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Five things we'd like to see at Google I/O 2013
It’s that time of year again! With Mobile World Congress going on right now, we’re primed to see tons of great stuff from a lot of manufacturers. In a curious move, Google doesn’t have a presence this year, opting instead to have Android experts on-hand to assist their partners with any questions or issues. This leads us to wonder just what Google has up their sleeve for I/O this May. Will they unveil anything shocking? In all the hype recently about Google Glass and the Chromebook Pixel, we wonder just what sleight-of-hand Google is up to.
Key Lime Pie
This is the easy one, really. We’re pretty sure this is going to happen, even if only by announcement. Of course, the hope is to get the update as the conference happens, but an announcement will suit us just fine. It will be the low-light of the event, but only because we’re all expecting it. New Android iterations have, unfortunately, become the fodder for what wasn’t included rather than all the great stuff that was.
What will we see from Key Lime Pie (if that’s what it will be called)? Android is already pretty great, but it has room to improve. Perhaps some better stitching with photospheres is in order. We’d also like to see some ability to add and subtract settings in the “quick settings” tray. Better battery performance? Yes please! As for my big hope, a unified messenger app would be phenomenal. Whatever we do end up with, I’m sure it won’t disappoint, despite the naysayers.
Now this is where the real interest lies for many. All this talk of Google Glass and the Chromebook Pixel… but no chatter about the Nexus line! We have heard nothing, while last year the world anticipated the device like rabid dogs crave raw steak. Are we getting anything new? Will we see another Nexus device that doesn’t even survive I/O?
The Nexus 4 was only launched last fall, so it’s hard to believe we’ll see a new official Nexus device. We’ve heard of a “Nexus-like” device (keep reading), but getting an official new Nexus phone doesn’t seem to be the right course of action. I’d also doubt we see a new Nexus 10, as it was released the same time as the Nexus 4.
I will go out on a limb to say we’ll see a new Nexus 7, and it will push the genre further. What last year’s model was to tablets, this one will be to the current Nexus 7. It will be slimmer, sleeker, and have less bezel. A Tegra 4 chipset would be nice, and a 32 or 64GB storage option is right in the wheelhouse of where we’re comfortable. Like our next topic, it should come with Key Lime Pie as well.
It’s time for Google to start acting like Motorola is family, because they are. This “we operate Motorola separately” rhetoric is not only old, it’s nonsense. Google is Motorola, and what we expect to see is only going to be proof of that.
We’ve heard the rumors, and read those comments Larry Page made about what a cell phone should be. All signs point to the Motorola X device, or devices… but we still don’t know exactly what we’re getting, if anything. We’re hoping to see a phone, and even more hopeful to see a tablet along with it. These devices could be what the Chromebook Pixel is for the Chrome OS genre: a raised bar for developers and manufacturers to aspire jumping over.
Kevlar body? Five-inch screen? Quad core, blazing fast processor? New battery technology? We don’t know for sure, but we do know we’re excited for it. If the Motorola X is all we want it to be, the game will change drastically on May 15th.
An interesting conundrum, Google TV is. The hardware is lacking, and a bit expensive compared to competitors like Roku. It has some YouTube interaction and such, which you can’t get anywhere else, but not enough to make people accept it on a broad scale. We haven’t had a wonderful experience with it yet, and it lacks in some very key areas like content… and content. Also, it lacks content. We want Google TV to be special, but it’s just not.
I’m always interested when Google goes silent, as it usually means something is afoot. For months, they have been quiet about Google TV. No announcements about content, no new hardware. They have so much ground to make up to competitors, yet they have nothing to say about the service. It seems a normal course of action would be to consistently upgrade and release, but there has been none of that, leading us to believe something big is about to happen.
It would be silly to think Google will just give up on the living room, so we look for Google TV to make a big move this year. The time is now for Google, as the living room is getting crowded. Roku, Kinect, Apple TV, Ouya… they all want a place on the mantle, and most offer a better experience than Google TV currently does.
For a magician, the prestige is where the trick comes to fruition. Perhaps it’s re-attaching a woman who has been cut in half, or making a dove appear from a hat where nothing was. It’s the surprise, the coup de grace… and Google has one.
What will it be? Time will tell. Will we get some sort of Android wristwatch? Perhaps we’ll get a mid-range Chromebook. There is, of course, Google Fiber to consider… will they roll it out on a wider scale? Maybe attendees will get to test out Google Glass. Is there any validity to the Chrome-Android rumor? There has been quite a bit of work on Chrome Beta for Android, so perhaps something big is coming for Chrome. Whatever happens, expect it to be epic.
Google is primed to blow minds this year. We’re already excited about things we know about, like Glass or the Pixel, so that which we don’t know should be even more amazing. Google has also done a really good job of being tight-lipped about what’s in the works, leading us to believe they are serious about layering I/O with huge, knockout punches.
This year is an important one for Google. They may be the only company with both the ambition to lead, and the resources to make it happen. Across the board, Google has a very strong presence in every sector they’re involved. This year is the right time for Google to stake claim to the top of every mountain they see, and we think they will.
There’s a lot to consider, I know. Google I/O is a pretty big event, and tickets are always in high demand. If you want to go, be prepared for a fight. We have all the info you need, but tickets tend to sell out quickly!