Tomorrow Google will hold its annual developer conference dubbed I/O. I/O begins the official conference season where Apple,Microsoft, and others will gather there developers and detail the next updates to their respective Operating systems.
Google is at an interesting juncture with its platforms. Android is basically the Windows of the mobile world with more than 50 percent of the market. With its growing footprint, Android is rapidly gaining ground on Apple’s iOS in both smartphones and to lesser extent tablets.
With this growth comes new opportunity and more problems. On the second front is Chrome OS, Google’s browser OS. Depending on how you divide the numbers Chrome OS and its Chromebooks are growing (according to Acer) or doing poorly (with sales of the Microsoft Surface RT outselling it). The Chromebook Pixel, Mountain View’s attempt at creating a high device got points for hardware. And then there was Glass. Google Glass finally was delivered to the Explorers aka those who paid a couple of thousand to be a part of the de-emasculation of America. Seriously though, Glass has come out to a lot of mix reviews, a debate on privacy, and a disturbing picture of Internet Capote Robert Scoble in the shower.
So what can you expect tomorrow from the three hour keynote. Well if the interview with new head of Android (and Chrome OS) Sundar Pichai don’t expect any major changes to Android. Where in past events we saw rapid iteration with the platform, this year could be the one where they slow it down. If a slowdown is the case I expect Google to release a minor update to Android Jellybean, and focus on streamlining features. There will also be a heavy focus on developers (I mean this is a developer conference after all). I think if things are REALLY slowing down with Android then tomorrow Google could announce changes to its APK to make it easier for developers to target Android itself and not a particular device.
Outside of little, green robots I also expect Pichai and crew to talk up Chrome OS and Chromebooks.With the introduction of touch to the browser Google may talk about the next version of the browser for iOS and Windows. I also think Google will detail changes to the Web apps that are at the heart of it. Reports from Engadget and The Verge detailed a new type application for Chrome that would function more like an application in the traditional sense. I also expect to see announcements of new partners for the Chromebook line.
And since I do not want to bore you or make detailed predictions that turn out wrong, here is a list of short sentenced predictions:
Google Plus (new features further tying all Google services to it)
Google Glass (or more Scoble with Glass in the Shower)
Nexus 7 (refreshed and with high res screen)
Free stuff (it is I/O)
App engine/Go/Blink (stuff that only the developers will love or understand)
If you want to watch any of I/O 2013 live go here