Google I/O 2017: What to expect
Google’s annual developers conference kicks off next week. Here’s what we think is on the docket.
Google’s annual developers conference, I/O, runs from Wednesday through next Friday in Mountain View, California.
Aside from workshops and on-hand technical help for developers, I/O includes announcements of upcoming projects and endeavors. Read on to see what you can expect from Google.
Google’s mobile OS, Android, is due for an update. Now in its eighth major iteration, you can get a peek of the OS with the Android O developer preview (which was available in March). Some of our favorite features include improved battery life, picture-in-picture and the ability to snooze notifications. Expect to learn more about the update, including of course, its full foodie name.
Likewise, don’t expect to see the next Pixel phones at I/O. Though the successors will most likely run Android O, Google will probably unveil them later in the fall, around October.
Last year’s I/O saw the debut of the Google Home, a voice-enabled smart speaker that is a central hub to controlling and connecting all your smart home accessories. Though we’re not 100 percent sure that Google will announce a successor, it’s a possibility. If not, we’ll at least hear about software updates that’ll expand the breadth and functionality of the Home.
Google Assistant and AI
The Google Home’s launch coincided with the company’s digital voice assistant software, Google Assistant. Available on several Google platforms like Android Wear, Android Auto and the Pixel phones (though now it’s available on other Androids), the abilities of Assistant continue to grow and we’re likely to hear about new (hopefully exciting) Assistant features.
Last year, Google announced and then released its View VR headset to support its VR platform and standard, Daydream. As Google continues to invest in VR, like recently acquiring the VR game studio Owlchemy Labs, it’ll be no surprise if Google rolls out more announcements and content about VR. Google’s augmented-reality platform Tango is now part of the VR team, so expect Google to take next steps here, working VR and AR into one vision. It would definitely be nice to see more advanced controllers and cameras that could help mix these two realities together.
Android Wear 2.0
Google announced its update to its smartwatch and wearable OS Android Wear 2.0 at I/O 2016, but it’s only begun rolling out this February. As such, we don’t expect a completely refreshed 3.0 version, but we’ll probably hear more about new features to 2.0. Especially since Google needs to flesh out app development and make it more reliable. There are lots of watches available now, but Wear needs a little more support.
How to tune in
As mentioned before, I/O kicks off Wednesday with the keynote beginning at 10 a.m. PT. Google will likely livestream the event from the Shoreline Amphitheatre, but CNET will be there, so be sure to check back for all the details as we cover the event from the ground.