Every year, Google tries to make the most of the annual developer conference, showing off new apps, software updates, and even consumer tech. With Google I/O 2017 kicking off today, here are some of the news we could expect to see at this year's event.
In terms of its proprietary software, big things could be in store for Android. Google has always used the event as a tool to show off its newest updates on the operating system, giving consumers and press a taste of the changes and updates coming to its smart devices using Android. So it would not come as a shock if Google showed off its newest iteration of the system, called Android O.
Google has already planted the seeds of what could come with the new OS, its follow-up to Nougat. These include multi-display support and picture-in-picture support for video and web. What else Android O could have, though, is still up for speculation.
Another major part of Google I/O is usually the collaborations Google has to get Android into other devices. A big piece of this has been the boom in smartwatches over the last few years, due in part to Google's deals with major watch brands. With Android Wear 2.0 dropping recently for smartwatches, Google might take time to talk about the update and show off some features that might have been missed after the initial launch.
There could also be more updates coming in the VR space as well. Google recently released its standalone platform, the Daydream, to provide some competition to Samsung's Gear headset. The Daydream works in a similar way, essentially serving as a dock for a VR-capable smartphones.
It only makes sense that Google would also show some upcoming changes and features coming to the platform, especially if Android O is going to be a centerpiece of the event. There may also be the outside chance that Google could try to challenge HTC, Oculus, and PlayStation by announcing its own entry high-end VR headset.
An even bigger part of Google's plans for Android, though, stretches past smart devices. A key piece of this is the future of Android Auto. Google has been working on pushing the system to work without the need for a smart device.
Rather, the car's OS would be Android, and wouldn't be locked to whether the car owner has an Android device or not, allowing users to access apps like Google Maps and Spotify. To this end, Volvo and Audi, which signed a deal with Google to get this done, could already have display and test models ready to go for this year's Google I/O.
The last piece of this puzzle will likely be news on Google Assistant, the company's home tech that would serve as competition to Alexa from Amazon. To help get it off the ground, Google would likely reveal the hardware partners that will bring the program to consumers. The first could be Nvidia Spot, which would provide Google Assistant an early, Amazon Echo-like device with voice controls running on Google's program. How long it will take for it to hit home, though, is another question entirely.
Kevin Billings Tech Times editor Kevin Billings is a born geek at heart. Whether it's video games, movies, tv, comics, or tech, you will likely find Kevin there. And he feels gratified in his passions now that geek culture has come to dominate mainstream pop culture.