Google I/O 2014 - What To Expect

Google I/O, Google's developer conference is going to be held on June 25-26, 2014. Here's what to expect as far as rumors go.

Unlike Apple's WWDC in 2014, I would expect to see Google mention Hardware during their I/O Keynote this year. Chromecast, Chromebooks and Google Glass may be hot topics including all of the updated devices and services listed below.

Nexus 8 Tablet

The first two editions of Google's Nexus 7 tablet arrived in July 2012 and July 2013. If Google keeps to its annual summer upgrade cycle, a new tablet should appear soon. If so, Google I/O would provide an optimal platform to conduct the big reveal. What can we expect? The rumored "Nexus 8" might have a bigger screen of 8 inches --perhaps to compete with the 7.9-inch Apple iPad Mini

Android 4.5.....or Android 5.0

Google I/O also would obviously be good showcase for Android 4.5/5.0, which is said to run on the rumored upcoming Nexus 8. Tech sites Android Police and Grabi have detailed summaries of Android 4.5's alleged attributes. Code-named "Moonshine," the next iteration of Google's mobile operating system reportedly sports a "flatter" motif with fewer textures and shadows, a look popularized by Microsoft Windows 8 and Apple iOS 7.

The timing is definitely right. Android updates happen every five to eight months; Ice Cream Sandwich came out eight months after Honeycomb and Jelly Bean 4.1 came out eight months after ICS. Jelly Bean 4.2, 4.3 and KitKat 4.4 averaged five months between them.

Time For Google Watch?

Smartwatches powered by Google's Android Wear platform are expected at the conference, but we don't expect an official Google watch being announced just yet.

Instead, the square-shaped LG G Watch in stealth black and champagne gold colors is going to match the forthcoming LG G3 phone quite nicely. Motorola's even more fashionable circular Moto 360 is due also for its first on-stage appearance at Google IO. Expect it to feature wireless inductive charging and a price around $249.


New Gmail

Gmail, like most Web services, is forever a work in progress, so it wouldn't be surprising if Google is updating Gmail's mobile app interface, and perhaps even making Gmail play nicer with sophisticated encryption tools. reports that Google is testing a plethura of new features for its email client including a brand-new flat designed interface on Mobile and Desktop.

These include more tabs for organizing messages; the ability to pin an email to the top of your Inbox (so you can't ignore it); and a snooze feature that buries a message until a timer goes off, at which point the email moves to the top of your Inbox. Meanwhile, Google reportedly is working to make the PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) encryption utility work better with Gmail, says VentureBeat.

Nexus 6 Phone?

Some recent rumors claim the Nexus 6 smartphone could make its public debut at Google I/O. Other rumors have it arriving this fall, which would make a June unveiling unlikely. As for specs, if the Nexus 6 is based on the upcoming LG G3 phablet, as some observers suspect, the new model of Google's flagship phone should sport a 5.5-inch screen with 2560 by 1440 pixels, a quad-core Snapdragon processor, and a 13-megapixel main (rear-facing) camera -- but only if allegedly leaked specs for the G3 turn out to be real.

New Google+

Google+, the company's answer to Facebook and Twitter, might be popular among tech elites, but the social network hasn't exactly caught fire among mainstream desktop and mobile users. Google+ claims more than 500 million monthly active users, but that impressive figure includes people who are marginally involved with the platform; for instance, those who click a Google +1 button, or watch a YouTube video while logged into their Google accounts. That's not Facebook-style use.

Now it appears Google+ might soon undergo a significant overhaul. Google senior VP of social Vic Gundotra, the exec responsible for building and managing Google+, recently announced he's leaving the company. So what's next for Google+, and how might the service evolve? Google I/O 2014 would provide a high-profile stage for the company to present its new social media goals.

Google Fiber Expansion

The Google I/O conference may offer some updates on its rollout of Gigabit Internet/TV services throughout the US.

Google's broadband network is touted as being 100 times faster than what most Americans currently experience, but so far it's limited to three cities: Kansas City, Austin TX, and Provo UT.

Google is in early discussions with 34 cities in 9 metro areas that want a piece of its fiber-optic network. Atlanta, Portland, Nashville and San Jose in Google's own backyard may be next. (No Cincinnati?!?!)

Implementing Google Fiber in America's largest cities may require cable-laying alternatives like city-wide WiFi. It's an idea other companies and governments have tried and failed to deliver.

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