Google never disappoints with its Google I/O conference, with pretty much every single one being the setting for huge advancements in various Google projects.
As such there are huge hopes for Google’s 2016 I/O conference, with expectations for announcements for updates for Chrome, Android as well as possible new announcements in the watch, TV, VR, AR market, and more.
However, at the moment, we don’t know what Google will be announcing, but the conference will kick off this Wednesday, in the meantime, here’s a list of what you can expect from the conference.
How can I watch Google I/O?
The opening keynote starts at 10AM PST, 6PM BST and is expected to end at around 8PM BST and you can tune into the live stream from here. You can also watch it 360 degrees below.
Probably one of the biggest announcements at I/O 16, will be the next release of Android, and strangely we already know that it will be called Android N, as Google revealed that news earlier this year.
We also already know that it will be getting split-screen multitasking, new quick settings buttons, some improvements to the battery life, and even new emojis.
That said, there’s probably a lot more that Google plans to reveal about it on stage. We may even see some additions from iOS like 3D Touch, and maybe some slight design changes.
Along with a new version of Android, various reports have also claimed that Google is planning to launch a new virtual reality platform at I/O.
Said to be called Android VR, reports claim that it will be based on Android, but it will be an all-in solution for virtual reality consumption, with the Financial Times even reporting that Google will unveil a Gear VR-like headset, but a lot more advanced.
We also expect to see more ways for developers to make VR content and new ways that Google services will use it.
Chrome OS/ Android merger
And we aren’t done with Android just yet, according to other rumours Google is looking at merging features from Android into Chrome OS, according to reports, Google may be looking to run a number of Android apps in the Play Store from Chrome OS.
This would allow developers to support much larger screen sizes, and possibly encourage them to make more interactive and useful applications.
Aside from that, we don’t expect much more, maybe some style changes, and slight feature adjustments, but we don’t expect a full makeover.
Chat bots and other new messaging features
Messaging apps are probably the most used apps on all smart devices, however, they are only just getting really interesting, especially after the recent introduction of chat bots by Facebook.
We expect that Google will be unveiling new ways that they can remain a big player in this field, with reports leading to them working on a new messaging application that will combine the features of Messaging apps with chat bots.
The Wall Street Journal claims that this application will be similar to WhatsApp, as in it will be tied with your mobile phone number, allowing you to talk to friends and chat bots.
One would presume that this will be similar to Facebook’s Messenger bots, allowing companies to create their own bots to help them respond to customer’s needs with the use of APIs. But you can also expect to see some of Google’s other services in their too.
While we don’t expect Google to reveal something like a release date for their self-driving car (that’s probably a way off), we do expect to hear more about their progress with Google X, the company that is now working on the scheme under Alphabet.
We also expect to see more information about Google’s progress on Android Auto, although it has been public for around a year now, we have not seen any updates to it for some time.
According to Bloomberg, Google will be launching Tango this year, although not confirmed, if true we would expect to hear news about this during Google I/O 2016.
Project Tango is currently only available for developer’s, allowing users to take advantage of their smartphones in new and exciting ways, using Tango sensors that have been installed on a device to allow it to understand and map the world around it.
According to reports, Google wants to use this technology for use in virtual reality applications.
A personal assistant for the home
We could also see Google unveiling a competitor to Amazon’s Echo system, they already have a pretty good personal assistant on the phone, and with the power of Google they can keep making it better, so it makes sense that they would bring this to the home with a device like the Amazon Echo.
According to reports from The Information, this product is already in the works, but it is unlikely to be launched at I/O, we can at least expect to see a demo.
That’s about all that we expect for now (aside from the usual numbers and announcements about Google’s other services), however, we will update you as we hear more official stuff, which will come during the event on Wednesday.