I/O keynote lacked rumored devices – are you disappointed?

May 15, 2013
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Google did not unveil at Google I/O 2013 any of the rumored hardware or operating system upgrades that various reports said it would. Should you be disappointed?

Just like Sundar Pichai, the head of Chrome and Android, told Wired a few days ago, this wasn’t a Google I/O keynote where you’d see new OS versions alongside new Nexus-branded hardware. Instead, it was focused on users and developers – after all it’s a conference for developers – therefore on new Google apps and services.

The three-hour keynote was packed with announcements worth your attention but it had little talk about hardware. We only saw the Galaxy S4 Google Edition mentioned on stage right next to a bunch of Chromebooks including the high-end Chromebook Pixel that was offered to all Google I/O attendees. In fact, we also saw the Nexus 4 used to demo certain features, but also the iPhone and the iPad when talking about certain apps and/or features.

In case you missed the opening keynote, you can always check our I/O coverage and read more details about all the software novelties Google introduced at this edition.

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In short, Google announced new services such as Google Play Games Services, Google Play Music All Access, Android Studio, Google Play for Education and Google Hangouts, and revamped some of its existing web products including the Google Play Store, Google Play Services, Google Plus, Google Maps and (unsurprisingly) Google Search.

So what didn’t make the cut  or simply wasn’t supposed to be unveiled at this time – of course, assuming that any of the products we’re going to talk about is actually real? Let’s take a look!

No Android 4.3 

Despite having seen it in server logs, and despite Google having revealed it itself, Android 4.3 was not unveiled at Google I/O. In fact, Google did not announce any new Android update, and did not mention any details about any future OS versions.

In case you haven’t been keeping up with recent rumors and you’re asking about Android 5.0 then we’ll tell you that particular version wasn’t unveiled either, but it wasn’t the primary candidate for a Google I/O 2013 announcement anyway, considering all the recent Android 4.3 talk.

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No “new Nexus 7”

That “new Nexus 7” one analyst mentioned not long ago looked great on paper, sporting pretty believable specs. Considering that the first-gen Nexus 7 was announced at Google I/O, it made plenty of sense to assume that a second-gen product was in the cards for this year’s Google I/O edition, but that was not the case.

Google did make sort of a big deal about apps for tablets during some of the keynote’s various sections, but it did not unveil a new tablet of its own.

No 32GB Nexus 4 LTE

Another rumor that got more traction in the past few weeks mentioned the slightly upgraded Nexus 4 – a device that would sport 32GB of storage, offer LTE connectivity and would be unveiled at Google I/O 2013.

Considering that the Nexus 4 is only five months old – which may be old in Android years but it’s still a new product – it wouldn’t have made much sense to actually see a Nexus 5 unveiled at the event. But releasing a slightly updated Nexus 4 model may have made some sense, especially if paired with a new Android OS update.

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The white Nexus 4 wasn’t acknowledged during the show either.

No X Phone

The other important presence in day-to-day Android rumors is the Motorola-made X Phone that should be an Android device running a stock Android version, almost a Nexus device but without the Nexus branding.

Of course those X Phone rumors aren’t always on the same page, and while some people believed the X Phone could be unveiled on stage at Google I/O 2013, others said the handset would not make it to the show.

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