The Much Anticipated Google I/O
Google I/O is a jam packed 2 day event that begins on May 10th. It will be filled with developers and reporters looking to find the latest news, updates, and announcements on all things Google. Most importantly all of the Android news we have been waiting for will be presented, and we should finally see the debut of what Android Ice Cream will bring. Ice Cream or Ice Cream Sandwich whichever name they choose will be the newest version of the Android OS, and it will be what combines Honeycomb and Gingerbread into what should be a gorgeous phone OS.
Also to be presented are updates to the Honeycomb tablet OS, Google Search, Chrome and Chrome OS, as well as Google Music. Eric Shimdt commented earlier that each future OS release will be accompanied by a hardware model so hopefully we will finally see a dual core Nexus, and a Nexus tablet rumored to be an LG Model. In terms of Google TV their have been reports of it joining the Android Open Source Project and becoming an intergrated part of the software. We reported that Google TV it is not specifically mentioned within the itinerary, but an update to the service is in order and this would be the place to announce it so we will have to wait and see.
Is Android Ice Cream The Magic Recipe?
Google will without a doubt be presenting the new Android Ice Cream OS and like most of you I can't wait to see whats in store. What we do know for starters is that it will bring many of the Android 3.0 Honeycomb features to phones in a combination of the best of what Gingerbread and Honeycomb have to offer. This will be a major update and quite possibly will be the biggest change of Android to date.
In Ice Cream Phones, Tablets, and Google TV will be combined to all run on same code which is major for all three platforms. It will bring the might of the Android community together bringing the focus of the teams at Google, as well as developers to provide better experiences with a greater number of better applications. This combined with the improved UI interface on phones will bring Android to another level.
Google's music service has been a long time in the making and the announcement dates back to last years Google I/O. The demoed feature was cloud storage and mobile streaming of your personal collection and everyone was excited to see it come to light. Skip ahead to this years event and we have still yet to see the service. Issues coming to agreements with record labels have been widely blamed for the delay as the the software is already present in the built in Android music player.
Lately their has been whispers of Google looking to purchase an already active music streaming service in this case Spotify, however both parties deny any talks are underway. The rumors have been compounded by news that Apple has already completed work on their music streaming service and has deals with record labels in place.
So we are going to keep our fingers crossed in hopes that an announcement will be made and accompanied by a speedy release.
Google TV has gotten off to a slow start and the update to version 2.0 is rumored to be presented at I/O next week. The update will come along with Ice Cream and be built on the Honeycomb platform. It will also bring the market to the TV screen with the ability to run Android apps on your Google TV. The update apparently is still some time away and might be previewed but isn't scheduled for release at the earliest the latter part of the year.
I am looking forward to an updated version of the service with access to the Android Market. The internet and TV are starting to come together with almost everyone trying to get a piece of the action. If Google can harness the massive Android Platform and align it with Google TV there is no reason why it shouldn't be a major success. Combine that with added support for ARM processors which will bring a nice reduction in cost and they might have a winner on their hands.
Google has multiple sessions in order for their Chrome and Chrome OS web browsers. As you can see in the screenshot they have numerous session involving Chrome, Chrome OS, and Web 2.0. Chrome is the best browser available right now in most respects as Google places an emphasis on making the browser less of the focus and making the web become faster and more functional.
There are a number of Chrome Apps that I use regularly my favorite being Tweetdeck, as it shows that the web can replace many desktop applications without a reduction in functionality or quality. Sources say that Samsung and Google are holding an event the night after I/O to announce the first commercial hardware to be based on the Chrome OS. Needless to say we will learn more at the event next week on what the future of Chrome has in store.
Items Google Should Address
Beyond this list of what is being announced there are a few things that Google should address that would go a long way in securing the future of the Android platform.
The first of which being a full and supported Gaming Service. Windows Phone has its Xbox Live, iOS has Game Center, and Android has...nothing.
One of the main reasons I hear from people with an iPhone about why they would not switch to Android, is the lack of game support on the platform. While new titles are being announced there is still not a dedicated service that includes both social interacting with the ability to add friends and see what games they have been playing, along with a gamer score and awards comparison system. Along with support for tablets, TVs, and smartphones. Google needs to take a step and show developers that they are behind gaming and bring a capable service to Android.
While the Android Market has been greatly improved and the web component is a nice addition, it still suffers many of the same inherent problems it has always faced. The lack of easy or convenient ways to discover apps is a major issue and Amazon with their new market seems to already being doing a better job. Combine that with the need for more security measures and checks involved with uploaded apps and you will see this is an area that still requires great focus on their part.
As you can see Google I/O is the event of the year for all of your Google related news and announcements. This year looks to be another packed event with tons of information and new software and hardware previews. The big story is of course Android's Ice Cream Update keep checking back as we will have the full details along with insider news as we will have staff in attendance at the event.