Android 5.0 notebooks, a Google smartwatch, and an Apple TV competitor coming our way?

by: Robert TriggsMay 10, 2013


Whilst the new Nexus 7 may have been the big news from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo yesterday, he has also released some information, or shall I call it speculation, about some other future Google projects today.

There’s mention of an Apple TV competitor and a Google smartwatch, which we’ll delve into in a minute, and, perhaps most interestingly, some rumors regarding notebooks and Android 5.0.

Of course, Google already has Chrome OS fighting in the laptop corner, but with the operating system struggling to gain mainstream appeal and an OS merger now out of the picture, you can understand why Google may be interested in trying out Android on more traditional computers.

However, Kuo doesn’t believe that we’ll see any of these products at Google I/O this year, and states that Google probably won’t be the first to market with an Android-powered notebook:

[quote qtext=”We think Android Book featuring Android.4x will be rolled out in the coming 3-4 months because some brand vendors, like Samsung, want to move first. ” qperson=”” qsource=”” qposition=”center”]

Sounds like logical reasoning. As we know that Android is making a move into the notebook space, Intel already told us as much, you can bet that Samsung, and other manufacturers, will want to put products to the market as early as possible. But as Android 4.x isn’t really optimised for laptops, the user experience could be a little lacklustre. Which is perhaps where the next major version of Android comes in?

Kuo gives a major hint that Android 5.0 (Key Lime Pie?) could be, at least in part, orientated around improving a laptop/notebook experience, but that we won’t be seeing any Google products in this category until these features are ready.

[quote qtext=”Android Book won’t be introduced at the upcoming Google I/O as development of Android 5.0, which is targeted at (notebooks), is incomplete” qperson=”” qsource=”” qposition=”center”]

Targeted at notebooks? Is Android about to pull a reversal on us and move away from a touch input focus? It’s an interesting statement to say the least, but remember that Jelly Bean added features like multi-user support specifically to tablets, so there’s no reason why the next version of Android couldn’t add some sideline features for notebook users.

Moving on, we’ve all been hearing about Google’s rival to Apple TV for a while, so is the service about to step it up a notch?

Kuo suggests that whilst an Apple TV-like competitor is still on the way, hardware changes have been causing delays which means that it probably won’t be appearing at Google I/O either. Supposedly, Google has decided to change from a Nvidia Tegra-powered chipset to Texas Instrument’s OMAP, which I presume means that a pretty big redesign has taken place.

Finally, how about a Google smartwatch? Again there’s been plenty of speculation floating around about this particular product as well, and surprise surprise, according to Kuo we won’t be seeing a Google smartwatch for a while yet either. Apparently the smartwatch won’t go into mass production until next year, and could be launched to accompany other wearable technologies like Google Glass.

Google Smartwatch 3D render concept

So did Kuo actually tell us anything of worth here? Well yes and no. These are still rumors, and since none of these products are set for release we won’t be able to confirm or deny their existence any time soon. On the other hand, if true, these rumors give us an interesting insight into what Google has planned for the future. Directly taking on Microsoft and Apple in the laptop space with Android would be a bold move by Google, but the timing seems right when you look at the poor sales of Windows 8.

I suppose the real important question is will consumers actually be interested in any of these products? Would you buy an Android-based laptop, a smartwatch, or Google TV box?

  • Alejandro Rodriguez Mann
  • Alu Zeros

    I dont see the point of top boxes that are android when you can just hook up a mini computer to it and do more. Google should build it straight into tvs

  • APai

    android notebooks would be perfect to a lot of people who dont do much more than browsing, watch movies and lightweight general purpose computing – all of which can be done easily with android

    • but whats wrong with nexus 7 why go netbook

      • APai

        that’s a perfect argument, have a keyboard cover as an attachment.

        but if I have an extended 64gb/ 128gb flashdisk, or if they manage a spinning drive all the better (although unlikely).

        better battery life – 6400mah or more ? why not if people are ready for the heft that a notebook carries! better heat management, no need to miniaturize and hence cost effective. that is what intel is hinting at.

        • everything you said except for storage space can be upgradable in future nexus 7 2 or 3.

          • APai

            who knows what the OEMs bring to the table ? better graphics ? expansion slot + SSD, spinning drives (the linux kernel supports DVD – so why not), I’m talking about possibilities of a regular laptop with android 5 addressing all those concerns. whatever the aims of chromebook where, I’m pretty darn sure, the cash strapped PC OEM makers would love a shot at a market that would give them additional revenue. guys like asus/ acer/ would be eager for such an offering. I’d imagine the general populace would love that too – have google play store on it and you never know how much you could push android to. if microsoft has done it – why not google ?

            PS: I know that all of this is ifs and buts, that said – why would google not want to crack take a shot at the desktop. or will the OEMs force google like they did it with the tablet market ? the first wave of android tablets were poorly implemented because android was foisted on to the tablet before it was optimized.

  • Hopefully they don’t reduce the Android experience by doing desktop with Key Lime Pie. I want key Lime Pie to be cool for smartphones too. But im not against a laptop running Android

    • Ivan Myring

      Maybe (like ICS was different on tablets and phones) there would be a similar, though slightly altered version for laptops a and desktops.
      And it would all fit in with the feature i most hope they introduce:
      Multi window

      • Well I have multi Window on s3. But I’d like it to be on android with more apps

        • Ivan Myring

          I know, that’s what prompted the comment. It is possible to get multi window, yet there is no integration in aosp

  • Also I’m pretty keen on having a smart watch. Be it Samsung or Nexus.

    • V-Phuc

      Jeez, having a smartphone, tablet, laptop, and probably something else already don’t weight you down enough? LOL. As I said many times before, the idea of a smartwatch is just dumb. We as smart consumers should know better!

      • Lol. Well, I don’t have a laptop or tablet at the moment, maybe that’s why. But yes, we’ll have to see if it is worth having a smart watch. Otherwise I won’t get it either.

  • Magnetic1

    Android should be the mother of all apps. What I mean by that is… I think Android as an app should run on Win7 and Mac OSX so as to allow android apps to run on desktops and laptops. I can see WIN8 putting up resistance to this and until WIN8 gets more respectable apps I think microsoft should do what sony did during the beta and vhs competition. If you can’t win then join them.

  • tBs_Battousai

    I’ve got the Sony Google TV box and the hardware is solid and the platform stable its just missing some killer apps, crunchyroll and plex are great but xbmc would help along with other apps…

  • vampyren

    All i know is Chrome OS (as well as Firefox OS) will be a big flop!

    Android on the other hand could be a good alternative for netbooks. On the other hand it would be more practical to use the existing phone and attach a desktop to it. I remember seeing such laptop on kickstarted recently where you just dock your phone to the laptop and you get 10h battery + 720p dispaly (later 1080p).


      Which is why the Samsung ARM Chromebook has been the best selling laptop on every single day for the past 6 months.

      • vampyren

        First of all i dont trust the numbers , for all i know it can be “fake” for luring customers.
        Second considering the prize it could be a good choice for some people but as a serious contender it cant survive in the long run.
        Also the people buying it might now know what they are getting (most people i know have no clue what is cpu, cloud etc…). The question is will they come back for more or get
        dissapointed when their internet goes down or work poorly. We will see …..


          Chrome OS works offline, as HTML5 webapps can be made to work offline, not just to work offline but to behave instantly like native apps would do (click compose email and don’t need to wait, it loads the Javascripts/native/webgl stuff locally because the Gmail web app is loaded to your machine to work offline, synchronizing emails “Send and Receive” when it detects a connection. Interest for ARM Chromebooks is gigantic, it’s huge. Whole corporations and whole schools are purchasing Chrome OS machines right now because those are faster, simpler, safer, which is a huge deal, and the consumer satisfaction rating on that $249 ARM Chromebook is absolutely huge, consumers love it. And Chrome OS is only going to get better, merging somewhat with Android (certain subset of Android apps working within a Chrome Extension on Chromebooks), just wait for it at I/O in a few days, Chrome OS is huge. In fact Chrome OS has already overtaken Mac sales, Chrome OS can easily overtake Windows PC sales before the end of the year as it’s rumored all the other Laptop makers are preparing ARM Chromebooks, all getting better at the sub $249 price point.

          • vampyren

            Ok I did not know that but from your explanation or sound more like fragmentation. Why not evolve android and have the same eco system? Is like Google need to re invent the wheel again.

  • Roberto Tomás

    ” Supposedly, Google has decided to change from a Nvidia Tegra-powered chipset to Texas Instrument’s OMAP”
    I don’t buy this .. Texas Instruments announced it was stopping all ARM work a while ago.. many of the top people have migrated on to be scooped up by other fabs. The only way they could be using TI is to use last-gen parts just sitting around… and that wouldn’t make for a compelling experience.


    I’m confused. I’ve had google TV for over a year now. It is much better than apple tv. What am I missing?

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