Times, they are a-changing. This seems to be the theme of Google's press conference scheduled for tomorrow, Wednesday. Google's Android 3.0 Honeycomb operating system was unveiled last month at CES, and we were told that it was not yet complete; that there was more to come. It looks that "more" will come tomorrow at a Google-scheduled press conference. All the bigwigs in tech are invited, implying some big news. So what's the buzz with the Google bees?
The invitation says that there will be "an in-depth look at Honeycomb, Android ecosystem news, and hands-on demos." Everyone assumes that the hands-on demos will mostly be playing with the upcoming Motorola XOOM tablet, the first to run Android 3.0 Honeycomb. Since we love rumors, we want to know what "ecosystem news" there is. AndroidAndMe has saved the day, with a tip from an anonymous source and hints that were dropped in various press outlets.
Their source claims that "Google has finally completed its web-based Android Market and they will reveal it at their Honeycomb press event on Wednesday. The online Market is said to be 'on par with that of the Apple App Store or even better.'"
Do you remember way back to Google I/O 2010 (in May)? They promised us that the market was going to have a strong web-based component and that Google Music was nearing completion. Don't you think it is about time to unveil these changes in their completed stage? At I/O, the big Goog demoed these services on a Nexus One (with 2.2 Froyo), claiming that these changes would be appearing in a later version of the OS. We are still waiting to see these roll out to devices, and Google is giving an in-depth look at the latest iteration of their newest OS version.
A recent BusinessWeek story, from January 26, gave some more hints. In that article it was made clear that Andy Rubin (the head of the Android project) took over development of Google's digital music project. He has been working with Google's legal department to get licensing from the big record labels. The labels claimed that no deal had been struck, but they could be misinforming us, and things could have changed since then.
Some insiders claim that "developed a service that will let users upload their music collections to Google's servers and then synchronize them with any mobile device." It is believed to have been completed, with only the legal department (oh, bureaucracy…) holding it up.
Google has been unhappy with how paid apps are doing in the Android Market, as they want developers to be able to make money. For example, a lot of paid apps in the last couple months have gone to a free, ad-supported version.
Knowing Google, an event this big might mean that they have something else cooking in the hive-mind, and it could sting like a bee. It would be great to be completely blown away with what they will show tomorrow. What do you think? Let us know below.
Note: I apologize for all the Honeycomb and bee puns. I sincerely hope that you were not offended.