Just a few more days before the Google I/O Event, but with leaks and rumours floating around, here’s a quick summary of what to expect from the big G, especially if you are an Android user. No skydivers wearing Google Glass this year, but we should see more inspiring features on putting a pair of Google Glass to good use.
Revamped Google Apps and Design and new features
The leaked Google Play Store 4. (download here) reveals a light-colour themed UI to standardise the Holo theme. There should also be updates to the overall swipe control to existing apps which would lead to better unification. Android is no longer just for the geeks and making it easier to use would be a great welcome.
Taking a leaf from Apple’s book on their Game Center, Google would also be launching a similar Google Games through their new Play Store, which would bring forth multiplayer functionality, leaderboards, achievements, and more. There are going to be cloud game saves too to allow for better synchronisation across devices. That’s great! No more reliance on Titanium Backup or other sync apps for this. This would make it easier for you to compare your Candy Crush levels with your friends and family. I found the Apple Gamecenter to be one of the better features and this would be helpful to encourage more game developers in migrating over to Android.
Another area highly anticipated would be the launch of Google Hangouts or a unified messaging platform. Currently, for chatting with other Google users, there’s Google Talk (via GMail) and Google Messenger (Google+) and for video conferencing, there’s hangouts. A lot of rumours have been floating about on this, with leaked releases on apps featuring the codeword Babel, and I would be surprised if this is not launched. It seems that SMS/MMS messaging have been left out and I’m surprised they did not integrate it to the SMS Messenging app or provide that option – something similar to Facebook Chat Heads.
New Google Hardware
We should see more details on an official Google Glass Launch, pricing, availability details and so forth. There is also keen anticipation for an update to the Google Nexus 7, which was a very successful, low cost tablet announced at last year Google I/O. I am hoping to seee an even lighter tablet, wireless charging compatibility and a full HD screen. This is quite lightly to happen. I am also hoping for better connectivity such as HDMI but as with the Nexus 4, that’s unlikely to happen.