Hardware and software development companies, journalists and visitors, fanatics and competitors — everyone watches the Google I/O conferences with bated breath. Why?
What is Google IO and why have we decided to talk about it? Well, it’s a conference which dates back to 2008, when the senior executives of Google held the first showcase of some new technologies. In 2008, such developer tools as OpenSocial and Web Toolkit were announced, and as for the mobile products — this was the conference at which the Android operation system was first shown (well, basically it was just the demo version of it). The second conference, held in 2009, gave us more information about Android, App Engine and the Google Chrome browser, which is now one of the most popular ones in the world. HTC Magic (the very first touch-only Android device) was also announced at Google I/O 2009 and of course this was a major step forward. In 2010 Google TV and Google APIs were announced, as well as the first smartphone with 4G in the USA, HTC Evo 4G. That was also the year when a new format of videos, WebM, was created by Google.
The next year was definitely the year of progress for Google. During Google I/O 2011, such services as Google Play Movies and Music were introduced, together with a new version of Android (3.1) and Chromebook laptops by Samsung. The Galaxy Tab 10.1 was also shown at this conference.
In 2012 some new devices and software were shown. Among them was a new version of the operation system (4.1), Google Analytics for Android devices, the new and stable version of Chrome for Android and for iOS, as well as a new Nexus 7 and Project Glass. It was also announced that there were 400 million Android users in the world. 400,000,000 — looks impressive!
But in the next year, Google showed how to accelerate development massively. The number of Android users reached 900 million, and this was also the year when the Samsung Galaxy S4 was introduced. Google I/O 2013 was also interesting because it took only 49 minutes to sell all the tickets to the conference, although the price was $900!
At the 2014 conference, Lollipop and Google Fit were announced. Moreover, everyone who attended the conference got a smart watch by LG or Samsung as a gift!
Google I/O 2015 was interesting because of progress in Android development — the new version of Android (6.0) and some new little applications, such as Google Photo, were introduced, but, honestly speaking, the latest conference was much more informative and interesting.
The first difference of the Google I/O 2016 conference was the location of the event. It was held annually for 7 years at the same place — the Moscone Center, the biggest exhibition complex in California. But in 2016 it was held in the Shoreline Amphitheatre, an outdoor location in Mountain View. Due to the fact that it’s an outdoor amphitheater and the conference is usually held in summer (May-June), lots of negative feedback was received complaining of heat stroke! That is why we can’t be sure of the venue for Google I/O 2017. Will the executives defer to the visitors’ opinions and relocate to a more appropriate place to hold a conference? We hope that they will. The price seems to have remained the same, but if it’s too expensive for you to buy a ticket ($900!), you can watch the streams on the Internet, and if you’re a student, you will only have to spend $300.
During Google I/O 2016, we saw the first teaser of the next version of Android (7.0), and the first device with this version has been released in the past month. We are sure that during the following months, a large number of Android devices will be updated to this version of Android, and there is a chance that in 2017 we’ll see the newest 8.0 version of it. There is no information about the possible new version, but we still hope to see it. A new is always better, isn’t it?
Google I/O 2016 also gave us some new applications for Android, such as Duo, new video chat, and Allo, another chat application. It’s a tradition for Google to announce such new things during these conferences, so we are sure the company will continue to follow its own traditions this time round. What should we expect — new applications, updates to already existing applications, or maybe new steps towards the integration of Google services with Android devices?
As for devices — unfortunately, none of them were announced at Google I/O 2016. Due to the fact that these conferences have not been without new devices since 2009, we are sure something new is coming. We don’t know (and nobody knows) what it will be, but taking into account that the last Nexus tablet was released in 2014, it’s possible that a new tablet from HTC and Google will be announced in 2017. If a new version of Android is announced, this will be a great step forward — just imagine a new 2017 Nexus with a new Android! But it’s not only about tablet PCs, it’s about smartphones, too. Apple has just released its new iPhone, and it’s good. That is the reason why other big companies definitely have to speed up and announce something really new. What about a new Nexus smartphone? The latest version of it was released in 2015, and an update will be needed in 2017. Maybe Google will announce a new smartphone in May 2017?
And what about Android Wear? The new version was released at the latest conference, so we might see some new devices like smartwatches that work with the newest technology. And, well, we aren’t hinting at anything, but do you remember how everyone who bought a ticket got a new smartwatch from LG and Samsung in 2014?
We are sure that lots of new devices, software and developer tools will be announced in 2017, but we are also sure something is going to change. Maybe there will be some fundamental changes in Google OS, Android or Nexus? Well, we hope so, and that’s why we’ve spent this time speculating. Your comments are very important, of course, so please tell us: do you have any ideas about what’s going to happen at Google I/O 2017?