Google CEO Sundar Pichai as soon as downplayed his firm’s efforts to make its personal smartphones. However then he introduced the Pixel final fall—a “cellphone by Google”—which rapidly vaulted to the highest of many a “greatest Android telephones” roundup, including PCMag’s.
In truth, the Pixel was simply one among a number of new choices Google launched final 12 months. Now you can purchase Google-branded merchandise to automate your own home, repair your spotty Wi-Fi, beam your browser window to the closest TV, and even escape to a digital world. And since client electronics are relentlessly killed off and reincarnated, most of the units Google introduced final 12 months will seemingly be up to date onstage at this 12 months’s Google I/O builders convention, set to start on Wednesday close to the Googleplex in Mountain View, Calif.
Like all Silicon Valley large, Google—typically through its Alphabet dad or mum firm—additionally has its palms in a dizzying array of tasks past and the web instruments on which it initially staked its declare to fame. So Pichai and his fellow Googlers might reveal extra concerning the firm’s initiatives in synthetic intelligence, cloud computing, and extra at this 12 months’s convention. Here is what to anticipate.
Google launched the developer preview of the subsequent model of its Android OS in late March, codenamed Android O. It has spent the 2 intervening months in a suggestions section, nonetheless tough across the edges (here’s what we know so far). That would change on Wednesday, once we’ll seemingly get extra particulars concerning the new working system’s headline options.
A few of what we count on to listen to about Android O is said to synthetic intelligence and digital and augmented actuality. The preview does not have a lot in the best way of assist for VR or AR, however since Google makes its personal Daydream View VR headset, that can seemingly change within the completed model.
As for AI, Android O will seemingly have deeper integration with the Google Assistant, the corporate’s reply to Siri and Amazon Alexa. At solely a year old, the Google Assistant is comparatively younger as private voice assistants go, which suggests there’s a lot of room for standalone progress and integrations with Android. To get the Assistant into the palms of as many shoppers as potential, Google will seemingly make it simpler for OEMs to implement it on Android O. It at present works with telephones operating Marshmallow or Nougat, however provided that they use Google Play and have 1.5GB of reminiscence and 720p or increased display decision.
We additionally count on to listen to about some back-end enhancements to Android: Google has already promised enhancements to get new variations of the OS onto present units quicker, which ought to assist resolve the power rollout delays which might be one among Android’s chief weaknesses in comparison with Apple’s fast-updating iOS. Look ahead to Google to spice up Android’s safety features, too, and perhaps even announce a moniker (“Oreo,” maybe?) that follows Google’s conference of naming OS variations after confectionary treats.
Pixel and Daydream
A brand new OS model deserves new , so Google is reportedly planning to replace the Pixel and the Pixel XL, in addition to roll out a completely new cellphone. Particulars on the Pixel updates are scarce, however Android Police reports they’re going to persist with roughly the identical display sizes. A 3rd handset, codenamed “Taimen,” can be within the works, according to Droid Life, and it might have a show that is even bigger than Pixel XL’s 5.5-inch display.
As for digital actuality, I/O most likely will not carry main updates to Google’s Daydream View VR headset, which simply went on sale final November. However it might supply extra particulars on Google’s plans for a brand new standalone VR or AR headset, the likes of that are already in growth or manufacturing at Oculus, Qualcomm, and different firms. Google has been engaged on such a tool for greater than a 12 months, in line with a Wall Road Journal report in February 2016.
Google Dwelling and the Google Assistant
Since Google is a relative latecomer to voice assistants, it has been churning out incremental updates over the previous 12 months, from promoting Google Home in additional international locations to including expertise to the Google Assistant, together with the power to have it start your Benz and read you recipes within the kitchen. There are actually more than 200 of those expertise, however that also pales compared to the hundreds obtainable for Amazon’s Alexa.
Google will seemingly use I/O to announce a serious replace past further expertise, like new developer instruments for constructing the assistant into extra units. We might even see a brand new Google-branded speaker or different system, comparable to a speaker-and-router combo, particularly since Amazon now has a handful of units powered by Alexa, like the brand new Echo Show and Echo Look.
I/O may also characteristic demos of additional Assistant integration with vehicles, together with a standalone model of Android Auto that does not require you to plug in your cellphone to entry Assistant and different options, in line with Bloomberg.
Android TV and Android Put on
This one’s a gimme: we all know there might be some updates to the variations of Android that energy residence leisure units, because of an I/O session that can cowl “new APIs, options and upcoming platform enhancements” for Android TV.
There is a related session for builders to find out about options within the subsequent model of Android Put on. The present model, Android Put on 2.zero, hit the primary smartwatches and health trackers in February.
Allo and Different Software program
Google’s Allo chat app has languished considerably since its unveiling final 12 months, due partly to safety issues in addition to the dominance of Fb Messenger, WhatsApp, and different extra established rivals. If Google intends to revive it, I/O can be a great alternative for some new characteristic bulletins, however the firm might simply as simply abandon Allo, particularly because it focuses on its different communication apps like Duo and Hangouts.
On the working system entrance, Google has a couple of methods up its sleeve that we might be taught extra about, together with plans to combine the Chrome and Android working programs in order that Android apps can run on PCs. There’s additionally the Fuscia OS, nonetheless within the very early planning levels—so early, in truth, that it is unclear what kind of units Google intends it to energy.
Google’s dad or mum Alphabet is engaged on a ton of expertise that will not present up for obtain on the internet or on the cabinets of your native Finest Purchase any time quickly. From self-driving vehicles to algorithms that may beat the world’s greatest Go gamers, there are a ton of geeky and futuristic endeavors that would present up within the highlight this week. PCMag might be in Mountain View this week to carry you the most recent from I/O, and you may as well live stream Wednesday’s keynote deal with.