5 Announcements to Expect at Google I/O 2013

It is that time of the year again, when Google will be hosting developers at a 3-day conference. It is called Google I/O and as most presentations are available and streamed live on YouTube, it gives Google a massive audience to make new announcements.

Last year, they announced Google Glass, Android Jellybean, Nexus 7 and a few more announcements. This year should not be any different and here are five announcements, I expect from Google. Google IO takes place on 15-17 May, 2013.

Google_IO_2013

1. A New Android Version (Jellybean or Key Lime Pie)

Android Jellybean started off as Android 4.1 version. When 4.2 was released, it was still named Jellybean. This prompted the argument that Key Lime Pie will be version 5.0.

So will Google be pushing out a new version of Android? Absolutely yes. There is no way Google will host a conference with developers and not announce a new version. But this might not be the Key Lime Pie version but another updated version of Jellybean. So chances are that we will get to see Android 4.3 rather than Android 5.0 in May.

2. Google Glass Apps and partnerships

Google Glass alpha versions are out for developers to try out. I am sure that during Google IO, it will announce more apps and partnerships for its Glass project. I am sure this I/O conference will see a host of announcements and guidelines for developers to work with Google Glass. We might just see a better roadmap on how Google will be making Glass available for the general public in 2014.

3. Nexus 4 LTE and Nexus tablets

The Nexus brand will keep growing with more announcements likely. Nexus 7 tablet will in all probability see an upgraded model with better specs. Also expected is the announcement of Nexus 4 LTE phone. The current Nexus 4 phone does not support LTE but is supposed to have a inactive LTE chip on it.

4. Babel (Unified Messaging service)

Google is working on a unified messaging service that integrated your SMS from your Android phone, your emails and your chat messages on Gmail and Google+. This is on the lines of Apple’s iMessage and should work across platforms. Google will probably integrate this service into Android and Chrome initially.

5. Google Now on Chrome and web

Last week, I wrote about how Google is trying to gets its Google Now feature from Android onto Chrome and the Google homepage. This might serve as a handy replacement for iGoogle initially but more importantly it means reminders and updates will be synced and displayed on your browser and also your phone.

Things we might not see:

Google will probably not announce a Nexus 5 phones – as Nexus 4 was announced only towards the end of last year. It might just announce a new phone often called ‘Google X’. But the best rumours about Google X are sketchy at best.

There were rumours of Google announcing opening of physical stores (like Apple Stores) but that also seems unlikely as Google IO probably is not the best place for that announcement.

What do you expect to see this Google IO? Do drop in your comments.

Google reveals technical specs for Google Glass

Google Glass specs
Since Google introduced Google Glass project last year at the Google I|O event, there have been many questions ranging from how good the camera on it will have to how much storage space will it pack?

Google has finally revealed the technical specifications of “Google Glass” .

Google Glass Specs

  • The Google Glass will have a camera that takes photos at 5MP and records videos at 720p.
  • The audio for Google Glass uses Bone Conduction Transducer. This technology allows the conduction of sound into the inner ear through the skull bone. It is a technology which is often used in hearing aids.
  • The Battery life is considered as one full day of typical use. This typical use terms is not clear as we do not know how Google Glass will be typically used and how much it will be used.
  • The storage claims 12GB of usable memory. All this data will also be synced with Google cloud storage.
  • The device will be compatible with a bluetooth-capable phone. A companion app called MyGlass requires Android 4.0.3 (Ice Cream Sandwich) or higher on their phones.

What is MyGlass companion app?

MyGlass enables GPS and SMS messaging from your phone to your Google Glass. This app currently will also help in configuring the Google Glass device. This means that if you want to use Google Glass, you will need a Android phone by default for it to be of any practical use.

The technical specs seems to be pretty decent and it will be interesting to see if other tech giants follow with augmented reality glasses. For the moment I still think Google is perfectly placed do great things with Google Glass.

Do drop in your views and comments.

Five Reasons why Google is just the right company for ‘Glass’

Google GlassImagine you are in your car on the way to a meeting. You get notified that you will be late for the meeting because the data picked up by Google Maps shows there will be a traffic jam.

You decide not to attend the meeting in person but view it over Google+ hangouts. So you search for a restaurant nearby with Google search and find the quickest way to it with Maps. You send an email to reschedule the meeting over Google+ hangouts.

You get into a quite corner of a restaurant, eating your favorite dish still attending the meeting you would have most probably missed.

You can do all this with your smartphone or tablet today but Google Glass will help you do this with gestures, voice commands and most importantly not requiring you to look away to another device at any point of time.

The solution is to have a small screen on eye wear, that displays information discreetly to the user. It is an interesting concept but will it succeed?

Here are some of the reasons why Google is the perfect company or rather is perfectly positioned to create and deliver something like Google Glass successfully.

#1. Google has the necessary products to be independent

Google_Products

Google has all the necessary products that would actually make something like Google Glass a usable product. It owns Gmail, YouTube, Google+, Google Maps and last but not the least Google search. It also owns a very widely used and successful mobile OS in Android.

Google Glass will need all these products seamlessly working with each other to really make it that killer product. Just imagine another company trying to make something like Google Glass but being dependent on other companies for email, maps and search?

#2. Google’s culture of tinkering

Google has a culture of tinkering with their products endlessly. They are not shy of rolling out something that is not exactly perfect (unlike Apple) to the public and then work on perfecting it over time. Gmail, Android and Chrome are perfect examples of putting out a product and tinkering with it constantly to make it extremely successful. Sometimes this sort of approach can be a disaster like how it panned out with Google Wave.

Google’s Glass project will need this sort of constant tinkering. It is a technology that people will wear on themselves. So it will be used by different people in different ways. And that will require a lot of constant tinkering and upgrades based on feedback. Here Google’s culture will give it an advantage.

#3. Google’s massive data resource

Google Data Center

Google is a company that wants to manage your data online. It is so much more than a search engine company. Google has access to information that is wholesome. Browsing habits, search habits, places you visit and look up on maps and the kind of apps you use and much more.

This gives Google data which really matters. The sort of data that can be put together and served up in a context. This is done through several data centers across the world. These data centers are the silent running engines behind everything Google does. A product like Glass will need to harness this infrastructure to take search, video and contextual information to the next level.

#4. Money

google_moneyA product like Google Glass, requires a lot of money. It requires deep pockets to keep investing in improving a technology that still not the finished product. Also a device you wear on your eyes, is not exactly something someone will buy online. They will need first-hand demos.

Google will need to buy real estate to put up stores where people get a feel of Google Glass before buying it. All this requires billions in the bank and guess what, Google has them.

#5. Simplicity

Google Glass first person

Google Glass is often called an augmented reality product. I like to think of it as a non-intrusive display product, as I do not think it is going to layer stuff on our complete vision to augment reality. That small difference is what makes a very complex product into something very simple. This simplicity in products usually seems very obvious but only when they are very successful, like all the phone manufacturers realized after the iPhone.

What are your views on Google Glass? Do drop in your comments.

Credits: Image

What does someone wearing Google Glass see? [Video]

Google Glass first person

Google has announced that it will start opening up Google Glass to public in a limited manner. People can start applying for Google Glass by declaring what they would do with Google Glass on Google+ or Twitter. It has to be the hashtag #ifihadglass.

The initial price tag for participants is $1500 US. But how will Google Glass work? Will the display screen on the side actually be a distraction or will it be something that adds to the experience.

Now with this video it shows more or less what someone wearing Google Glass will see.

Video

I am excited about Google Glass. It is truly something that makes technology extremely personal. With products like Gmail, Google Maps, Android, Google+, Google Drive and Search, Google is uniquely positioned to deliver a product like Google Glass and make it work.

Check more details for Google Glass at its landing page.

What are your thoughts on Google Glass? Do drop in your comments.