Now that Google’s IO 2015 event has come and gone, the android community has been made privy to most of what Google is currently working on and thinking. The coverage of the event and what was announced has already been substantially covered and without recapping on everything, it seems the big talking points this year were the next generation of Android, Android M, the next android-based payment solution, Android Pay and Google’s new photo service, Google Photos. Although these were all big announcements, they were all highly rumored on, prior to the start of I/O and as such, many readers and event attendees were not too surprised when they were announced. In fact, when it comes down to it, it seems there was not really any big surprises from the event at all.
Not to mention, that as well as an absence of actual surprises, there was a number of other elements which had been hoped (if not expected) to be shown off which were not. So what did we not get to see?
Well, there is little doubting that almost all of the android community would have loved to have seen the next Nexus being shown off. There have already been numerous rumors that Google are planning on releasing two Nexus smartphones this year. Apparently, one from LG and one from Huawei. As such it would have been nice if at least one had made an appearance. Either way, neither did. Similarly, a new Nexus tablet would have also been nice to see, although, in reality, the rumors on the tablet front suggest that as Google are rumored to be opting for two Nexus smartphones this year, they are unlikely to be developing a tablet as well. So maybe the lack of a Nexus tablet on show was less of an issue.
Android Wear Watches
Sticking to the hardware theme, Android Wear did get a mention at the event, however, it had been expected (again, more accurately, hoped) that a couple of new Wear smartwatches might be unveiled at the event. Of course, that was not to be the case with the only Wear news coming through surrounding upcoming Wear updates.
Google’s next generation Glass wearable is coming. This much seems to have pretty much been confirmed. While the ‘Glass 2.0’ tag is unlikely to be what it is officially called when it is released, many were hoping that the next gen glasses would make an appearance at the event. This is especially in consideration of how many reports had emerged in the weeks leading up to I/O. These reports including the likes of patents showing new designs, as well as adjustments to the current design and even reports from those close to the device, stating that Glass is in fact, coming soon. Once again through, Glass did not seem to make an appearance.
Project’s Tango & Ara
Unlike the other hardware on this list, Google’s more novel projects, Project Tango and Project Ara did get a mention. In fact, Ara did even make an appearance with the device being shown off on stage and put together in front of an audience in awe. In fact, once it was together, a working camera module was also included and was then used to demonstrate that the camera module does work by taking a picture of the audience. As such, updates did arrive for both at I/O and did show the progress being made. However, the announcements still seemed to be a little thin with nothing too juicy for the audience or the wider public to sink their teeth into.
Compared to some of the other Google products and services on this list, Project Fi was much more of a newcomer. In fact, months ago, virtually no-one knew this was coming. There had been rumblings that Google might be working on some form of their own network, although virtually nothing concrete was known. Then, of course, came the reports that Google was indeed planning on launching an MVNO. This was duly followed by Google announcing Project Fi and how they had teamed up with T-Mobile and Sprint to offer the service on both of their networks. Essentially, offering the best of both networks, for when you need. Not to mention, at what seemed to be competitive prices. Of course, the excitement quickly died down once Google also announced that the service was an invite only service and that you had to have a Nexus 6 to even use the invite. Either way though, it probably was expected that Google would have made Project Fi much more of a talking point at this year’s event. At the very least, one where Google explained what we could expect from Fi in the year to come, if anything. Of course, this was also not to be.
Now, the wait for I/O 2016 begins