Google I/O: It's going to be Android, Android and more Android
Like Apple's World Wide Developer Conference, Google's I/O Conference is largely an insular affair, aimed at third-party software developers and hardware makers who form an important part of Google's ecosystem.
Many, if not most, of the announcements will be aimed at tech professionals, but just like at WWDC, you can expect some news to emerge from I/O that will be of great interest to the average consumer. What kind of news? Here's what some of the best and brightest think the biggest headlines will be once Google's two-day event kicks off on June 25.
GigaOm's Kevin Tofel thinks the big story will be Android Wear-based smart watches. He posits that LG, Motorola and Samsung may take this opportunity to show off new wearables and make them immediately available to buy. Tofel says there's a chance we might see the 8.9-inch Nexus tablet that's rumored to be in the works, but he doubts it will be available for purchase just yet.
Back in early April, Sean Hollister of TheVerge published an expose on Android TV, Google's answer to Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV. His report suggested that this boxy peripheral will run video content, apps, and games. Since then, many have come to believe that the I/O Conference will serve as Android TV's debut. If that's the case, expect Google to price the device very aggressively.
Like many throughout the industry, Matt Hamblen of Computerworld believes Google may unwrap an entirely new version of Android (5.0, maybe?). He further suggests that the new OS might just bridge the gap between Android and Chrome by combining the two operating systems. It's a provocative idea, though it raises many questions about feasibility and functionality.
John Shinal of USA Today thinks (as does anyone with half a brain) that Google will do everything it can to make Android outshine Apple's iOS. Expect Google to take plenty of cues from Apple's finely-honed keynote presentations; adhering to Apple's format is practically a requirement for any big tech event nowadays.
One thing everybody seems to agree on is that Google loves to surprise its I/O audience. Google could easily pull from its large collection of fringe-ish experiments like self-driving cars, Internet-broadcasting balloons, artificial intelligence, robotics, and even a project focused on ending death. Announcements from any of these could wow I/O attendees -- and viewers at home.