Google I/O follow-up

Wasn’t that fun?! :)


I love the opening of Google I/O, seeing people talking about products they’re proud of is always entertaining. On to the follow-up, how did I do?

Yey! I was right!

A game center, called Play Game Services. Leaderboards, Cloud save along with Multiplayer and Achievements (Multiplayer demo didn’t work out during the keynote though, lack of Internet if I understood correctly). Looking good and very important considering there are at least two gaming consoles coming soon (Ouya and Nvidia Shield).

A new phone, this could be placed in the wrong section as well. I guessed we would get a bigger tablet or a phone, but I also said that it would probably not be a Samsung S4 Google edition. As you know…S4 it is. Interesting move and hard to predict what this could mean for the Android community at large. I’m surprised since I would have guessed that Samsung would want to “cash in” on all the extra features they added to the S4.

New messenger service, called Hangout. Rolling out immediately, replacing talk and Google+ messenger. It looks nice and synchronizes well between devices (been experimenting with N4/N7/Laptop) but why oh why no sms support from the beginning?! It’s probably on it’s way as Google Employee Dori Storbeck accidently outed “..and yes, SMS integration is coming soon…” on G+ (updated later with “Ooops! …we actually have nothing to announce at this time. My apologies.”).

Google Music gets an option for streaming subscription called All Access. Can’t say much more about it, the new Google Music interface is very nice though. Both on my Androids and my laptop (nope, no official Music support in Sweden but come on, I have to have some fun :) the update is a good step forward. Pricing seems reasonable but it’s (I told you so) US only and the range of Swedish music is not good as I hear it.

And correct on the no talk about Nexus Q or new Chromebook hardware (some Chrome OS talk though, and more in the sessions).

Ouch, not even remotely correct

New Android version. Instead of presenting a new version we got updated services, which in my opinion is probably wise. Doesn’t change the fact that I was sure, and as we now know – wrong.

Samsung S4 Google Edition, I was actually very sceptical about this rumour that felt very far fetched. We know better now :)

Somewhat of target

A lot less Glass than expected, especially in the keynote. Sessions are still there though.

No clock this year, which as no one remember was what I said. But I had a maybe in there so…

US only. Everything wasn’t US only (we get Hangouts, Maps update and so on) but still…S4 Google Edition – US only. Music All Access – US Only. Attach money in GMail – US Only. I’ll give myself half a point for my rant being more or less correct.

Cool things not mentioned by me

Things I didn’t mention before or in this post…

Maps update. I use maps quite a bit but wouldn’t consider myself anything other than ordinary user. New update looks nice but I haven’t looked much further than that.

E-mail money with GMail! Sound a bit like that old April fools joke about sending snailmail through GMail but this one is true. Seem to be a very neat solution, albeit US only.

Android studio. New developer environment. I’m no developer so I have just about nothing to add here except that the developers I follow on Twitter that are active on Android seem to think it’s cool. That’s good for them, and what’s good for developers will in the end be good for us users :)

Google+ update. Quite a major update actually. Both with the new Hangouts (beautiful, I can’t stop mentioning that), the streams and photo editing. I especially like the new photo handler. Sorting and so on got a big update, go have a look in your G+->Photos instead of reading about it.

Overall I think I did ok :-)

As a help to my memory and the parts I didn’t watch live I read some of the news over at

Last minute speculation, Google I/O

Google I/O logo

Today is the day when speculation turns to answers as Google I/O take place in San Francisco.

But, before the keynote I’d like to do some final brainstorming/speculation/guessing.

What we’ll get:

New Android version. Probably not Key Lime Pie though but a new Jelly Bean version with some fixes and a Game center that will hold international leader boards and possibly cloud saves (how awesome would it be to move seamless between my N7 and my N4? Very that’s how awesome). Also see What we might get.

Some new hardware. Yes I’m quite certain that something will be presented. Exactly what however…an updated Nexus 7? A new big tablet? A phone, possibly made with Motorola that Google bought a year ago? I would place my money on a bigger tablet or possibly a new phone. Not that a high-end 7″ tablet wouldn’t be a cool product but I think they’ll stick with the present config a while longer, an upgrade on an already upgraded device doesn’t give me the Key-note tingles. Or it could be…(see What we might get)

A big load of talk about Glass. And then some more talk about glass, and then some sessions on programming for glass. Google thinks this is the future and they pursue it fiercely. I haven’t looked closer on a pair in real life so I don’t know what to believe, loving the visions though.

What we might get:

They new Android version might hold a new messenger service, possible named Babble. It makes perfect sense and is just the next step combining Google+ Messenger, Talk and the regular text messages. Microsoft is already doing it, Apple did it last year, Blackberry does it and smaller companies like Viber, WhatsApp have been doing it for long. On top of that Facebook does it too, a clean copy+paste+improve on Google+ Messenger but why not? Google only went half-way with G+ messenger then of course Facebook will do it better. Not a matter of If, just a matter of When and I think now is a good time as any.

The update for Android might also hold an update on Google Music, containing a streaming option and not only single song purchases. Not a bad idea but the market is already crowded. What’s the unique selling point, besides being big’ol Google? With Rdio, Spotify, Wimp and so on they won’t lack competition. Still, I like Google Music and the thought of combining single song/album purchases with the opportunity to enable all-you can eat streaming for an evening (think party-mode) is intriguing.

Google Clock. 2013 is rumoured to be year of the smart watches with Pebble already out in the open (getting mixed reviews) and about every other smartphone manufacturer either openly or rumoured to be developing their own it’s hard to say otherwise. But will Google present one already? I don’t think so, but it’s not impossible at all. Supposedly there have already been showcases of a watch with functionality resembling Glass but requiring an Android. My feeling is that this is not a device segment that Google will take the lead into but rather wait a year and see if the users is at all interested.  (You can also read my review on semi-smart watch “Mutewatch” here)

What we probably won’t get

Of course there are a lot of things we won’t get but out of the rumour mill and into the rumour bin I think we can throw…

Updated Nexus Q. True, Google believed in the idea only last year. They do want to be a bigger part of our homelife (think Youtube’s new subscribe service) and the Q would be a logic part of this. But. The Q was way to expensive and lacking to much functionality and after last years fail…nope I can’t see them reviving that name. The core functionality could however be turned into something regarding Google TV or the not very used concept Android@Home.

Bold new Chromebooks. The Pixel is still new and the market is maturing quickly enough for Google to let it expand on itself through different manufacturers.

Samsung S4 Google Edition. Once again, not impossible but I think Samsung would prefer to have only their flavour at this time rather than giving the customer the option of a “clean” vanilla Android Experience.

<rant>Oh and the final sad prediction. Absolutely nothing presented will be available in Sweden. Not initially at least. I still can’t buy songs with Google Play (connected to Google Music), or Books or Magazines. What do I care if another subscription service is launched for music that is US only? Well, I do. Because it can lead to less revenue for the companies that think outside one continent and less revenue will in the long run lead to less content. Less content will instead in the long run lead to more piracy and tadaa, back to square one. Legislation should be a support for companies and customers alike. Not a hindrance. </rant>

Time will tell!

Weird citing sources on rumours but still, I get most of my Android news from Twitter which tend to get broader than just som 3-4 news sites that I can keep up with. Some of them: Swedroid, The Verge, Gizmodo, TechCrunch. You know the type :)