Google I/O 2013 will kick off in just five hours and follows last years conference in which Google showed off the Nexus 7, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, and gave a more in-depth look at Google Glass. All of these things have become successful products, so there is a lot of pressure on Google to give people something to talk about with this years I/O.
Sure, speculation was fun when it came to thinking about what Google might unveil at this year, but Google’s Android head Sundar Pichai put a slight damper on things when he told journalists to manager their expectations and said that there wouldn’t be as many new products this year. Instead, Pichai said that this years Google I/O would focus more on the “geek factor” and developers.
While we might not be seeing a product-driven conference, there is still a lot of Developer-centric announcements that could also benefit consumers.
Outside of a potential update to Google Glass, Google will probably unveil some sort of upgraded Android. The real question is whether it will be a full change to Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie, or if Google will stick to a smaller upgrade and only announce an upgrade to the current Android platform, Jelly Bean.
Early reports suggested that Google was already working on Key Lime Pie, but it seems unlikely that they would announce it at I/O, instead it would be safe to expect at least a small upgrade to Jelly Bean.
Glass is awesome but does lack in applications so we could definitely see Google release some new apps for the platform during I/O. Sure, this announcement probably will not come in the same fashion as last year’s when Sergey Brin skydived onto the stage, but any new apps will definitely add functionality to the Glass ecosystem.
Nexus 7.2 could be on its way
Google I/O would be a perfect time to announce a Nexus 7.2 device since Google announced the Nexus 7 at last years conference. If they choose Google I/O to show of the Nexus 7.2, it will most likely be one of the only actual hardware announcements coming out of the event.
Some rumors suggest that the Nexus 7.2 will include a 7-inch 720p screen, and will be smaller and more lightweight than the Nexus 7. Overall, it will not be a big upgrade over the 7, but it would be nice to see a updated version of the device.
Android Game Center
The last major software introduction that Google could have at I/O 2013 would be Google Game Center for Android devices. This would function in the same way that Game Center does on iOS. Since this type of application is so overdue, it would be nice to see it unveiled at Google I/O considering how many Android users have requested it.
Less likely (but still possible) announcements for Google I/O
There are a couple of unlikely but still possible announcements that could be coming out during Google I/O. The first would be a new smartphone which would definitely be a beneficial to Google’s hardware lineup but it is not extremely likely.
Lastly, I think it is possible that we could end up seeing a Google Music streaming service announced during Google I/O. Recent reports suggest that the service could launch in Q3 2013 so I/O would be a perfect time for the unveil to be made.