Google IO Hopes and Expectations

So we talked about Google IO during our last hangout, and as much as I HATE rumours, I thought I'd share some of what we discussed during the hangout as our "hopes and expectations".

For a full list of the IO 2013 workshops you can visit the site at: https://developers.google.com/events/io/ or download the IO 2013 app

Get it on Google Play



So what're you expecting?  I'm going to try not to dig into rumours here, but simply conjecture on what I hope and what happened last year.

Android Vesion +1 or (+.1)
Whatever it is, there will be some number jump for Android.  My prediction is that if it is only 4.3 JB, then the Galaxy Nexus could get it.  If it's a full on 5.0, I'll call it and say that it won't get it.

But what will it contain?  Who knows.  To be honest, I'm quite content with how JB is right now, and I'm taxed trying to think up of something new.  Potentially I'm thinking that it's just going to have some deeper integration of some of the items I'll discuss below.

from pocket gamer
Game Sync
This one has all been but confirmed as a) they hired the game developer Noah Falstein, b) there was a rumour (shudder) that showed some leaked screens.

What this means?  Not quite sure yet, you can go and read some of the prognosticators on what it could mean.  In my general take on it, it would be similar to how Google syncs your 'services' so far (contacts, photos, etc...) and that it would sync your game data.  Much like how Angry Birds is now doing the same thing, that you log in with a Rovio account on your device and it syncs what levels you have done, etc... so that on another device you pick up where you left off.

This is something that's been missing from Android since day 1.  I just love cross device syncing of... well, anything.  My fear is that it can be a little more complicated for developers to take advantage of.  We heard a lot about that Google Messaging Cloud the previous year, and haven't heard much since.  Will developers have to write new apis/codes into their app to take advantage of it... sure.  Will they?  urmm... let's hope so.  Then the issue would be also for space.  I imagine game data might not be a big amount, but will it eat into my Drive, is it infinite?  I mean I have a lot of games, and a lot of old games ... would be great to not have to have EVERY game on my phone all the time.  That if I knew of a long weekend, I could download a bunch of games and just pick up where I left off last time; when I get tired of it, put it away.

So here's hoping that it's as good as I hope.

(Mark and I are having a little discussion at the moment about controller support for Android gaming as he's been playing with his new Vita)

A new Nexus 7 + another device?
Last year we saw the Nexus 7 and a Nexus Q... and a Chromebox... luckily in Canada we could purchase one of those.  The other 2 weren't as popular, but I'd still like to see something.

I can't see why they WOULDN'T release a new N7 device, and there are some sites out there saying that specifically there are already specs ready for the next iteration.  That's fine and all if you want to believe rumours.

What's going to be new?  Probably not much, just optimized for the Android OS version and whatever it introduces.

Google Watch
Again, another rumour that somebody 'confirmed' earlier today... how true is that?  I dunno... but if you look at all the work around watch peripherals lately, it's almost a foregone conclusion.

I think that with some of the sensors they've put in devices, plus how Google Now gives you that 'end of month report' on your movement, etc... that it would be a simple way to track more of that, easier, than having your phone handle some of the more mundane items.

Babel
This is one of the features of Android that cross it's apps/web services it NEEDS.  I don't want to have a different messenger service from Talk (via Gmail, and a different one for G+ and the hangout) and then to have Google Messenger... and even though it's not supported in Canada, Google Voice (unless you follow my tips back here).

A fully supported messaging system is what is needed.

Android@Home
This was announced a while back, but we really haven't heard from that department in a while.  It would be great to start to see this implemented more fully.

Being able to control some of the mundane items in my house via my phone (because, hey, it's never too far from me anyways) would be good...

...ooh, what if it's controlled via my watch (makes sense that I wouldn't have to open up a separate app on my phone -- just some widget on the peripheral device).

What else?
There's so much else out there, but as Phandroid put it, let's not forget about what Google IO is about - the developers.  The devices created are nice, but aren't meant to be the drivers for innovation - they're merely tools.  Let's not get too carried away in the hype that tends to pervade these kinds of events - like Boxing Day sales - folks just start stampeding over 'sales' and then lament that the deals weren't that good and complain to the stores.  Don't let the hype overshadow the event.
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