With Google’s annual developer conference, Google I/O, fast approaching, it’s time to get some predictions set of some of the Android-related items that maybe expected out of the three-day event. As usual, there’s no shortage of Android rumors to ponder, but this year seems to be just a little bit different. For the first time since Android was announced, we’re expecting to see an Android device officially launch at the conference. Exciting? Sure, but there’s much more.
Google Nexus 7 – A “Pure Google” Android Tablet
We’re not quite sure what the 7 in the name has to do with anything, but we do expect Google to release actual hardware at Google IO, which would be the first ever for the conference. The Google Nexus series of phones have been known by Google as “pure Google” Android experience, which is the only way to get Android as it was truly meant to be within a phone.
The earliest details of a possible new Google Nexus device was actually made about 6 months ago from the Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who at the time hinted on such a device.
Rumours have began circling that Google are working with Asus to bring a stock Android tablet experience as well at the event, this could be some very interesting developments coming for Android, which need some very fast catch up momentum in the tablet-sphere to begin if they want to even start true competition with the Apple iPad.
The advantages of Google releasing a “pure Google” tablet would be rather similar the advantage existing in the Google Nexus range of Smartphones. Google tend to be much more favourable when it comes to updates to their Google branded devices, something in which Google have been receiving tough criticism for in the Smartphone, and even now in the tablet world, so it would be great to see such things in the tablet world of Google.
As for the Google tablet itself, by being referred to as the Nexus 7 we are thinking this is presumedly going to relate to a 7-inch display size. The speculation is that Google wants to wrest back control of the Android tablet scene and give consumers more bang for their buck. While there has not been one runaway tablet hit on the Android side of the fence, the sadly still US only, Amazon’s Kindle Fire, has proven to be quite successful due to its unique experience and the $200 price tag. Google believes you should get more tablet for that kind of money, which can only be good news for consumers once Google sort out the issues still current in the Android eco-system, which has been far from the Ice Cream Sandwich experience promised from Google last year.
The full hardware details for the Nexus 7 tablet are still unclear, but rumours suggest it will have a quad-core CPU and a price point of US $150-$200. More specifically, the processor is a 1.3GHz Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor and comes with Nvidia’s ULP GeForce GPU. Additional specsreportedly include Wi-Fi connectivity, a front-facing camera, 768×1280-pixel screen resolution, and Chrome browser preloaded. Should Google deliver here, the tablet could fly off shelves, perhaps at a rate as high as 600,000 per month.
Nexus 7 also could be the device that goes home with attendees as well, if Google stick to the take home trend of Google IO for those who attend.
Jelly Bean (4.1)
Among other details, the Nexus 7 is expected to be the first device to launch with Android’s next major release, codenamed Jelly Bean. Early rumors for the candied OS had it tied to a v5.0 release candidate, though it now appears it will be 4.1 instead. Much like 2.0 and 2.1 were back-to-back updates, this should be the case for the Ice Cream Sandwich successor.
Typically, Google will announce the next major release of Android at Google I/O and tease some of its features. But for all the talk about Jelly Bean, Google and its partners have been able to keep a tight lid on things thus far, which is great for them and excitement for the keynote, but not great for us as we like to at least have some ideas and then tonnes of blogs up and until a big event like this but we’re gonna try for this one. While they are a few things I’d like to see in 4.1, it’s quite possible that it will be a lot of back-end stuff that developers might notice more than typical users, which seen as Ice Cream Sandwich isn’t exactly lacking in features this could be some really good refreshing news for Android.
The aforementioned tablet should be the first device to come integrated with the new release, while the existing smartphone should be expected to get the update should be the unlocked Galaxy Nexus. As for more Jelly Bean handsets, Wired reports that Google will launch up to five Nexus devices with 4.1 later this year. That’s not out of the realm of possibility and may actually work to the platform’s advantage. Rather than releasing one phone with a brand-new device, a host of partners could work together on tweaking the OS in time for the holiday shopping season.
Live Steam Google IO
For the first time, Google will be broadcasting its keynote and sessions live on YouTube. Should you miss the trip to San Francisco, you can still watch everything unfold online. The program is perfect for fledgling developers looking to bone up on best practices. CNET will of, course, be in attendance and covering things from the ground. Check back for more information and reaction on Google I/O in the coming days!
What do you hope to see for Android at Google I/O?.