Google’s much-awaited 2013 I/O developer event has kindled the excitement of Android fans across the globe. This is because past events have marked the announcement of Google’s latest Chromebooks, tablets, and especially, Android releases. Recalling the 2012 event, Google introduced the Nexus 7 tablet and Nexus Q streaming media hub. What has the 2013 event – scheduled for May 15th in San Francisco – have in store for Android lovers? Experts point to the release of new hardware rather than software. In fact, the event will likely feature renewed versions of existing products rather than brand new products. Here’s a look at the possible new releases from analysts’ perspective.
New Android Software
CNET draws attention to a new version of the Android software – an updated version of Jelly Bean, or perhaps, the Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie version. Some expect Google to simply provide a small update adding new features and developer APIs. This is probably, because handset manufacturers and carriers haven’t been able to keep up with the faster pace at which Google has been iterating Android. To illustrate, it took until April 2013 – last month – for more than 50% of Android devices to be running Android 4.0 or higher.
Nexus 7 update
Last year, the introduction of Nexus 7 tablet brought the Android 4.0 software to the limelight. This year, Google could announce an update to the Nexus 7 tablet – especially, a faster processor, probably Qualcomm Snapdragon. Other possible updates include LTE integration, full HD display, bigger memory, upgraded camera and lighter weight. Despite the upgrade, the price is expected to remain the same – $199. The upgrade will put the tablet on equal footing with Apple’s iPad Mini, which is far more expensive.
Nexus 4 update
Nexus 4 phone, launched in October 2012, is likely to show up as a newer version with 4G LTE support and 32 GB internal storage. Currently, the device comes in 8 GB and 16 GB versions and lacks LTE support.
Nexus Q details
Nexus Q, the streaming media hub, introduced at last year’s I/O event, was a failure. It was a rather overpriced device with limited functionality. Google tried to promote the device by offering it free for consumers placing pre-orders. It later announced plans to redesign the device. So, this year we can expect an upgraded Nexus Q with Google TV among other features.
Motorola X Phone
Those who have been eagerly waiting for Motorola X Phone – a Google-built phone running on Google Android – can expect the event to bring more info on the product. The device is expected to have a 4.8-inch touch screen display and 2GHz Snapdragon 800 processor. It is rumored that the device will feature an indestructible hardened case with a display that is stronger than Gorilla Glass.
Google might announce new Chromebooks powered by new processors for enhanced performance and longer battery life. The new devices are likely to make it within current pricings of low-end and high-end Chromebooks.
Chrome in tablet form
Google is likely to introduce new forms of the Chromebook – considering Google’s on-screen keyboard feature for screen rotation in the Chrome OS. The tablet-like Chromebooks could resemble Microsoft’s Windows Surface; say, a tablet form with a keyboard dock, or a swiveling screen.
Apps for Chrome
Chrome OS is likely to go beyond its role as a browser to become a desktop replacement, as Google is expected to facilitate app notifications and offline support. Google will likely demonstrate several apps for Chrome OS, including offline apps. Recent developments to this end include its Packaged Apps and Native Client apps.
Google Play Games
Expect to hear that Android will now get Google Play Games. Just as Apple iOS is having Game Center. So, look forward to play multiplayer matchups via Google+ and more.
Last year, Google revealed the Google Glass prototype touting wearable glasses with Internet-connected technology. This year, Google is expected to provide more details, including pricing and shipping info, demonstration on how to use it, and potential third-party apps for the Glass.