29
Apr
2013-04-10-16.09.19
Last Updated: June 29th, 2013

Google I/O is coming! We'll know about all of Google's new projects in just 2 short agonizingly long weeks. While we desperately count the days until May 15th, we thought it would be a great idea to take stock all of the things we've caught wind of lately.

Calling this an "I/O Preview," sounds a little too certain. I'm not predicting everything here will come out at I/O, this is just a list of everything we know Google is working on - their "To-Do" list. Just like any to-do list, Google could cross something off and release it, or endlessly procrastinate, or completely cancel something. The only thing we have to go on is evidence, and we've got solid evidence for everything in this article.

If you follow this sort of thing, you'll know that Google likes to release a bunch of stuff around the same time as a new Android release, and we are already firmly into the "Android 4.3" wave. This year we've seen several services jump the gun and come out before I/O: There's the re-re-re-redesigned Play Store, Google Keep, and Google has even started shipping Google Glass! Speaking of 4.3, let's get started:

The Next Version Of Android

We really know nothing about the next version of Android. Because of Android's whole "alphabetical snacks" naming scheme (and because of a Qualcomm leak), we've been referring to the next version of Android as "Key Lime Pie," but now it sounds like that's not right. As reported exclusively here at AP, Google has been working on yet another version of Jelly Bean, and it will be called "Android 4.3."

Beyond that, we know nothing. Sure, there's all the extra stuff that will probably come along with 4.3 (see: this entire article) but we have no idea about the actual 4.3 stuff.

We can at least guess at the timing: 4.2 came out in November 2012, so we're right around Android's traditional 6 month release timing.

Unified Messaging/Google Babel

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I covered a lot of the general backstory in my 2013 preview article, so you might want to go check that out, but basically, between Google Talk, Google Voice, SMS, and Google+ Messenger, Google has way too many texting products. The great hope of all Android kind is that, one day, Google will combine all of these into a single, unified chat program.

We don't actually know if that's happening. We do know that Google is building some kind of new chat service, and its code-name is "Babel." As mentioned in the 2013 article, Google previously purchased Meebo, a cross-platform instant messaging client in 2012, and they've no doubt been hard at work on trying to pare down Google's massive army of chat platforms.

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The most substantial Babel info came from a Techradar leak of the Gmail Babel interface. It showed a redesigned chat window with profile pictures and a metric ton of emoji. The most interesting part of the leak is the picture all the way on the right, which mentions that not only can you share photos (and that it, of google-babelcourse, requires Google+) but that this service is called Google Talk. I don't think that's an accident, I'll bet the GTalk name is here to stay. It's perfect.

Besides the screenshots, we've been getting a torturously slow drip of Babel info. I found Babel references in the current Chat for Google Chrome extension, so it looks like that is sticking around. Google Operating System found some Babel code in Gmail and the screenshot on the right, and a few individuals have even had live, working error messages related to Babel show up in Gmail.

The big question is just what current chat services will Babel combine. Will it support SMS? Will it replace the Google Talk Android app? How about Google Voice?

Coincidentally, both the Google Voice Android app and Chrome extension were recently dusted off and actually touched by at least one engineer at Google. The Chrome extension added support for rich notifications, and the Android app added a permission that allows other apps to read GV's configuration data. None of this is really a concrete confirmation of Babel integration, but it is interesting that they would update it now, in the middle of this tizzy of chat program updates.

Ok, fine, you want a prediction? My expectation is that Babel will just be the new version of Google Talk, and still be branded "Google Talk." Besides taking over GTalk on Android, Gmail, and G+, it should handle G+ Messages, too, similarly to how there isn't a difference between a Facebook Message and a Facebook Chat session. I'm also expecting it to take over SMS duties, and seamlessly switch between GTalk messages and SMS a la iMessage. I'm not expecting Google Voice integration, because, well, Google hates Google Voice and it never works with anything. (Yes, I'm bitter about it.)

Google had better show this off at I/O, or at the very least have a solid escape plan once the torches and pitchforks come out.

Google's Gaming Service

As I recently discovered in an APK Teardown, Google is building a back-end gaming platform. It sounds like it will be a similar service to Xbox Live or iOS's Game Center: Google will handle all of the multiplayer aspects of a game, and developers just need to plug this gaming back end into their apps. The service should support real-time and turn-based multiplayer, in-game chat, achievements, leaderboards, invitations, and lobbies. Also, while I have absolutely no evidence of this, I give you my personal guarantee that Google+ will handle player identity.

I'm expecting this to show up at I/O this year. Currently, it's up to developers to work out all this stuff, and it's pretty much needed for every multiplayer game, so Google's service should save a lot of duplicate work. This is definitely something you would want to trumpet to a room full of developers.

The gaming service is far enough along that it was accidentally released in MyGlass, a completely unrelated app. In fact, after I discovered it, the Glass team removed it in the next update. So I would expect it to launch at I/O.

Google Games

While we found evidence of a gaming service, Google has also been talking about a different kind of gaming revamp: unifying all of its various gaming platforms. Right now, Google has 4: Google+ Games, Chrome Games, Native Client Games, and Android Games.

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This was featured in last year's Google I/O preview, so for the full story, I suggest you go read that section, nothing has really changed. Here's the quick recap version:

Punit Soni, a group product manager for Google+, went to the 2012 Game Developer Conference, and stated:

“By next year, we will not be here talking about Google+ Games, Chrome Web Store games, Games for Native Client and Android games,” he said. “We will be talking about Google games.”

That was on March 6th, 2012, so "next year" means "this year." Soni's statement makes it sound like they want to merge all the gaming stores into one. There are two ways you could go about that, one is to build one big multiplatform game store, and have separate sections for each gaming platform.

The other way is to unify all the game platforms and give developers tools to make their code run on G+, Chrome, and Android. While that might sound crazy, Google has a project in the works that aims to do just that. It's called "Native Client," and the goal is to create a universal binary that runs at "native speed" inside the Chrome web browser. Google has been working on porting Chrome and Native Client to everything, so that would mean a Native Client app could run on Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Chrome OS, Android, and (barring app store policies) iOS.

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If that sounds like a lot of work; it is. I would actually be surprised to see unified gaming platforms at I/O this year. The desktop part of Native Client works, and there are a bunch of amazing examples here (even ports of Android games), but mobile is a different story. There are some documents detailing Native Client on ARM, but I've yet to see a Native Client app actually work on a mobile device.

If you are reading this and screaming "OH MY GOD CHROME AND ANDROID ARE MERGING!11," you might actually have a point. This is a project from the Chrome team, and the head of Chrome just took over the reins of Android as well. So while the OSes have, in my opinion, a 0% chance of merging into one product, they could both end up running Native Client apps from a unified app store someday.

Google Play News

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Hidden in the depths of the Play Store desktop website are still a bunch of references to "Google Play News." There are hints of things like "News Editions," "News Issues," and "Subscriptions," so, it sounds like a newspaper service. Google Play News will be a new content section in the Play Store, alongside the current offerings of Music, Books, Magazines, Devices, Apps and TV Shows and Movies. Since it will have a spot in the Play Store it will have to be color coded, and, if you dig into the Play Store CSS, you'll see that everything is yellow - #ffd700, to be specific.

Google likes to announce new content services at I/O. Last year's keynote announced the launch of TV Shows, Magazines, and Movies for Google Play, so I'm guessing a Newspaper store is announced at I/O 2013.

Google Wallet Card

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Remember this? About a million years ago, in November 2012, we got word of the physical Google Wallet Card. The Wallet Card is a "virtual" credit card. "One card to rule them all" is the basic idea here. You leave all your other cards at home, and swipe the Wallet Card. Then Google's system forwards the cost to one of the real credit cards that you have registered to them, which you can manage via the app. So instead of having to carrying around a million pieces of plastic, you have a single, unifying card.

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Having an actual piece of plastic means Google Wallet would no longer be limited to NFC-equipped phones. The Wallet Card is expected to run on all Android phones, iOS, and "other." Perhaps that means there will be a web app.

We really have no idea what is taking so long with this project. NFC has pretty much been a consumer flop in the US, and I've always viewed this as Google's last-ditch effort to make Wallet relevant in the offline world - you'd think they'd hurry up and release it. The beta sign-up page for it went up in October 2012, and is still up and prominently visible on Google.com/wallet, so it doesn't sound canceled. We'll keep waiting.

New Google Maps Features

Maps is one of my favorite teardown victims, and over the last few months, we've caught wind of two really cool features being experimented with in the Maps APK:

3D, Textured Buildings

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Google has 2 mapping applications, Google Maps, and Google Earth. Google Maps has more useful features, like Navigation and directions, but Google Earth has a ton of information that is not available in Google Maps, most notably in the form of 3D, textured buildings. In the past, they were separate for a reason. Google Earth with buildings turned on would crush an older phone and only run at a few frames per second, but today, with the advent of mobile quad core processors and faster GPUs, phones can whip through the more complex Google Earth geometry easily.

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So, why are they still separate? Textured building in Google Maps would be cool, and very useful. Google seems to be asking itself this question, too. In September 2012, I discovered a “3D” button in Google Maps, and, to this day, it’s still there. Presumably, the 3D button would toggle the complex Google Earth buildings on and off.

Lane Guidance

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Pictured: Tom Tom's lane guidance

The other big new Maps feature I've found evidence of is lane guidance. In an APK Teardown, I found feedback text relating to the number of lanes on a road, keeping track of turn-only arrows, and lane recommendations. This is one of the last things a standalone GPS unit can do that Google Maps Navigation can't. This feature would be a huge help for highway forks and navigating complex interchanges.

Just about every lane guidance system has a 3D presentation, so maybe these two features are related. As with all Google Maps features, coding it is the easy part; the hard part is getting the ridiculous amount of data required to make it work. Lane data for every road in the entire world? That could take a while.

Lots Of Google Now/Search Improvements

There's also been evidence of a few leaked-yet-unreleased Google Search improvements. Here's what we're currently tracking:

Google Now In Chrome

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The Chrome team has been hard at work on a rich notification system for their browser and OS. Once it's completed, they'll have a spot for Google Now notifications. For a while now, there has been an option in chrome://flags to enable Google Now support (pictured, above). It has never actually worked, though.

Location-Based Reminders

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The search app should soon be able to handle commands like "Remind me to buy milk when I leave work tomorrow." As I found an APK Teardown, Google is planning support for reminders by date, time, location, and arrival/departure, and you'll manage these reminders from the search app.

Packing this into Google Search, and not say, Calendar, or Google Keep, is pretty strange. If they actually do this, Google will be up to four competing task services: Calendar, Search, Keep, and Tasks. Maybe next year we'll all be screaming for a unification of task apps. At least Google keeps things interesting.

"Hundreds" Of Google Now Cards

Also, don't forget, according to Hugo Barra, Android's director of product management, Google Now has "a pipeline [...], possibly in the hundreds of cards.” So far, we're nowhere near "hundreds," so more are coming.

Android@Home

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No, the inclusion of this is not wishful thinking, we have actual evidence that Android@Home, Google's home automation initiative announced at I/O twenty eleven, is not dead. We have actually had two sightings of Google's stillborn service in the last 4 months.

The first was in the Google Search app, which had a layout file called "at_home_card.xml." This referenced text for turning the lights on and off, so, presumably, if you have the requisite smart bulb, Google Now would pop up a light switch card. The second sighting is from the 4.2.2 developer change log, where a comment states a new permission is for an "Android@Home mesh network" device.

Motorola

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Remember Motorola? My 2013 preview article gave a good overview of what's happened so far: Google bought Moto for many billions of dollars, installed a new executive team, fired a bunch of people, closed a bunch of factories, canceled several projects, and sold an entire division. It's been a rebuilding year for Moto.

The good news is that we finally have a semi-official timeline for when all the sucking should stop: Motorola's CFO recently stated that upon buying Motorola, Google inherited "18 months of [product] pipeline." 18 months from the date of the Motorola deal closing is sometime around December 2013, so if Moto wanted to release something in time for Christmas, it sounds like they could.

As far as what Moto will actually release, we don't have much info. The Wall Street Journal has floated the idea of something called an "X Phone," but, beyond the name, they didn't provide a whole lot of concrete information. WSJ did say they were "experimenting" with crazy stuff like flexible displays, but who isn't?

We did get a few serious details from Moto's design chief, Jim Wicks, who stated that they've been hard at work for the last 8 months on the first Googlerola handset. Wicks said they're building a stock Android, bloat-free, cross carrier branded device with a "just right" (read: small) screen size. Moto is also interesting in keeping the bezels thin (duh) and extra features like drop and scratch resistance.

Google doesn't really like to brag about their Motorola ownership, so I wouldn't expect to hear anything at I/O.

Quickoffice + Google Docs = A Better Drive App

Google bought Quickoffice in June 2011, and we all hoped it would lead to a better Google Docs. So far, not all that much has happened. There've been free Quickoffice apps for Google Apps subscribers and a Microsoft Office viewer for Chrome, but nothing really groundbreaking.

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Quickoffice has about a million features Google Docs could use, like line spacing, customizable tables, more bullet and number options, support for inserting pictures. It would be awesome if all this stuff would make it to Google Docs.

A Google TV Update

Haha, just kidding! Nothing important will happen with Google TV. I'll be shocked if they even mention it.

Update: As TJ Benson points out, the Google TV crew has actually promised some news at I/O on their G+ page! Cool.

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Beyond a "stay tuned" promise, there's really no other info. Let's hope GTV turns into something good.

A Mysterious Google X "Control System"

Update: David Shellabarger just reminded me of this crazy bit of news from the Google X division. Thanks!

At a SXSW talk, Astro Teller (whose official title at Google X is, I kid you not, "Captain of Moonshots") announced that a new Google X project would be unveiled at this year's Google I/O. Teller only vaguely described the project as a "control system" and that it is "very fragile." None of that is particularly enlightening.

Teller's background is probably of some relevance. He has a Ph.D. in artificial intelligence, and co-founded a company called BodyMedia, a wearable technology company.

A Google Music Subscription Service

Update: Boy am I slipping. As Doesntgolf pointed out on reddit, I totally forgot about the rumored Music Subscription service. Thanks!

We've heard from several respected news sources (The Financial Times, the WSJ) that Google is hard at work on a Google Music subscription service. So think Spotify, but Googlier - you'd pay a flat rate monthly fee for an all-you-can-listen service.

Of course, the big problem with any music service is convincing the satanic copyright police to take your money in exchange for listening to music, so who knows if this will ever come out. Talks could easily fall apart and the whole thing could easily be canceled. Google is working on it though, so it's something to keep an eye on.

New Hardware?

The last and probably least substantial thing you should be on the lookout for is new hardware. We've heard rumblings about an updated Nexus 7, or a storage bumped Nexus 4, but I'm not sure if those rumblings are any louder than usual.

It's also worth mentioning that the Nexus 7 and Nexus Q were announced at I/O 2012 so new gadgets wouldn't be unprecedented. They have to hand out something for free to the attendees.

Update: Sure enough, here's a Reuters article claiming a 2nd gen Nexus 7 should show up in "July," AKA "at Google I/O." Thanks xtop!

They may also want to mention what the deal is with the Nexus Q.

Conclusion

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Whew, that's everything I can think of. It looks like we should be in for a wild Google I/O this year, and this is just the stuff we know about! Google could surprise us with any number of crazy updates or new projects. That's what makes it so exciting!

Of course, the best way to find out about all this stuff is to keep your browser locked right here at AP. We'll be doing our best to find everything during lead up to the show, and when it starts, we'll have guys on the ground and at home blogging away. Christmas this year runs starts on May 15th at 9am Pacific. We can't wait!

Ron Amadeo
Ron loves everything related to technology, design, and Google. He always wants to talk about "the big picture" and what's next for Android, and he's not afraid to get knee-deep in an APK for some details. Expect a good eye for detail, lots of research, and some lamenting about how something isn't designed well enough.
  • jamie stevens

    just do something asap w/ moto!

  • TJ Benson
    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/ron-amadeo/ Ron Amadeo

      Oh cool. I'll update. Thanks.

      • Google_is_the_Higgs_Boson

        Nexus Q/GoogleTV hybrid??? I've been thinking that since they released the Nexus Q... The Nexus Q just seemed to be too much of a developer's prototype to be a new line of Nexus devices... For one, it did less than GoogleTV... Why release a different platform that does less than another platform thats struggling??? So I've been thinking the Nexus Q was a dumb downed version of GoogleTV, with some cool new features, just to see what developers would do with it!!! What do you think??? I know one thing, GoogleTV needs a Nexus branding, and they need to do something with it this year... With rumors of a Xbox media device without the gaming functionality, and a Apple TV, TV, Google needs to do something!!!

  • Abhijeet Mishra

    um, did previous comments just disappear from this post? cancame back to reply to someone but I can't see those comments o_0 Disqus issues?

    • Kenny O

      I was wondering myself why an article like this only had 5 comments......

    • Vandré Brunazo

      They Google Reader'ed it.

      • Abhijeet Mishra

        Hmm, that sounds plausible. it's always Ron's meddling in affairs that Google wants no one to notice that cause all this. Gotta love that guy.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Looks like something is up with Disqus. I'm pinging them as we speak.

  • Kenny O

    Curious why 2.1, 2.2, and 2.3 all were relatively minor bumps yet got completely different names, then 4.0 and 4.1 each got different version names yet they have kept the same name for 4.1, 4.2 and 4.3 (if the server log rumor pans out).......

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001144455023 Michael J Carroll

      2.1/2.2 were both FroYo. 2.1 was a nice bump from 2.0, but it was nothing like the bump from 2.3 to 4.0. 4.3 looks like it's just going to be a small bump, easier for manufacturers and carriers to work with (although they probably still won't).

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1745689461 Hal Motley

        You have got it a little mixed up. Android 2.0-2.1 was Eclair, followed by 2.2 which was Froyo and 2.3 was Gingerbread. It was only at Honeycomb 3.0-3.2 that Google decided that naming should be done on the version number before the point (1.x rather than x.1).

        • http://twitter.com/redbullcat Phil Oakley

          Jelly Bean was different again though: if this is the new naming system, we should technically still be on Ice Cream Sandwich.

    • Yo-Yo-Ma

      It's because Google is trying to lessen the perception that Android is fragmented. You and I both know that a name is just a name and that having many different version out in the wild isn't as bad as the blogs and iOS fans would have you believe, but your average Joe doens't understand this. All they know is they have "Ice Cream whatever" but don't have the latest "Jelly thing update". This is Google's way of letting the industry "catch-up". It's simply a name game.

      • tylerbrainerd

        Also the difference in API's for the sake of development between 4-4.1-4.2-4.3 is probably going to be pretty small.

        • Justin Swanson

          I think usually it isn't, but I know a lot of developers had to do some rebuilding from 4.0->4.1 and 4.1->4.2. Hopefully it won't be too bad with 4.3.

          • tylerbrainerd

            Oh absolutely, there are always changes, but it makes sense to keep it as a .x release when it's as minor as it is. Nowhere near as large of a difference between 1-2, or 3-4

        • anthony

          yep you're right. 4.0 is 14 and we're only up to 17 in 4.2.2

      • Justin Swanson

        Great point, I hadn't thought of that.

  • RitishOemraw

    Google TV at i/o: https://plus.google.com/+GoogleTVDevelopers/posts/Zz3oBDgLGF7
    Wasn't Quickoffice a new stock app for Chrome OS devices?
    Also where is that article with android 4.3 speculations?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/ron-amadeo/ Ron Amadeo

      Yeah, that's the chrome extension, right?

    • http://www.techmansworld.com/ Michael Hazell

      The Quickoffice viewer extension just allows you to view Office documents. The Office Web Apps are still better in this situation because it can view and edit office documents from a browser, and maintain formatting.

  • Kevin Slawinski

    Perhaps the Nexus 7 hardware refresh that has a healthy rumor? I am hoping for it.

  • Matthew Fry

    *bulb

  • MacMan156

    I can't wait!

  • http://twitter.com/ToysSamurai Toys Samurai

    I just hope that none of those updates on Google's apps require a new version of Android. I am really angry when I see a large portion of Android users not capable of running Google Now, but iOS users can. It makes absolutely zero sense.

    • Jackson Foley

      Wow, I didn't know about that one. So my three-year old iPod touch can get Google Now, but my two-month old Android phone can't...

      • jose

        Same thing with Apple Siri. During launch it was only available on iphone 4S . Also google now on ios (just an App) is not the same as on android. it is integrated into the os.

        • http://shanked.me/ Shank

          Except Siri wasn't backported to Android 2.2. There really isn't a reason as to why Now doesn't run on at least 4.0 - that's post design revamp and they could easily turn it on somehow.

          • Google_is_the_Higgs_Boson

            It was something that was integrated into JB... If they release it for older versions of Android, it will most likely work like the iOS version, as a 3rd part app, thats not integrated into the OS...

          • PhilNelwyn

            I think that a lot of Android users would be happy to have just that.

          • Google_is_the_Higgs_Boson

            I think it would get lost in a sea of apps, not being integrated... I have it on my GS2, if it wasn't for being integrated. I would rarely use it... Not saying I don't like the feature, just that if it wasn't for being able to hold my home button to open it, I would forget I had it... But not every one is like me, so I could be wrong...

          • PhilNelwyn

            The widget would help.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Matteo-Rodrigo/1340430528 Matteo Rodrigo

          All Google stuff ends up on iOS but Apple doesn't end up in Android

          • http://twitter.com/snookasnoo Idon’t Know

            Apple doesn't do the same thing as Google. Shocking I know...

        • http://twitter.com/snookasnoo Idon’t Know

          What an silly comparison.

      • didibus

        Honestly, your not missing much yet. While it's kind of cool that it shows me scores for hockey, and estimates quite badly the time it'll take for me to drive home from work. I mostly use it to check the weather, which, any other weather widget would be able to do just as easily Unless Google Now is so much cooler in the us, that's the only 3 cards I ever got here in Canada.

        • didybes

          I live in Ontario, I have seen recipes, photo spots, new updates, traffic, public transportation, restaurants, weather and package tracking,

          • didibus

            Hum, that's cool. I don't know why I'm not seeing much more. I only always just see weather, sport team scores and traffic. Wish it would show me photo spots, restaurants, and more. They got to make it a bit more aggressive, or let you control how aggressive you'd want them to be.

      • bloomtronzero

        What 2 month old Android phone doesn't have Jellybean?

        • tylerbrainerd

          droid dna doesn't does it? just a guess

        • Poul

          Such phone even don't exist, this guy just trolling.

          When everybody can buy Nexus 4, 4-cores devices for only $299, complaining about old version of Android is ordinary iSheep's trolling!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Matteo-Rodrigo/1340430528 Matteo Rodrigo

      Everything Goodie shows I up on

    • NemaCystX

      Its all marketing. They need to give users a few new reasons to upgrade if they can't get that software version for their current device. Apple does it all the time with the S version of their iPhone every other year.

      Versions of Android also add API's that older versions do NOT have so that could be another reason why when Google announces new software and a new feature only available on that version of the software, it could very well be that it uses the new API that is included in that version of the software.

    • http://twitter.com/Gnabergasher Gabernasher

      I'm sure every time you rant noone ever says to get a Nexus, but I recommend to you, instead of getting a phone from a bad OEM and throwing money at them, buy one that is supported. Even the GS2 is getting JB.

    • http://www.techmansworld.com/ Michael Hazell

      A lot of Google's new Android features can't run on 2.3, the most popular Android platform right now. One reason why 2.3 is so popular is because it is featured on prepaid phones.

  • Fredrick Sylar

    Just had an eyejaculation reading what I'd be expecting 😆

  • John O’Connor

    did anyone else read that as lame navigation?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1745689461 Hal Motley

    Google needs a service on par with iOS's Game Center, centralised with achievements and scoreboards. Come on, Google!

  • http://williamjudd.com/ William Judd

    Mototola.

    • PhilNelwyn

      Phone?

  • heat361

    I can't wait for Google I/O!! I hope we also see a nexus 7 successor which everyone is expecting.

  • Ray

    Babel and Google Wallet availability in Australia is all I want. Anything else is a bonus.

  • http://www.thepixelpuse.com/ Aj Meadows

    Possible smart-watch?

    • Scott

      Please no.

  • James Day

    Look at all those tags...

  • joser116

    They better update Chrome OS and the Google Music app. Updating the Gmail and Maps apps would be nice; their iOS designs are really good.

    • Google_is_the_Higgs_Boson

      I for one prefer Android's UI design on these apps... I don't see what the big deal is, with people liking the iOS UI...

      • http://twitter.com/snookasnoo Idon’t Know

        It's not the just the U/I the iOS version of Google Maps has additional features. Not surprising since they make more money from iOS than Android. Which is pathetic.

        • Google_Is_The_Higgs_Boson

          I have both a GS2 and a 3GS... The iOS version is missing featureslike offline maps, bike trails, and indoor streer view...

          • Google_Is_The_Higgs_Boson

            From my experience with both, the only difference I see, is the UI...

      • http://twitter.com/New_Tech_World Latest Technology

        but the main features are awesome open gl and blue smart: technologynewspot.com/2013/05/05/google-android-4-3-features-leaked-by-htc/

    • Sharky

      Isn't it a given that Chrome OS updates every 6 weeks-ish anyway? There were some pretty nice new features in the latest Dev build like Immersive Browsing mode, which will probably hit Beta around I/O time.

  • http://benjeffery.ca/ Ben Jeffery

    All I want is for the Bluetooth AVRCP profile to be upgraded to 1.3 or higher. Without it, I can't see the track information for currently-playing songs on my car stereo. Pretty much every skinned version of Android has it, though ASOP and thus Cyanogenmod don't support it. If they could somehow make Chrome suck less on my Galaxy Nexus, that would also be nice.

    I'm not too picky at this point, though I really want to ditch CyanogenMod, I'm tired of updates breaking things or slowing down my phone, though if I need to stick with it to eventually get AVRCP 1.3+, I will.

  • Dwayne Wilkinson

    What ever happened to Project Majel? Is Google Now the realisation of this project or is a Star Trek style voice controlled app still being worked on?

  • Jones

    I believe the new Google Babel app will go side by side with Talk and Messaging and G+ Messenger and Voice. And that makes me sick.

    And given what it is rumoured to be, it sounds EXACTLY like Google Talk. Which is even worse because "Google Talk" makes perfect sense and "Google Babel" is not so much.

    • http://twitter.com/ryocoon Kurtis Whittington

      To me, Google Talk would become the all-encompassing chat. G+ Messenger already can work with Google Talk recipients. The Chat in GMail is already Google Talk and also works directly with Google+ (and thereby G+ Messenger). I would bet on Google Talk to be more tightly integrated into Voice and all used as a communication channel for more than just IMs.

    • Chris

      The rumors are a unifed messenging system. So none of this "side by side" crap. All of Googles messaging programs will be merged in to a single program

      • Jones

        Google doesn't have a precedent for that. I'd love to see Google Keep and other newer apps to become stock, but that remains to be seen.

        I want this new Talk app to become standard, but I can see it becoming a downloadable option. Which is disastrous. (As is that Google Babel name :P come on just be Talk please be talk.)

  • Vincentius Valdi

    I'm sure the next version of Android, whether it's 5.0 Key Lime Pie / 4.3 Jelly Bean will introduce a new color scheme on Android.

    If you recall back when they changed the colour from Green in 2.3 to Blue in 4.0, they teased us with a box coloured in Green ( represent Gingerbread ) & Blue ( represent ICS ) in their Galaxy Nexus teaser video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oM9RO-GAKjE

    Fast forward to 4.2 release, the Clock app has a different UI with Bold Red for it's colour. They might be testing the water with this.

    Fast forward again when they annouced I/O 2013 and release the logo, Google teased us with Blue Coloured "I" and Red Coloured "O".

    So, we can say that : Input ( which is the current Blue Jelly Bean ) will turn to Output ( which will be Red Coloured Jelly Bean / KLP )

    • littlevince

      Also the G in the Google logo is blue and the colour of the first O is red. Coincidence?
      Only time will tell.

      • RitishOemraw

        you got it almost right.....the l is green then we got blue, the g, next up is yellow...then red, then blue again......the red 'e' was probably from alpha/beta phase :P

        • littlevince

          Oh yea. True dat.
          Forgot about the green L.
          Ma bad.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Matteo-Rodrigo/1340430528 Matteo Rodrigo

      I love the blue; they're smarter to enable users to choose the color they want

    • NemaCystX

      I love it when fans dig this deep into something that isn't as obvious to others. Bravo! Its like an ARG. Although not like Ilovebees.com was. Ohhooooo that was really deep

      aside from the theories, I would LOVE to see red rather than the cyan blue color. But some screens on devices don't play kindly to red UI, those particular screens usually bleed the colors around the graphics/text. so I hope Google knows what there doing if they do this, because there are some crappy displays out there.

      • andy_o

        Pentile screens are terrible at pure reds and blues, basically having only half the resolution as green. It is similar to the effect you get on pure reds and blues on YCbCr 4:2:0 video which is all commercial video.

    • Chris

      I still prefer a dark UI to a bright white UI. Easy on the eyes and on battery life

  • Mark Dodsworth

    Great list Ron, can I just add that Google is working on Portable Native Client that will work on all chipsets with no modification so i'm sure that this is what Google are waiting on. The version 2 of Google apps (Packaged Apps) with Portable Native Client PNCL could be the back bone of of Google Games. These apps are being uploaded to the Chrome Web Store but hidden so there could be a big announcement of these being released at IO.

  • Daeshaun Griffiths

    where is the donate to ron link?

  • http://twitter.com/SourabhSekhar12 Sourabh Sekhar

    i just want two things
    1)Project road runner-better battery life for smartphones(previously rumored)

    2)The ability to change themes like in custom ROMS,so OEMs can update their skin whenever they want and we can choose to use the stock android theme/OEMs theme/custom themes from the play store

    • nexus warrior

      On his xda page, of course. Thumbs up if he helped. Thumbs up of this helped.

  • Shaun Burnell

    You didn't mention all the stuff about Glass at I/O.

  • Zach Mauch

    I'm going to make a bold prediction and say that Google releases Android 4.3 AND 5.0. Why do I say this? I'm guessing that 4.3 will be an incremental improvement to JB that will enable many of 5.0's capabilities without requiring the large work needed for a full 5.0 move. The motivation for this would be to make things easier on developers to support old phone upgrades. This also provides a faster pathway to needed security patches.

    I could easily be wrong, but this move makes sense to me.

  • http://twitter.com/Meleagru Cristian Borsa

    What about the Google back-up service for your device? They recently changed Google Drive to be able to handle app data in a hidden system folder. Surely something is going on with that.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Matteo-Rodrigo/1340430528 Matteo Rodrigo

    If 4.3 with these minor tweaks, I'll be very disappointed... Nothing here excites me. I've never even used talk, it seems oft with so many other apps out there. Android keeps pushing me to try android

  • Chris

    Hopefully "babel" is jusr a code name. They should just keep it Google Talk or at least least something other then "babel"

    What about a service like "find my iPhone" but for android? I'd also love a way to back everything up including text messages. I can back up my text messages now on my EVO LTE with the SD card, but many phones dont have SD.

    I'd like to see a REAL google play store revamp. Not just a UI refresh. Something bulit from the ground up (think Google Play store 5.0. in line with Android 5.0) and being able to have advanced Search, sort purchased apps. Have a list of the apps with updates along with a description of whats changed with out needing to go to the app page (like how the Apple App store does)

  • duke69111

    I would love to see Chrome to Phone add Phone to Chrome. I don't really care for the Chrome browser on my phone.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jason.casas Jason Casas

    "do something with mototola" ?

  • Justin Foster

    This post is superb!!! I'm so excited!!!

  • Possum

    Google will probably launch their new chrome packaged app platform at IO. This is more important than anything else in this list.

  • Fifth313ment

    Ron, great article bro! Excellent read! I wish you would do more! How about an android washing and sanitizing guide, lol! I would read that! :P

  • PhineasJW

    Here's what Android needs: a cloud sync API for your app data.

    My Nexus 4 died the other day and since there's no removable SD card I've lost all my app data and settings, which is ridiculous.

    All that stuff should be stored in your Google Drive account and easily transfer from one device to the next.

    • Grimmjow

      it already does have the app data backup api which was introduced 2-3 years ago.

  • http://twitter.com/snookasnoo Idon’t Know

    LTE Nexus on Verizon. Sadly this is very unlikley.

    • Google_Is_The_Higgs_Boson

      there was talk of the Nexus 4 coming to CDMA carries... A 32GB version with the LTE chip enabled... So you might just get your wish...

  • ArberBeq

    I'm surprised no one has talked about this yet. Maybe google will implement easier ways for manufactures toe dit the OS while allowing users to revert to stock.

  • sgtguthrie

    I'm hoping for a 32gb Nexus 4 with LTE enabled. I can't do 16gb, but want a Nexus on T-Mobile. There's no LTE in my area yet (though the HSPA+ is DAMN fast) but I'd rather have it for when it arrives...

    Storage is the big one though! I can't do much with 16gb! Even 32gb is pushing it with backups :-)

  • Jaume Sánchez

    What about a bit more about GGlass?

  • Terry Cameron

    "As with all Google Maps features, coding it is the easy part; the hard part is getting the ridiculous amount of data required to make it work. Lane data for every road in the entire world? That could take a while."

    That is the absolute truth. I do a lot of work on Google Map Maker and it's going to be a huge time sink making sure all of the lanes are properly marked. Good for Google for getting that into Navigation, but it's a lot of work to get it all correct. Maybe they'll be able to add a tool that will allow for quick viewing and editing of lanes counts... maybe.

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