In the run-up to I/O (starting all the way back in March), we posted a relatively large number of leaks and rumors based on information that was provided to us about some of Google's plans. It's easy to lose track of all the rumors, and just how accurate they turned out (or didn't turn out) to be, so we thought it would be helpful to do a quick recap of the pre-I/O rumors now that the dust has settled.
A rumor started flying earlier this week that OnePlus, makers of the crowd-pleasing but hard-to-find OnePlus One, would be introducing a tablet at some point. The "OnePlus Tab" appeared in an alleged screenshot of the OnePlus site, suggesting that a tablet was at least being developed. We reached out to OnePlus for comment on the rumor. Here's what they had to say:
There have been rumors recently that LG's G Watch might be the focus of Google I/O's Android Wear discussion, with the nascent device possibly being handed out to attendees. Whether Moto's watch, the Moto 360, would make an appearance has remained unclear. Until today though, those were the only two Android Wear devices even rumored for I/O cameos.
Cnet has reported, however, that Samsung will (according to sources) be throwing its hat into the Android Wear ring at I/O as well, debuting an Android Wear smartwatch of its own.
Mobile rumor master Evleaks is at it again, showing off what appears to be a press render of the Samsung "Galaxy F." The photo shows a phone that looks very much like a slightly larger Galaxy S5 with a metal (or at least metal-looking) rear cover, in a "perfect golden" white-on-gold color scheme. The pulse oximeter beneath the rear camera indicates that this is a high-end Samsung phone, possibly a premium alternative to the Galaxy S5 or a replacement for the next Galaxy Note.
In one of our early Google Now rumors, we described the possibility of "inferred events," or events that Google would grab from your Gmail (or other Google services) and present as a card in Google Now, with the option to add an entry to your calendar.
Today, it looks like the service is being switched on for some users, with Gmail being the first target (as we speculated previously).
Recently, Google's ambitious and public-spirited ventures are sounding less like the careful expansions of an international megacorp and more like the pet projects of Dr. Benton Quest. Self-driving cars, medical contact lenses, industrial robots - seriously, we're just waiting on a Walking Eye and Steve Ballmer in a villain costume at this point. The latest report from the Wall Street Journal (which tends to be spot-on when it comes to Google's plans) says the company is preparing a fleet of low-orbit satellites that will deliver Internet access.
Let's face it: at this point, Google TV is a certified flop. For all its good points, its adoption was hampered by expensive hardware, limited apps, and a clunky interface. Google is hoping to revive their set-top plans with "Android TV," an as-yet unverified platform revealed by The Verge last month. Others found more details of Android code powering a Google set-top box in the Android 4.4.3 changelog. Now anonymous sources tell GigaOM that the device will get a formal introduction, if not a full rollout, at Google I/O in June.
I get the feeling that Samsung often makes hardware just to be sure they've got something ready, on the slim but possibly lucrative chance that an upcoming hardware market explodes. The Galaxy Note, the Galaxy Gear, the Gear Fit, the Galaxy Beam - all of them slightly crazy niche products following a trend. If Engadget is to be believed, you can add a virtual reality headset to the mix. A Samsung VR headset, similar to the Oculus Rift but intended for use with Samsung phones and tablets, is rumored for production later this year.
In our recent post about Google's plans to break its Search sauce out of the dedicated app and bring it to the rest of Android, I alluded to the fact that we'd have more to talk about later. Specifically left un-discussed were the implications of new navigation buttons for the Android home screen. As readers will remember, our information leads us to believe that the navigation bar will be getting a shakeup, with the new layout including the typical back and multitask buttons, plus a "Google" button, which appears - for now - to be an actual Google logo.
Just minutes ago we posted about the discovery of an Android 4.4.3 changelog in AOSP and we've already found some interesting information. Among the individual project repositories, there are a few dedicated to Google-supported devices, mostly those in the Nexus family. In particular, we came across new references to an HTC device codenamed "Flounder," and another device belonging to Google with the name "Molly." This is the first time that these names have appeared in AOSP.