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.
We've been hearing rumors about Android TV, Google's push to get Android into the set-top box market, for a while now, with the most recent leaks pointing towards a Google I/O announcement. Looks like we're definitely going to see Google take the wraps off of it tomorrow, as the Riptide GP2 dev prematurely posted a changelog that all but confirms it:
Unfortunately, the log has since been pulled, but not before an eagle-eyed Android fan could grab a screenshot and toss it onto Google+.
A while ago, we posted about explorations Google was undertaking in revamping Android's home screen. Part of this was a new notification shade that looked similar to Google Now.
Since then, we've seen new materials that show something a bit closer to what the notification shade and Quick Settings will resemble in Android's L release. The images we'll discuss in this post are based on more recent information, but as with any unreleased software, anything can change - particularly design.
The Chromium Issue Tracker, a perennial source of accidental "leaks" and unreleased information, has delivered something interesting (the issue appears to have since been removed). Reddit user Doopl came across two screenshots of what look like Android's yet-unannounced L release.
The shots show a Google account login dialog that looks substantially different from the current implementation, and what appears to be a re-styled Chrome with design elements from Quantum. Additionally, the status bar shows a place holder "L" icon, and a bell icon that sources tell us is indicative of a new feature in L that will offer "limited interruptions," basically muting or partially muting notifications.
Google's general intent with Google Play Games is simple. Google wants to provide a solid backend with common game features to developers who want to make more compelling games. Once developers integrate these features, Google's user base offers a cohesive score/competition experience.
Providing features like leaderboards and achievements, Google has managed to catch the interest of many game developers already, but we have reason to believe that Google will be peppering a few new features into Google Play Games some time soon, with an update to Google Play Services and the Google Play Games app.
We don't have news about whether a Nexus phone exists, but we do have information related to HTC's Volantis (or Flounder), an 8.9" Nexus tablet. The information provided to us indicates possible specs, features, and pricing, as well as an early look at the form factor, though the images we have don't appear to be final renderings of the device.
Right now, in the slide-out "hamburger" menu of most Google apps, there's a Help button, with a tiny circled question mark icon. If a user needs help with the app (or anything else), this button will pull up a web page. Once on the web page, users can browse through categories for help articles and potential solutions or, if all else fails, request a support call from Google.
It looks like Google wants to make that experience a little more elegant, though.
We've been hearing rumors about Tegra-powered Chromeboooks for quite a while now (anyone remember the supposed Tegra 4-powered Chromebook Pixel?), but it looks like the first one could actually be set to release in early August. According to a product listing on Swedish retailer Komplett.se's site, the Acer-built Chromebook CB5 is packing a Tegra K1, 4GB RAM, a 32GB SSD, and a 13.3" HD display. Looking at images on the site, it appears that the device is sporting two USB 3.0 ports, an
ethernet HDMI port, 3.5mm headphone jack, and an exterior that's ready to give the Samsung Chromebook 2 a run for its money.
We have heard tell (from Forbes) that Google is preparing a new service called Google Fit, supposedly for debut at I/O, where the company is expected to also announce partnerships with certain wearables manufacturers. The report says that Google Fit will provide developers with APIs to plug into the service, and that the overall goal is a second take at the quantified health data space.
With Apple recently unveiling HealthKit, the iron is hot.
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.