Countdown to Google I/O: What Can We Expect?


Google I/O is set to kick off in just about 24 hours. Don’t believe me? Check out the official countdown clock on the I/O site. But what can we expect? A new Android version to be revealed? Some new info on Google TV? An Android-powered robot that will turn sentient and eventually go rogue, recreating the events of the Terminator franchise? We really can’t say for sure, but we can make a few educated guesses.

Just taking a quick look at the sessions list for the week’s events, we see that this year’s I/O focus is decidedly more Android than ever. Sure, there will be some talk of Google’s +1 social service, the Chrome webstore, and the cloud, but Android is covered top to bottom. A large emphasis seems to focus on gaming, but sessions will also cover everything from NFC to apps for Google TV. Yes, apps for Google TV will be covered, but can we expect any big announcements for the platform at I/O?

Many sources are saying that while Google is indeed in the middle of revamping Google TV, no huge announcements will be made about an imminent update to the platform. We may get a glimpse of a new Google TV interface, a tease of some new hardware, and even a look at the internet television box running some Android apps, but don’t expect anything to actually launch for several months. Remember the gap between announcement of the platform at last year’s I/O and the actual release in the fall? Still, the new capabilities should come as the result of Google merging many aspects of Honeycomb, Gingerbread, and Google TV to create the next iteration of Android: Ice Cream Sandwich.

OK, so we don’t have 100 percent confirmation that the code name will not simply be Ice Cream, but Ice Cream Sandwich seems the popular choice. Either way, we expect this to be the major focus of Google’s keynote address tomorrow. The next version of Android is rumored to answer the question of how Google will navigate the separation of Android for tablets and smartphones. Some of the bigger features (and maybe even UI tweaks) of Honeycomb will come to a smartphone-friendly package. But we’re sure Google has a lot more up their sleeve than that.

And maybe, just maybe if we’re lucky, the announcement of Android Ice Cream Sandwich will coincide with the launch of Google Music, the lone holdout from last year’s I/O conference. In May of 2010 Google first impressed us with visions of a cloud-based music service to rival iTunes, but since then countless reports have surfaced of Google’s inability to ink any deals with record labels. The latest says Google is shifting their strategy and turning towards established music provider Spotify to help launch the highly anticipated service.

So that could be Google I/O in a nutshell, but so much more will occur within breakout sessions and around the Moscone Convention Center that we can’t possibly predict what could come out of the conference. We still expect Google to give away a customary free device, though we don’t know what it could be. Remember, you have a chance to win it no matter what. We’ll be live at I/O bringing you all the news as it breaks, so be sure to stay tuned to Phandroid for all the latest.


Kevin Krause
Pretty soon you'll know a lot about Kevin because his biography will actually be filled in!

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  1. What time is the Key Note in GMT (London)?

    1. Why can’t you just add 24 hours to what ever time it is for you in London. If for some reason you’re not in London then it will start at 2:00 PM

      1. Are you sure about that? Google IO happens in SF which is currently in PDT? It’ll be more like 5pm in London.

        1. Nice, thanks Bryan !

        2. At the time that I posted it the Google I/O countdown was 23 hours and 53 minutes, I googled “world clock” and picked London, it said 2:00 PM so when check ins and breakfast start will be 2:00 PM in London, 7:00 AM in San Francisco. The first Keynote will be at 9:00 AM in San Fran so it’ll be 4:00 PM in London.

    2. PDT is -7 GMT. So just add 7 to whatever times. The first keynote is at 9 Tuesday, so it’d be 4pm GMT. BUT, London is in BST at the moment, so add 8 hours to any times and it’ll be at 5pm BST

      1. if all of Google resources, you would have thought Google be able to detect your location and display the right time specifically for you by location.

  2. They need to convince manufacturers to use ARM chips so they make cheaper set top boxes (under $150) and cheaper TV’s. Specifically, I’d like to see Tegra 3 TV’s or set top boxes. It supports high profile playback like Atom, but it would also be a great benefit for the Google TV Android apps, especially for games. You’ll be able to play console like games on your TV through Google TV.

  3. EVO 3D’s for all!

    1. I hope so but not likely

  4. I’m hoping for a Honeycomb update (on my Xoom) and the release of the source code so people can shut up!

    1. Also I would find it weird that they would release Ice Cream because they are still deploying 2.3.4 to N1 and NS owners…with the leak on the Flash Player description about the next version of Android 3 …i’m pretty sure thats it

      1. Yup, this is sad.

      2. *Announcing not releasing.

        1. Well isn’t Ice Cream already announced? Do you really think it would be any news for google to say: “Hey by the way we are going to release Ice Cream soon…”

          I’m pretty sure tomorrows news will be about tablets and immediate or almost immediate availability of an update!

  5. Countdown to Ice Cream Sandwich = Countdown to CM8? :) Hope so.

    1. I think that will be the big focus–the joining of tablet and phone OS.

  6. I am so sick of Android. Other than a few high end devices and the lack of updates is making me want to leave the platform. How long has Gingerbread been out and only 2 phones have it? That is fucking terrible! I also think it is funny that they may be releasing another version, why? If we as android users can’t take advantage of it, why should I care? I have a HTC Incredible I swear that this will be my last Android device. Google and the phone manufacturers need to get their shit together or they will face a lot more unhappy customers.

      1. Go buy a motorola droid you turd!

        1. Yeah, this type of crass reply adds a lot of credibility to the veracity of your original post. Well done.

          Brian’s reply was succinct and reflects how I feel about it too. Nice job, Brian.

          1. you’re a twit! My points are valid, just open your eyes and you can see for yourself. Also, I am rooted and have been running Cyanogen and Miui for the past few months. I just think that this platform needs some control and not just a fragmented ecosystem that provides little updates and leaves most phones obsolete in less than a year. Is Brian your fag-hag?

    1. i’ve had gingerbread on my eol droid eris since january. if you want something, quit complaining and find a way to make it happen. you’ll also have fun and learn something along the way.

    2. Not really, most people who care about the latest release root.

      I’m completely fine with my Incredible, perhaps root and flash CM7?

    3. It is a sad state, I hope this is addressed at I/O. I think Gingerbread didn’t take so well because it wasn’t a major iteration. Froyo was huge, Gingerbread not so much. Also carriers, make no mistake they are the devil that you sell your soul to for a subsidized phone, buy a nexus and say f**k em’. I think mostly you’re right though, Google needs to flex some muscle here and use their leverage.

      My dream:
      -Stock Android on all phones (designated by hardware limitations ie. Android 3.0 1GHZ processor minimum, Froyo on phones under 1GHZ processors)
      -Manufacturers can build themes/skins on the phones only but not manipulate the core OS. Themes could even be sold on the marketplace (Imagine buying a motorola droid, and buying an HTC sense theme for $1.)
      -Manufacturer add-ons are just apps, not embed into the OS, they come pre-installed but they are uninstallable as well. No app is uninstallable!!!!!!!!
      -Over the air updates for all phones.

      …. A guy can dream right.

    4. I agree with you, Androidman. Google needs to crack down or something on these manufacturers. I think they should allow the “openness” on their OS to the end-users and force the manufacturers to keep the stock OS on the phones. That pretty much defeats the purpose of having an open platform but when Google comes out with an OS update, it shouldn’t have to go through the manufacturers first and sit there a year or more before we see the update. We shouldn’t have to root our phones to just get the latest update. I have an Incredible too. It’s rooted and running CM7 but for the average user this shouldn’t be necessary… :/

    5. Boo Hoo. So flash Android 2.3 to you phone then or switch to iPhone and entire Steve Jobs’ walled garden.

      Sure it is not on many phones out of the box, but that is why rooting owns. The vast majority of people who aren’t rooting won’t even care about what version of a mobile OS they have on their handset anyway. It’s that 10% of people who are computer nerds who care and most of us nerds have ventured into the awesomeness that is rooting by now anyway. My Sprint HTC Hero has had Android 2.3 for many months and you don’t see me whining about it.

  7. Honeycomb update that will be pushed out this week, no Google TV (who REALLY cares?), and of course Ice Cream Sandwich information. We want to see a new UI for phones that will be smooth and fluid and will blow everyone away!And a new, dual core Nexus on Verizon LTE would be nice, too :)

  8. Ice cream sandwich won’t be announced because google hasn’t put anything on their lawn yet.

    1. they may put it on the lawn today or tomorrow :-)

    2. The Honeycomb statue came well after Honeycomb was announced.

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