What to expect from Google I/O 2017
Mobile Communications

What to expect from Google I/O 2017

Google’s annual I/O developer conference will be held this week from May 17-19th.  But what will the search giant be announcing?

Android O 

Google unveiled the developer preview of Android O in March. We should probably expect some news around features, official release, and maybe even a candy-themed moniker.

The company has already announced Project Treble;  a way to separate Android from the hardware, which should solve at least some security/fragmentation problems.

Fuchsia

It’s not yet clear quite what Fuchsia – a new operating system Google is working on – is for. It’s not certain the company will even address its existence this week. Is it a long-term replacement to Android? A way to merge Chrome OS and Android? A replacement for Android Things? One OS to unify them all?

AI

Could Google Assistant be coming to iOS? It’s a possibility, according to the rumour mill. Microsoft’s Cortana is available for Android and iOS, it would make sense to at least match that, if not go further and invade Windows 10, and maybe even other third party devices as well. 

Given Google recently paired up with Raspberry Pi to create the equivalent of a Cardboard-based virtual assistant, you can probably expect the company to talk about it bringing AI capabilities to more IoT devices – all powered by Android Things of course.

Messaging

Google’s messaging strategy as long been something of a mess. Multiple overlapping products, repeated relaunches, little traction. Sounds a lot like most of Facebook’s efforts to copy Snapchat. Will we finally see a coherent vision when it comes to communication?

Google has already announced new custom selfie-stickers for Allo – which is something Snapchat doesn’t do for once – and it is expected that there will be tighter integration between Duo and Allo announced this week. Google Assistant will also be integrated into Allo.

Auto

With growing competition in the automotive space, Google will be previewing a new, built-in Android Auto infotainment system for cars. Audi and Volvo are on board with partners. 

Home & Chromebooks

With Amazon announcing new Echo devices – including one with a screen and one to judge your fashion sense – and Microsoft moving into education with Windows 10 S, it’s safe to say Google will announce updates to Home & Chromebooks/Chrome OS.

What else?

The rumour mill has been fairly quiet this year. But we can probably expect more than just the above. The delayed Android Wear 2 only came out recently and few devices are currently running it, so there is likely to be little news around it, but a Pixel Watch though? You never know.

Virtual Reality is likely to feature in some way, possibly even an update to the Daydream VR headset could be in the works. With the recent acquisition of Owlchemy Labs, there could be more of a focus on content. We’ve not heard much about Project Tango lately, but it would be a shame if there’s nothing around Augmented Reality.

We’ll likely hear the current status of the more advanced ideas such as the clothes as computers Project Jacquard or gesture-control Project Soli. Plus a few surprises. It is Google after all.

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Dan Swinhoe

Dan is Senior Staff Writer at IDG Connect. Writes about all manner of tech from driverless cars, AI, and Green IT to Cloudy stuff, security, and IoT. Dislikes autoplay ads/videos and garbage written about 'milliennials'.  

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