With the 2014 Google developers conference set to kick off tomorrow, Wednesday June 25th, fans are waiting anxiously to hear of the next big things coming from Android, particularly when it comes to wearables and connected devices. It is expected that Google will reveal a handful of new gadgets, sparking intrigue worldwide. In addition, their widely publicized acquisition of Nest suggests further developments when it comes to a better connected home.
Google Glass and other wearable devices are likely to be the overarching focus of this year’s event. Glass has been making headway with their Glass at Work program, forging recent partnerships with Wearable Intelligence and Augmedix to catapult medical applications of Glass. On the consumer end, many are hoping they will announce when the consumer version of Glass will hit the market. But if you are not itching for a pair of the high-tech optics, not to worry, Android is expected to release a new version of Android for wearables, with LG, Motorola, and HTC said to be already developing Android watches. Hopefully we will get an eyeful of at least a few shippable versions of the wear in just a few days’ time.
Googles first take on conquering the living room, Google TV, fell a bit short. Luckily they were able to gain back a little real estate with last year’s release of Chromecast, allowing users to stream Netflix, Hulu, and other video content on a television set through a tablet, mobile, or Chrome browser. Yet, it seems they are ready for take three, with rumored plans they will launch Android TV, which unlike Google TV, will focus more on streaming movies and shows through a sleek new set top box.
Beyond the television, it is likely that we will see updates across the board when it comes to Google reaching into our homes in the Internet of Things era. Google’s recently purchased Nest, maker of smart home thermostats and detectors, just bought Dropcam for a reported $555 million dollars in order to contribute to an even better connected home. We should see some sort of announcement as to what Google is planning with both these high-dollar buyouts at this year’s conference.
Although little has been revealed as far as a possible release date of Android 5.0, it is expected that they will at least in some way hint as to what is to come in their latest iteration. The news has been abuzz with a recently revealed project entitled Quantum Paper which suggests a total redesign of Android software as well as their new Polymer framework that will utilize customizable widgets. It will be a huge surprise if the newest version is ready for release in the not so distant future.
IN THE CAR
With Apple Carplay making the headlines often over the last year, it seems Google is ready to announce their own Android version said to be shipping in new vehicles by year end through partners that include GM and Audi. The most interesting part is that it seems they are planning to make the entire system directly connected to the web, allowing users to use the system both with and without their smartphones. This would be a huge leap for in car technology, creating a competitive advantage over rival Apple.
With the splash Apple made just a few weeks earlier with their 2014 WWDC, it will be interesting to see what Google comes up with in the days ahead. Stay tuned in with us as we await the latest offerings from the giant.