of the big additions we are expecting to see is support for pressure-sensitive displays, to compete with Apple’s 3D Touch.
Obviously there are no pressure-sensitive displays on any Android smartphones to date, but if Google does add support, it could very well mean the new Nexus devices announced in 2016 would support this.
We also don’t know what Android N is called, so there is a slight possibility depending on when the final release date is, as to if they’ll announce the final name for this software release. I’m hoping it’s called Android Nutella, but that’s my guess.
Chance of Android N being discussed: 95%
Chance of Android N name reveal: 50%
Chance of support for pressure-sensitive displays announced (even for a later update like Android 7.1): 60%
New Nexus Devices:
I believe the Nexus 5X and 6P were a massive step-up from what the Nexus 6 was in 2014.
HTC is believed to be the partner teaming up with Google to create the new hardware for their 2016 smartphones, and likely in 2 different screen sizes like the 2015 phones.
If Google were to announce new smartphones with a fairly soon release at Google I/O, it would annoy a lot of Nexus 5X and 6P users with the phone only coming out just before Christmas 2015.
I’m not getting my hopes up, but you never know.
Chances of new Nexus smartphones announced: 30%
Chance of new Nexus tablets announced: 20%
Google has somewhat recently leaked that their are working on a new platform called Android VR.
The name itself makes perfect sense if they were to branch into VR.
It sounds like Google has a VR headset that is somewhat between a Samsung Gear VR (requires smartphone) and a HTC Vive (great immersion/experience) and is going to be a serious step-up from Google Cardboard.
I would imagine that if this is real, it would be a stand-alone headset that would be work with a set of controllers included with the headset. Think of it more like a HTC Vive or Oculus Rift without requiring a computer, gaming console or smartphone.
Chance of Android VR announcement: 90%
Project Ara (Modular Smartphone):
It’s now been a few years since Project Ara was announced, but it has never actually got to a public release stage.
Is it possible this could be the year that Google’s Project Ara is available to the public? Time will tell.
Chance of Project Ara Public release: 40%
Swift Programming Language:
There have been recent rumours about Google potentially incorporating Swift as a programming language into the Android app development ecosystem, as an alternative language.
If you have not already, be sure to read my blog post regarding Google adopting the Swift programming language and why they should do it.
Chances of Swift for Android announcement: 50%
New Chromebook Pixel or Pixel C:
Google last year announced the Pixel C, which was a new Android tablet that works with an optional (but marketed as compulsory) keyboard attachment.
The Pixel C and Chromebook Pixel runs on Chrome OS and it’s believed that Chrome OS will be phased out and replaced with Android.
To help speed up the process, it’s possible that Google could announce new hardware to help speed up the transition process.
Chances of new Pixel tablet: 50%
Project Aura (Google Glass V2.0):
Google Glass was a really cool concept that never made it to a public release. I honestly believe this was due to privacy concerns with people having a camera facing out all the time and everyone in public not knowing if they are being recorded or not.
The project was then taking away from developers and was so called, taken back to the drawing board.
Could we get a sneak peek at what Google is working on for the next version of Google Glass.
Chances of Google Glass V2.0 announcement: 40%
Google’s own Amazon Echo Competitor:
Amazon Echo is a service that works like Siri does on Apple devices, but has more features to it when it comes to ordering products off Amazon etc.
Rumours suggest that Google is working on their own version of Amazon Echo, with the code-name ‘Chirp’.
It is not secret that Google is working on some form of a self-driving car.
They have been driving cars in America that have been equipped with sensors and other tech to make a car go from point A to point B without the need to use a steering wheel, indicators, gears, brakes, accelerator etc.
At the very least, I expect them to announce how their self-driving car initiative is going and possibly announce what the need stage of the project is, even if it is doing more ambitious driving tests, or test in countries outside America (where local approval is allowed of course).
Chances of self-driving car announcements: 70%
The event itself is being at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California and starts at 10:00am California time in America, which for Australian users is 3:00am Thursday 19th May on the East Coast.
You can watch the event live and view the countdown to when it’s happening, by clicking here.
That’s it for this post, thank you very much for reading.
If you enjoyed this post, be sure to give it a like and follow me here and on Twitter at @neilh_apps, and I hope you enjoy the conference.