Google has a number of events peppered across the year, but its I/O developer conference is quite possibly the most significant by far, because it's the event where major unveilings usually take place, and it's also where Google typically tells everyone about its exciting and innovative undertakings.
The I/O developer conference is made up of keynote presentations, developer workshops, and product announcements. Among the products unveiled during past conferences were Google Home, its intelligent smart speaker; and Daydream, the company's virtual reality platform. The list goes on, of course. If this pattern holds water for this year's conference, then it's highly likely we'll see a bunch of things Google has been working on for a while.
Google I/O 2017: What To Expect
Even if you won't physically be at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California this coming May 17 through 19, there's no need to feel left out. Here's what you should expect Google will unveil, and here's how to watch everything unfold.
After Nougat, Google's proprietary mobile operating system, Android, needs an upgrade. Following the alphabetical pattern, the next version will be named "Android O," and many speculate that it'll be called Oreo. Some slated features include improved battery efficiency, picture-in-picture mode, and snooze notifications. Expect to learn more about Android O during the event, including its official name. To that end, check out our article on the best Android O features.
Expect Google to open up the Android O Beta Program during or possibly after the conference.
Fuschia, for those who don't know, is a brand-new OS Google is currently developing, although exactly what it's for is still unknown. Google might finally unwrap the veil during the conference, giving us a first look at the mysterious OS.
Fuchsia is different from other systems because it's not based on Linux, but is built around a kernel called Magenta, instead. The company describes this design as coded for modern phones and modern PCs. It's unclear what the presence of Fuchsia will mean for Android. Hopefully Google offers an official word during the conference.
During last year's I/O, Google debuted Home, its smart speaker that'll rival Amazon's Echo range of devices. It's not certain whether the company will unveil a successor, but if not, it could announce several improvements to the device to make it extra functional, including further integrations with other internet-of-things devices.
There hasn't been much hype surrounding the Daydream platform since it launched last fall, but seeing as there's a keynote scheduled on May 18 focused on augmented reality and VR, it's safe to say we're getting some sweet Daydream-related news, possibly even a new VR device. The bottom line is, you shouldn't be worried about Google's interest in VR, seeing as how its recent purchase of Owlchemy Labs — famed VR developer behind Job Simulator — is proof enough that it's heavily dabbling with the VR platform.
Android Wear 2.0
At last year's I/O, Google announced Android Wear 2.0, although it did take a while before launching, and its rollout is still pretty much in fits and starts. So don't expect a new Android Wear version to be announced anytime soon. What you can expect, however, is for Google to announce new features for its smartwatch OS.
Allo And Duo
Allo and Duo, Google's messaging and video-calling platforms, respectively, have been around for quite some time, with Allo gaining pretty cool additions sporadically, including a feature which turns your selfies into cartoons with the help of neural networks.
Nick Fox, Google's VP of Communications Products tweeted last February a screenshot of an Allo web app, which we might hear more about during the conference. As for Duo, well, it now has over 50 million downloads on the Play Store. It's uncertain how Google plans to push it toward audiences further, given the dearth of video-calling apps already out in the market. But 50 million is an enormous headstart.
Google I/O 2017: How To Watch
Same with last year, Google will live stream the whole I/O developer conference via the official I/O website, so keep your eyes peeled on the site as May 17 nears. There's also a companion app for iOS and Android that'll help you keep track of upcoming developer sessions, and notify you about events you're interested in. You can also go to the official YouTube page to follow the conference as it unfolds.
What do you expect at this year's Google I/O conference? Feel free to sound off in the comments section below!