Five things to expect from Google I/O

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14 May 2013 | 0

Running from 15-17 May, this year’s Google I/O will make for interesting viewing as the search giant lays out its vision for the future of the Internet. Increasingly defined by gadgets as well as software, 2013 should see announcements in gaming, search and Web applications with a smattering of duds (Nexus Q, anyone?). Here are some expected highlights.

Games, games, games
Android already does plenty of games but doesn’t have a unified gaming ecosystem – it looks like that’s going to change. Google Games is expected to bring together all the elements of contemporary platform like Xbox Live and Apple’s Game Centre. Expect the ability to play games with friends over Wi-Fi, the ability to find friends and add them as per any social network and track top scores on leader boards.

More on Glass
When it comes to cultural impact, could Google Glass (pictured) be the next iPhone? We’ve had a year to get used to the idea of wearing a monicle displaying information from your Android device and developers have gotten their hands on an API so they can start work on their own apps for it. As for actually trying the headset on, that remains the domain of a select few and possibly with good reason.
There’s no getting around the fact that Glass looks like a dorky-looking peripheral, ripe for parody and, according to previews, has terrible battery life. Without the aid of some kind of celebrity endorsement this could be a tough sell, especially as it is expected to retail at $800 on release – whenever that may be.

Voice control Now!
A combination of real time search and voice control app, Google Now is a more ambitious product than Siri but suffers from the same issues – specifically the ability to read different accents.

Android the next
We’ve not seen a lot about the next incarnation of the mobile operating system of choice for over half the smartphone market (version 4.3, Babel). Neither have we heard much about the next Nexus range of handsets and tablets. It’s unlikely Samsung will be let steal a march on Google, especially after its acquisition of Motorola Mobility and successful partnerships with Asus on the Nexus 7 tablet.
One player we may not be hearing from is LG, whose Nexus 4 which ceased production last January and never get a proper release over here.

Little to Chrome about
Google has not one but two app platforms in development for Chrome in NaCl and packaged apps. According to IDG, beyond some bug fixes and offline app support – which would be a big deal for Docs and Spreadsheets – it’s unlikely there will be any surprises here.

 

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