Google IO: What do we expect to see?



Over the past few years, the Google IO developer conference has managed to establish itself as an event where we can see some of the best advances in consumer technology and software. Google always seems to have something up their sleeve, and managed to “wow” the gadget-loving crowds last year with the announcement of Google Glass, the Nexus 7 tablet, and Android Jelly Bean.

Over the past few years, the Google IO developer conference has managed to establish itself as an event where we can see some of the best advances in consumer technology and software. Google always seems to have something up their sleeve, and managed to "wow" the gadget-loving crowds last year with the announcement of Google Glass, the Nexus 7 tablet, and Android Jelly Bean.

So it's little wonder that so many people are looking forward to this year's show at San Francisco's Moscone Centre on the 15th to the 17th May. But what can we expect to see this year? Well let's have a look at some of the rumours...

         1.       A Subscription-Based Music Service

This is an interesting rumour that has only surfaced within the last day. It started with The Verge reporting yesterday that Google were planning to unveil their Spotify competitor as early as day one of the conference, and that they have agreed licensing deals with the Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment to stream their music on both YouTube and Google play.

And for those of you who may not know, landing both Universal and Sony means that Google has access to the discography of two of the largest record labels in the world, who are home to acts such as Bob Dylan, Alicia Keys, Lil Wayne, Rhianna, and Jay Z.

         2.        A Change of Course for Google Maps?

About a week ago, an online rumour suggested that Mountain View was scheduling in some major changes to Google Maps. Some significant changes would include the removal of the sidebar, as well as local searches being filtered through Google+ recommendations.

Google Maps

Would you be interested in a new version of Maps? We'll have to see what changes (if any) are made...

          3.       Don't hate the Player... Hate the Game

It seems that Google are going to be focusing quite heavily on gaming at this year's IO. Not only are there more game-related developer sessions on the first day of the 2013 conference than the whole of the previous years combined, but five Android sessions are also devoted entirely to games.

Adding more fuel to the fire are TechHive, who managed to track down the LinkedIn profile of Rachel Bernstein, who was reportedly hired by Google in April to become the executive producer at Android Play Store. Bernstein has formerly worked at EA and Fog City Software, which could show us that Google is hoping to make greater inroads into the gaming market.   

          4.       A New Nexus 7

Asus Nexus 7

Come July, the Nexus 7 will be a whole year old. This may not sound like much, but in the world of tablet PCs, this is considered retirement age. So it would come as little surprise to anyone if Google were to announce its successor at this year's IO.

After the success of the original device, Google are expected to again team up with Asus to work on the new Nexus 7. And they won't be resting on their laurels, as Mingchi Kuo, an analyst for KGI securities, expects the upcoming Nexus tablet to enjoy a significant upgrade. These improvements will include a Qualcomm APQ 8064 processor, a narrow bezel LTPS 7-inch panel at a high-resolution of 1920 x 1200, a 5MP AF rear camera lens, and wireless charging.

We also expect that Google will stick to their seriously affordable price tag of between £159 and £199.

          5.       More Google Glass Details

Although the device was announced this time last year, Google Glass still remains a rather enigmatic product launch on Google's horizon. For instance, we only know of a few third-party apps that are being developed for Google Glass, so the 2013 developer conference will be just about the perfect place to reveal more software.

Google Glass

It has also been put to us that we may see some new designs for Google Glass, with vintage frame designer Warby Parker said to be showing of some new models. But whatever the truth regarding new designs, we really hope that the IO will be able to give us more information regarding price, battery life, and new applications for Google Glass.

What are you hoping to see at this year's Google IO developer conference? Let us know in the comments below...