Update: Details about Google Music streaming service, Galaxy S4 Google Edition and Google Maps revamp have been added in the end of the post.
We are just a few hours away from Google’s biggest event of the year – I/O 2013- where Google will give us a peek at some of the upcoming products, devices and services. The event kicks off with a two and a half hour long keynote on May 15, which is going to be the highlight.
It is the keynote speech where all the major announcements are going to be made, but what are we expecting to see there. We have compiled a list of most plausible Android related announcements that are likely to be made at this keynote speech and during the I/O 2013.
For the major part of this year, everyone was expecting to see Android 5.0 aka Key Lime Lie at I/O, but the recent rumours have put a compelling case for the announcement of minor Android update in the form of 4.3. This Android version is again going to be an extension of Jelly Bean and is likely to include some new features, UI improvements and performance enhancements.
Google is likely to showcase Key Lime Pie version of Android in second half of the year, probably around late October along with the next Nexus smartphone.
Successor to Nexus 7
The other major announcement apart from the debut of Android 4.3 is going to be the launch of next-generation Nexus 7 tablet. There is no word on whether the company is going for a new name or it is just going to stick with Nexus 7 II or something similar.
As per the latest reports, Nexus 7 II is expected to be decent improvements over the original Nexus 7 tablet. It will come with a full HD display, quad-core processor (Snapdragon 600 likely), 5-megapixel rear camera, front HD camera and 4,000 mAh battery.
It will also be the first device to come with Android 4.3 pre-loaded.
Nexus 4 LTE?
There have been rumours of a LTE version of Nexus 4, but we are yet to see any clear evidence. While, we will be keeping an eye out for Nexus 4 LTE, there are less chances that it will show its face.
If the Nexus 4 LTE does become reality, the phone will come with Android 4.3 and other specifications are likely to remain same as HSPA+ version.
Google Play Games
Substantial evidence has been uncovered in the last few days, suggesting that Google is going to announce a gaming service similar to Apple’s Game Center at I/O 2013. Dubbed as Google Play Games, the service will support multiplayer gaming, cloud-sync/ saving, invite, achievement, leader boards and more.
The company is also likely to release an API for the same, which will allows game developer to include the Play Games goodies in their Android offerings.
Google Hangouts or Babel is going to be another highlight of I/O 2013. The much awaited revamp of Google’s communication offerings – Hangouts will bring Google Chat, Talk, Gmail Chat, Google+ Hangouts and more in one service.
The company will also release apps for Android, iOS, and Chrome. Google Hangouts will also be integrated in Google+ and Gmail.
Google Glass, Google TV, Chrome updates
Among other announcements, we expect to see something related to Chromebooks, Google Glass, and Google TV devices. Google is most likely to release a new version of Google TV at the event as well as few new hardware partners.
We also expect to see new Chrome OS related stuff, probably Google Now integration in Chrome and Chrome OS alongside new hardware announcements.
The search giant is also expected to share the progress on Google Glass end and the feedback from developers.
Google Music streaming service
Reports from WSJ, NYT and The Verge indicate that Google is going to announce a music streaming service like Spotify at today’s keynote speech. The service will allow users to listen unlimited music online by paying a fixed sum of money every month. Reports indicate that there isn’t going to be a free and ad-supported option. The service is likely to be available in the United States first and later rolling out to other countries.
Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Edition
The surprising last minute addition to the expected announcements list is the Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Edition. Samsung and Google are reportedly going to be announce a stock Android running Galaxy S4 at the event, which will be dubbed as Samsung Galaxy S4 GE. Other features of the phone are likely to remain same as the retail version. The companies might even distribute to the Google I/O attendees.
Revamped Google Maps
Google is also expected to showcase the redesigned Google Maps at the event. Some details of the Maps revamp were spotted in a sign-up page that went live hours ago but was later taken down.