Google I/O 2014: The March of the Robots


Last Google I/O I think I wrote a preview and review for both days. This year I’m limiting my coverage to a preview and maybe one review.

Google I/O is Google’s developer conference and will mark the end of the big three’s (Microsoft/Apple/Google) developer shows. After this it’ll be quiet until possibly CES unless someone has new hardware.

Last year’s I/O was relatively quiet. The big news was about the consolidation of Android and Chrome OS under Sundar Pichai and the maturation of the Android platform. The bulk of the news was around building up the developer story for  Android. Last year was about bringing the back end together, this year looks to be about what’s next.

A while back, one of the Android sites reported that we would soon be seeing a revamp to the Android interface that integrated cards and Google Now into the OS. It was also rumored this revamp would uniform the design of Android. Today Android lead Pichai seems to have confirmed that a revamp will be on the agenda tomorrow. I also expect for some time to be spent on ChromeOS and the successes the OS has had in getting hardware and chip vendors to come on board. With Chrome I think the focus will be on features and number of installs.

There have been reports of a revamp of Google TV and there is a 50/50 chance of seeing it. We may also hear about what’s in store for Google Glass and Google Playschool Self driving car. On more realistic fronts I do expect Google to announce new features and improvements to the Play store. The Play store has been Google’s way to bypass the issue of fragmentation and also a nice way of hampering third part alternative stores. I think the discussion around the Play store will be part of a larger one about the Google ecosystem. I expect a lot of time will be spent on services and how those services fit with Google’s App Engine (because you know there will be focus on cloud computing).

Hardware wise I think Google will talk about new Chromebooks running on Intel chips and a possible Nexus device. I don’t think however that there will be a Nexus phone but a third party phone under the Play addition moniker. Also expected is the concept devices or early devices based on Android Wear (Wearable technology). We may even see the modular phone project, Aura.  And whatever’s shown off will of course be given away to all at I/O.

And while I predict all this will be at tomorrow’s keynote I also expect at least one exception; I don’t think Google Plus will be mentioned at all. Part of me thinks outside of tying together services, Goggle Plus as this Facebook/Twitter-like place will be phased quietly out.

All in all I expect the keynote to further cement Android as the new mass market mobile platform with billions of activations and devices. So if you want to catch tomorrow’s event go to the official I/O page which will have live streaming.

Google I/O 2014-Official page

Happy trails kids.

image: The Droid Guy; Google




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