Phandroid » Events Android Phone News, Rumors, Reviews, Apps, Forums & More! Tue, 28 Jul 2015 23:21:31 +0000 en-US hourly 1 We’re Live from Motorola’s press event in NYC, here’s how you can follow along at 9AM Eastern Tue, 28 Jul 2015 12:28:23 +0000 motorola moto event podium

Today’s the day, folks. After OnePlus’s big moment in the sun yesterday, it’s Motorola’s turn to unveil their plans for 2015. They’re doing so at an event over in the Great Apple city of New York, and we’ll be front and center to bring you all the latest that comes out of it.

What to expect

So what are we expecting? The rumor mill isn’t always reliable, but it’s pretty safe to say we’ll see at least 3 new devices this morning, those being 2015 editions of the Moto X, Moto G and the Moto 360.

Motorola Moto G 2015 leak thumb

We’ve heard a metric crap ton of the Moto G to date, so be sure to check out all our previous coverage if you’re not sure what to expect.

gold moto x

The Moto X is a bit of a different story as Motorola managed to keep the wraps tight on that one. For what it’s worth, a reputable source of leaks issued the following spec sheet to look forward to:

  • 3600+mAh battery
  • 5.5″ FHD display
  • 21MP Main Camera, 5MP front Camera
  • Dual SIM version available
  • SIM + MicroSD Integration Card Slot
  • Android 5.1.1

We’d also expect some form of the Snapdragon 800 line doing the processing work behind the scenes. As usual the Moto X is expected to be offered up for customization in Moto Maker, so if you decide to buy one you can get it exactly how you want.

Moto 360 2015 leak

Then there’s the Moto 360, which might not be able to differentiate much from the original aside from one thing: the lack of that damned flat tire bezel. A recent leak suggests Motorola’s finally found a way to implement the internals so as to not need the bezel, and that alone might be worth the price of admission to some folks.

Where, when and how to watch

The fun begins at 9AM Eastern time, and you can actually follow long with us using the live stream embed above. Not able to watch? Don’t worry as we’ll be bringing you all the latest news, hands-on coverage and more, so stick around!

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Pre-register for a OnePlus 2 invite and download the VR app for tonight’s live stream announcement Mon, 27 Jul 2015 13:14:12 +0000 OnePlus 2 VR event

The launch event for the OnePlus 2 is going on tonight, if you don’t know, and the company is gearing up to blow our socks off with their latest disruptive offering. We know quite about a bit about the OnePlus 2 already, but there are bound to be some surprises which you won’t want to miss.

Want to follow along? OnePlus will be streaming their shindig tonight at 10PM Eastern, which is 4AM Central European Time. You can follow along with a typical live stream (which we’ll be finding for you shortly), but another cool way is to check it out in virtual reality!

OnePlus handed out a bunch of VR Cardboard units so if you have one be sure to have it ready. It will also work with any Google Cardboard headset. After you have it, simply download this app and get ready to experience the OnePlus 2 unveiling in full 360-degree goodness.

Oh, and if you want to get a head start on getting an invite you’ll be happy to know you can already pre-register for one right here. Be sure to throw your name into the hat to make sure you have the best chances of getting one. Circle back later on after the event as we give you live hands-on coverage and first impressions. Get excited!

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Big Android BBQ will make its way to Europe this year Thu, 23 Jul 2015 19:12:00 +0000 Big Android BBQ Bacon Explosion

The Big Android BBQ may have started off as a modest grassroots gathering of Android enthusiasts, but it’s blossomed into a prime-time development conference and gets bigger every year. 2015 is poised to be the biggest for the event yet, and that was even before the latest announcement: the Big Android BBQ is headed to Europe!

This marks the first time that the BBQ has been held anywhere outside of America. It’ll take place in Amsterdam, to be specific, and it all goes down November 12th through the 14th.

There is a large selection of sessions to attend, and they’ll slot into one of five “tracks” depending on what interests you:

  • “Hardcore Android” (advanced track)

  • “Android & Things” (IoT)

  • “Android and You” (anything goes)

  • “World of Android” (e.g. auto, med tech)

  • “Android & Humans” (design & interaction)

That’s not all, of course, as there’s the ongoing Code Kitchen where you can apply any new skills you earn into quick learning projects, as well as the big BBQ itself at the end of it all.

Tickets are on sale right now, with a 75 euro general admission ticket if you want to experience the BBQ, the sessions and the Code Kitchen. There are more expensive ticket options for some cool perks such as fast-lane registration, private dinners and networking opportunities, and even a golf cart shuttle.

If you can’t spring for that much, you can get access to the code kitchen and daily lunch for 25 euro, while students can get in on most of the fun for just 50 euro.  Be sure to grab your ticket as soon as you can because there’s no telling how long they’ll last!

[via Big Android BBQ Amsterdam]

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Mobile Roar 102: OnePlus & Motorola events, SIM cards, and Google is SkyNet Thu, 23 Jul 2015 17:38:03 +0000

SUBSCRIBE: Sticher Radio | iTunes | RSS feed | Download MP3

We’ve got some big mobile events coming up next week, so we preview what we expect to see from OnePlus and Motorola. Other big news this week includes a rumor that Apple and Samsung are working together to eliminate SIM cards. Is that a good or bad thing? We also talk about Toshiba’s big scandal, Google doing scary Google things, crazy standing desks, vertical videos, and much more!

Top Stories

Quick Hits


App Picks

Emails: Daquane, Beast

Follow Us

MR show 102

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You can now apply to be a speaker at the Big Android BBQ Thu, 23 Jul 2015 12:35:38 +0000 big android bbq 2015 banner

Things are ramping up over at IDEAAA’s planning department for the Big Android BBQ, and their next phase includes finding some capable speakers to head up the various panels they’ll be holding. You can now sign up to be a speaker at the big event, where even some Googlers will be recognized as official sponsors and will be holding talks of their own.

They’re looking for anyone with a passion for mobile development and the future of mobile tech, though passion alone isn’t enough to catch their eye. You’ll want to have previous articles, research papers or other documented knowledge on Android development and performance, and it’s probably a good idea to go into it with an idea of what, exactly, you want to speak on.

If chosen, you’ll be hooked up with a free workshop that’ll help train you to speak in front of large crowds of folks if you need it (and believe us, the crowds will be big). To get started simply head to this form and fill out all the details they ask for, and keep your fingers crossed that you’re selected if you have something you really want to share. The BBQ happens October 22-23rd in Hurst, Texas so don’t delay!

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Motorola schedules July 28th event; Moto X, Moto G and Moto 360 2015 coming? Thu, 16 Jul 2015 13:19:02 +0000 moto event july 28th

Motorola has just sent word through the pipeline that they have an announcement coming up, and it’s taking place July 28th. We know the company has a big summer planned with three of their major smart devices for 2015 having yet had formal debuts.

The invite itself doesn’t tell us much, though that “XOX” mark curiously looks like “XGX.” Tongue-in-cheek tease or are we just looking too deeply into it? The fact that we’re questioning ourselves means Motorola’s tease definitely worked.

We’re expecting new versions of the flagship Moto X, budget-friendly Moto G (which could be getting some love in Moto Maker) and a new Moto 360 smart watch to be on tap, and we’re not expecting to be disappointed with any of them.

But, of course, we won’t know what’s what until we trot out to New York for ourselves and get an in-person look at the company’s new lineup, so we’ll be doing just that. Mark the date on your calendar and make sure you don’t miss it!

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Amazon’s big “Prime Day” sale will have more deals than Black Friday Mon, 06 Jul 2015 12:19:56 +0000 Amazon Prime

Amazon loves putting on sales, and now they’re about to give Prime members even more of a reason to spend money. The company has announced Prime Day, an online shopping event exclusively for Amazon Prime members.

The event happens July 15th, and you’ll get access to an entire day’s worth of deals from electronics, toys, video games, movies, clothing, patio, lawn and garden, sports and outdoor items and more. Amazon says there are so many deals that there will be more on tap than you would see during Black Friday, and that new deals will pop up on the site as often as every 10 minutes.

We’re not sure all of the deals will be amazing, but we can’t imagine Amazon won’t have a few crazy surprises up their sleeve. If you’re an Amazon Prime member through July 15th you’re already set.

If not? You’ll be able to sign up for an account and get access to the deals on that same day (you could even start your free trial right now) so there’s plenty of time to  decide whether you want to subscribe or renew an expired subscription (we think it’s totally worth it). We’ll be rounding up some of the best deals on tech when the sale launches so be sure to stay tuned!

[via Amazon]

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OnePlus 2 reveal date announced, launch event will be streamed in VR Thu, 25 Jun 2015 18:54:40 +0000 OnePlus 2 VR event

We were expecting OnePlus to unveil another hardware component of the upcoming OnePlus 2 today but instead, the company revealed something else. Broadcasted onto (where else) but their forum and usual social media channels, OnePlus announced the reveal date for the OnePlus 2. The phone will officially be unveiled on Monday, July 27th at 7PM PT.

Unlike your normal product launch — which typically only live streams an event in regular ‘ol 2D — OnePlus will actually broadcast the show in 360-degree virtual reality. Because OnePlus knows not everyone owns a VR headset (I recently received my unit from Adult Swim’s free giveaway), they decided to build their own Google Cardboard unit only with a few improvements. It’s not available quite yet, but OnePlus tells us to check back where you’ll soon be able to order one (apparently free of charge?). You can find it here.

We’re sure to hear a lot more from OnePlus as the days progress, so stay tuned.


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Project Ara has a Lion King moment at Google IO Fri, 29 May 2015 19:55:51 +0000 Project

We didn’t know what to expect from the Project Ara team at the ATAP Google IO session. Would we finally get news on a widespread launch? New modules to show off? Perhaps just a quick update on their progress?

Well, we didn’t get any of that, unfortunately. What we did get was a majestic moment of pride from one of the project leads holding the a working Project Ara prototype up like the infamous scene straight out of Lion King.


Seriously, dude, way to be proud!

That wasn’t all that was noteworthy, though. We do get our first look at hot-swappable Ara modules, though, with the team attaching a camera module to the frame of the phone while it’s powered on and having it seamlessly recognized and functional. They then proceeded to take “the world’s first Ara photo in public” with the audience.

We’re also told that Ara prototypes are now running the latest version of Android, though we’re not sure if they’re referring to Lollipop or the new Android M developer preview. Cool stuff, that, but we’re honestly yearning for any bit of word regarding when we’ll be able to hold one for ourselves. Stay tuned.

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Your clothes will be your next smartphone with Google’s Project Jacquard [VIDEO] Fri, 29 May 2015 17:23:49 +0000 project-jacquard-demo-phandroid

The Google ATAP team took to the stage at a very interesting Google IO session this morning to talk about the future of wearable technologies. Google’s ambitions aren’t just more beautiful and functional smart watches, or a refined version of smart glasses. They want to take things a step further and make your clothes smart, too.

Project Jacquard is the result of said ambition. Google has come up with a way to manufacture conductive fabric in a way that’s inexpensive and that can be designed with the flexibility required by any self-respecting fashion designer. More than that, though, they’ve helped develop wireless technology that can seamlessly integrate with fabric to allow it to communicate with a device, such as smartphones, tablets and smart watches.

Conductive fabric is already a thing, if you didn’t know. You can even buy some on Amazon if you want.

The problem is that it’s not very beautiful (most are presented in rough greyscale), it’s not implemented in any fashionable brands, and there’s no meaningful platform for developers and users to easily take advantage of it. Those are the gaps Google hopes to narrow with Jacquard.

project jacquard 1

They had to start with finding a new way to spin conductive textile in a way that’s both compatible with existing techniques, as well as compatible with a wide range of existing fabrics (such as silk, cotton or polyester).

project jacquard 2

The result is a fabric suitable, flexible and fashionable enough for designers to make clothing with.

project jacquarad 3

The fabric can be embedded under a layer of other cloth, or even interwoven with existing cloth to make large surface areas for touch.

project jacquard 4

As you can see, design isn’t sacrificed for functionality. Google then had to find a way to turn all of this:

project jacquard 5

Into this:

project jacquard 6

By the end of it all, you have a piece of clothing that can act as your second touch pad, and an open platform that’ll allow you to translate touch on your jacket (or pants, or whatever it is you’ll wear) into actions on a smart device.

project jacquard 10

Think of all the things you could do with it:

  • Swipe your arm to make a quick phone call
  • Double tap your arm to silence an incoming call
  • Use your arm as a remote control for controlling presentations, including multi-touch and pinch-to-zoom

This isn’t just poised to become some experimental wet dream that eventually fades into nothingness, either. Google has gone as far as partnering up with top clothing brand Levis to usher the technology into the market in order to transform fashion in a way we have yet to see. You can even see the gentlemen responsible for the teams working on this technology wearing a Project Jacquard jacket in the photo below.


We’re hoping a lot more will jump on board once Project Jacquard takes off and everyone sees just how cool, innovative and forward-thinking this stuff is.

[via Project Jacquard]

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Android M: is M for Milky Way? Thu, 28 May 2015 23:12:31 +0000 At this year’s Google IO we already knew they were going to announce Android M. But what would it be called? We predicted Marshmallow. However, a few eagle-eyed Phandroids noticed that Head Android Engineer Dave Burke was wearing something quite interesting on his Android Wear watchface:

Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 3.56.10 PM

That is 100% a milkshake which stands, of course, for Android Milkshake. Burke even confirmed this fact himself but perhaps not in the way you might expect:

Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 3.55.02 PM

So now we know two things:

  • The Milkshake on his watchface was in reference to Android M being Milkshake
  • That is not the final name for Android M… it could be any number of M-named desserts cycling through his Android Wear watchfaces

If you watched the keynote as closely as we did, you may have noticed something pretty darn interesting about the introduction video. Not only did they talk about “Andromeda Galaxy” – which sounds an awful lot like “Android” and Samsung’s “Galaxy” – but they flashed the name of the next major galaxy on the screen…

Milky Way.


The above photo was taken from my seat at the keynote. Also worth noting: the lone new Android M Wallpaper is a picture of earth taken from space. Could Google already be teaming up with Samsung for the first Samsung Milky Way Galaxy device? Conspiracy theories away!

This doesn’t prove anything either, but at least now we’ve got two new front runners for Android M’s official name. So which one do you think it will be? Android Milkshake or Android Milky Way?

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11 Android M Wallpapers from the Developer Preview Thu, 28 May 2015 22:44:36 +0000 The Google IO 2015 Keynote came and went and we’ve shared with you all the big news. Now that the Android M developer preview is out in the wild, we’ve got the Android faithful flashing Android M in the forums and digging it apart for all the nitty gritty goodies.

Among them, without fail, is a collection of the default wallpapers. Unfortunately, (at this point) there is only 1 new wallpaper found in Android M:

max frame and edited

The lone new wallpaper appears to be a picture of earth taken from space – just another reason to think that Android M won’t be called Marshmallow but instead will be called Android Milky Way.

Here are the other 10 default wallpapers found on the developer preview of Android M (but that also appeared in Android L):

wp_arc_001-phandroid wp_arc_003-phandroid  wp_geo_1243-phandroid wp_geo_1557-phandroid wp_geo_2102-phandroid wp_geo_2167-phandroid wp_geo_2170-phandroid wp_geo_2278-phandroid wp_paper_001-phandroid


Stay glued to Phandroid for more exclusive coverage of Google IO 2015!

[Thanks Chris!]

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Here’s where to watch the Google IO live stream online today starting with the 9:30AM PST keynote speech Thu, 28 May 2015 14:57:08 +0000 watch-google-io-2015-live

It’s May 28th! Aside from it being the awesome day known as Thursday, it’s also the day that Google IO kicks off this year. We’re on the ground in San Francisco and ready to not only take it all in, but bring you the latest news and all the coverage you can handle.

But what better way to be made privy to all the details than to see it all for yourself? As usual, Google will be live streaming much of the goings-on at the Moscone West this week, and you can watch it right here on our Google IO Live portal. The fun starts promptly at 9:30AM Pacific — that’s 12:30PM Eastern — with a keynote speech scheduled to run 2 and a half hours.

Beyond that, Google will be live streaming many of their code sessions, workshops and Q&A events. You can expect video archives of nearly everything shortly after the event has concluded, too. Whatever you do, though, you don’t want to miss the keynote so be sure to carve some time out, give your bosses a fair notice and let the games begin!

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We’re here: Google IO 2015! Wed, 27 May 2015 21:22:45 +0000 After making 22 bold predictions about Google IO 2015, we jumped on a plane, flew to San Francisco, and got in line with hoards of others to grab our passes for tomorrow’s huge keynote presentation. You’ll be able to watch streaming video of the Keynote on Phandroid and follow all the event coverage with our Google IO Guide.


After waiting in line for about an hour we finally got into the belly of the beast where an awesomely decorated room awaited.


There will undoubtedly be much more in store tomorrow when we’re able to ascend two levels above, where various booths and stands showcase Google’s latest offerings.


For now, on the ground floor, attendees lounge around after getting their event badges, surrounded by several larger than life Android statues.


Meanwhile, smaller than life Android statues await in the Google Store where 3 IO themed shirts designed by local artists were also being sold.


Google staffers are hard at work preparing and setting up for two the company’s most important days of the year.


While our own hardworking Steve Albright works furiously on his swinging skills and pizza eating capabilities.


Want to see more “behind the scenes” style stuff throughout Google IO? Let us know in the comments.

Just want the breaking news? Follow our Google IO Guide.

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22 Bold predictions for Google IO 2015 Tue, 26 May 2015 18:46:40 +0000 Google’s annual developer conference is one of the tech industry’s most exciting times. Android fans are sure to see a plethora of exciting announcements, developments, and unveils across a wide range of products. So what exactly will we see at Google IO 2015?

The web is already flooded with articles explaining what to expect, but if there’s anything we’ve learned in the past 6 years of covering Google IO, it’s to expect the unexpected. In that spirit we’ve combined our logical expectations with our deepest (and sometimes unrealistic) Android desires to formulate these 22 Bold predictions for Google IO 2015.

Sergey Brin will make a flashy entrance by way of self-driving car


Each year, Google is tasked with outdoing itself at their annual developer conference. In 2012, to showcase the capabilities of Google Glass, CEO Sergey Brin jumped out of a helicopter, parachuted onto the top of the Moscone Center, and ran downstairs to deliver his portion of the Keynote speech. Yes… that really happened.

Makes the self-driving car entrance seem less crazy, right? Let’s not forget that – within the past month – Google has promised their Self-Driving cars will be on the roads by this summer. With Android Auto waiting to make its big splash, perhaps this is the year Sergey makes another grand entrance.

[Prediction: Rob Jackson]
[Probability: 5%]

Android M will be revealed as Marshmallow


We know Android M will be at Google IO in some capacity, with Google’s own schedule inadvertently tipping us off to that much ahead of time. The schedule suggests Android @ Work will be a big focus for this release, and we’re sure there will be a ton of other goodies tucked inside.
But our big guess? We’ll actually get a name this time, and its name will be Android Marshmallow. Because there just aren’t many other treats that start with the letter M that we can imagine an Android statue being made of except Macadamia Nut Cookies, though Google’s early and internal use of the “MNC” codename historically suggests they’ll be going another direction (The company used KLP and LMP for KitKat and Lollipop, but neither ended up being Key Lime Pie or Lemon Meringue Pie.)
[Prediction: Quentyn Kennemer]
[Probability: 5%]

Google will show something to convince you Google Glass isn’t dead


While Tony Fadell has long said he won’t reveal his vision of Google Glass until it’s 100% ready, we’re betting that Google will feel pressured to show something. After all, people swear it’s dead, and Google would love for nothing more than to prove all those folks wrong.
Google will surprise everyone by revealing that Google Glass is further along than we think, and will give us our first glimpse at the smart glasses since the man behind the iPod got his hands on it.
[Prediction: Quentyn Kennemer]
[Probability: 30%]

Google inks NFL deal for Pay-Per-View games through Play Store


In many ways the battle for the home is happening through content partnerships. If you don’t recall, this is the only way the late genius Steve Jobs was able to make the iPod bring down the music industry’s old guard. For this same content revolution to take place on the television, we’ll need some forward thinking executives to blaze trails.

Live sports is one main feature holding cord cutters back. Digital distribution through Pay-per-view and a la carte subscription models is the future. Look for Google to get ahead of the curve by landing one of the biggest TV deals of all-time and one that could be a catalyst for the industry. Later this year, you could be using your Nexus Player to watch NFL games on Android TV.

[Prediction: Rob Jackson]
[Probability: 2%]

Android will reach over 1.3 billion active users

android billion

The last time Google dropped some activation numbers on us they told us Android surpassed 1 billion active users. That number is sure to have grown since then, and we think it’ll grow by a significant amount. Google will announce that Android has 1.5 billion active users, likely fueled by the launch of the affordable Android One line in many developing countries.
[Prediction: Quentyn Kennemer]
[Probability: 65%]

Google finally follows their own guidelines for Material Design


Google is notorious for setting style and design guidelines and, well, completely failing to fully follow those guidelines themselves. We think Google will finally find it in their gracious hearts to make sure all their apps are consistent in design as described in the lengthy Material Design guideline documents they’ve released. Seriously, Google, how can you expect developers to follow your guidelines when you refuse to? Let’s get it together!
[Prediction: Quentyn Kennemer]
[Probability: 0%]

Google Play Store will launch kid friendly version for children

Samsung Galaxy S6 Kids Mode

Google’s been making big strides towards kid-friendly apps and services. We’ve already seen them introduce a YouTube app made especially for kids, and recently purchased the team behind popular kids apps Toontastic and TeleStory. We also know they’re allowing developers to submit their apps into a new Designed for Families program.

It’s entirely possible that Google could be preparing a full suite of kid-friendly apps and making them easily accessible via a new “Google Play Kids” app. This will be a version of the Google Play Store that only features applications for children, with no in-app purchases or ads targeting children.

[Prediction: Chris Chavez]
[Probability: 99.9%]

Google Play Kids will be filled with exclusive Sesame Street content


OK, so Google Play for Kids is probably happening, but what will be in it? We’ll obviously see curated lists of educational apps and games suited for children, but we’ll also go out on a limb and say that Google will be the beneficiary of some exclusive apps. New Sesame Street games and digital books, anyone?
[Prediction: Quentyn Kennemer]
[Probability: 6%]

New Devices & Oprah Moments

Nexus and Google Play edition devices

Despite being more developer focused, every year Google reveals at least a few new Android devices, handing them out to attendees to get to tinkering with. This year we expect things to be no different and although we’re not sure what they could be unveiling, here’s what we think they’ll unwrap during this year’s Google I/O.

  • Chromecast 2
  • Nexus 8
  • Google Glass (2015)
  • Motorola Moto 360 (2nd Gen)
  • Google Plastic (it’s like Cardboard, but made out of plastic this time around)
  • Google Home automation speaker (Amazon Echo competitor)
  • Google Fit Clip (Fitbit competitor)
  • Google Fi Phone (Affordable Android smartphone)

[Prediction: Chris Chavez]
[Probability: 19%]

Google reveals Fit Clip activity tracking accessory


The fitness category is one of the hottest in tech and all the big guys are finally paying attention. One could argue the trend was started by Fitbit, but tech’s two household favorites have followed suit with Apple Health and Google Fit. Although Google Glass and Smartwatches haven’t been the home runs for which Google hoped, the company will exhaustively pursue the Android Wear lineup.

Next up: an activity tracker with integrated GPS that lets you leave your phone behind. We’re eagerly awaiting the Under Armour backed HTC Grip that will leverage Endomondo and MapMyFitness (now UARecord), but look for Google to offer a reference design of sorts by offering their own product that syncs with Google Fit.

[Prediction: Rob Jackson]
[Probability: 10%]

Project Fi will get a low-cost Android One device

philippine android one

With Project Fi, Google introduced an extremely low-cost wireless plans for individuals or families who sip data on their devices. The part that didn’t make any sense was the fact that it was only available on the Nexus 6, a huge mammoth of an Android device carrying a retail full value of $650.

Google says they plan on fulfilling all Project Fi invites by summer, but because just about no one is going buy an expensive handset just to save a few bucks on wireless service every month, Google will take introduce a new low-priced handset for the masses. Whether this will be a Nexus 5 (2015) or some kind of extremely low-priced Android One device, remains to be seen.

[Prediction: Chris Chavez]
[Probability: 11%]

Android Home bundle offers Nest, Dropcam, Android TV, at one low price

(Photo: Armando Ferreira)

One irritating actuality regarding technology is piecing together your “system” of sorts. Your personal electronics inventory consists of different devices across different brands and platforms that don’t always play nice together. If you’ve got a Macbook Air, HTC Android Phone, Samsung TV, Fitbit, Xbox One, Xfinity Security, and drive a BWM… how can you set them all up to work together?

To defray the expense and complications of piecing together this collection over time, Google will begin offering an Android Home bundle that puts all the latest technology into their house and hands at one low price. It will allow users a more seamless experience, encourage consumers to invest in emerging categories, and generate brand loyalty (through switching costs if nothing else). If this doesn’t happen, and Google hasn’t already seriously considered it… they should.

[Prediction: Rob Jackson]
[Probability: 7%]

Google Wallet will be resurrected as Android Pay

Google Wallet tap to pay phone

It’s no secret Google isn’t always the most thorough company when it comes to supporting the services they launch. Google Wallet, while stable and chock full of great reasons to  use it, was always marred by Google’s inability to get major retailers on board.
With Apple Pay out of the door and Samsung Pay on the way, we’re going to take a wild guess and suggest Google will relaunch Google Wallet as Android Pay. The bold part about this prediction? That they’ll actually put forth some effort in getting widespread support from the biggest retailers in the US and around the world.
[Prediction: Quentyn Kennemer]
[Probability: 70%]

Android Auto app to work everywhere


When Google first showed off “Android L” on stage during last year’s Google I/O, Android Auto was one of the more interesting aspects of the new firmware update. Here we are nearly a year later, and there really aren’t too many vehicles or head units that are able to trigger Android Auto on our devices, and even fewer devices even running Lollipop.

During this year’s Google I/O, we predict that Google will open up the Android Auto app to work without having to plug directly into a head unit. Simply fire up the app, and you’ll be able to use Android Auto on your Android device while it rests in your favorite car dock — no head unit or compatible vehicle necessary.

[Prediction: Chris Chavez]
[Probability: 13%]

Google will debut first robots with Project Tango technology inside


We haven’t heard much from Project Tango since Google opened up tablets to developers on the Google Play Store. The program was meant to give developers an inside look at building 3D motion and depth sensing software and earlier this year, graduated out of Google ATAP to an official Google project.

After purchasing Boston Dynamics late 2013, we think Google will finally show us the first few robots utilizing Project Tango’s depth sensing technology. Whether they come marching onto stage, or skydiving from a plane is anyone’s guess. The end result will be the same: they will eventually become sentient and take over the world.

[Prediction: Chris Chavez]
[Probability: 1% (or 99% in 10 years)]

Google shows off new Android UI built for VR

Google Cardboard app

(Google Cardboard app UI)

In its current state, Android isn’t really built to work on VR headsets. Not the specialty apps or games, mind you. We’re talking the complete user interface: launcher, notifications, settings, all of it. When Google gave away Google Cardboard headsets during last year’s Google I/O, to get developers up and running with building VR apps, it was seen as more of a side project.

With the explosion of VR headsets from multiple OEMs in recent months, it’s clear Google needs to start getting serious about VR. During this year’s Google I/O they will, announcing a full VR-friendly UI for Android. I mean, hey — we’ve already got Android Auto for cars and Android Wear for smartwatches. Why not Android VR for virtual reality headsets?

[Prediction: Chris Chavez]
[Probability: 22%]

Android Wear grows up with new features and devices

Moto 360 screen

Last year at Google IO we saw the first batch of Android Wear devices. Since then there have been many other Android smartwatches, but their popularity is still pretty small. Android Wear has slowly evolved over time and we expect to see more changes at IO. We wouldn’t be surprised to see new hardware features like speakers. It’s already possible to talk to an Android Wear device, but what if it could talk back? Could we see this new feature on the next Moto 360?

[Prediction: Joe Fedewa]
[Probability: 50%]

Chrome continues to replace Android apps

Phandroid Chrome

In the last year we’ve seen Chrome become much more than just a browser. Android Lollipop introduced “Merged Tabs,” which puts websites in the Recent App menu. More recently we’ve seen Chrome get “pull-to-refresh,” and even push notifications. Google has always loved web apps. We expect Google to announce even more tools for making websites act like native Android apps. A future without “apps” is getting closer.

[Prediction: Joe Fedewa]
[Probability: 80%]

Project Ara is fully operational (and we go hands-on)

project ara

We’ve been extremely impressed with the development of Project Ara. Last year at IO they showed off a prototype that could boot up (but nothing more). Just a couple of months later they had a prototype almost fully functional. Prepare to once again be blown away by the speed of tech progress. We expect Google to show off a more refined fully functional prototype, and maybe even allow developers to get their hands on devices.

[Prediction: Joe Fedewa]
[Probability: 75%]

Android TV gets HDMI passthrough and becomes your home’s hub

razer forge tv DSC07799

Android TV was also announced at IO last year, but there hasn’t been much word about it since then. The few set-top boxes floating around aren’t very popular. Expect to see Google take Android TV a little more seriously this year. We’d love to see HDMI pass through make its way back to Android TV. Integration with home automation devices would also be killer. Imagine if your Nest could communicate with your TV?

[Prediction: Joe Fedewa]
[Probability: 45%]

A new Chromecast is on the way

Chromecast featured

The Chromecast is one of those products that everyone should own. It can do so many amazing things, and it’s dirt cheap. This year there will be a big focus on “Google Cast” at IO. We’ll soon be able to “cast” stuff to more devices, but the Chromecast remains at the center. It’s been nearly 2 years since the Chromecast was announced. It’s a long shot, but this could be the year Google announces a new version of the Chromecast. We expect the same great price, and some new features as well.

[Prediction: Joe Fedewa]
[Probability: 15%]

Google Fiber comes to 10 new cities

Project Fi has dominated discussion when it comes to new internet oriented services offered by Google, but let’s not forget about Google Fiber which currently offers blazing fast home internet in Kansas City, Austin, and Provo. There are 9 more cities on-the-way or under consideration.

Screen Shot 2015-05-22 at 11.37.58 AM

Look for Google to not only give us an update on Google Fiber, number of customers, and actual data speeds it’s generating for those using it, but also to add up to 10 more cities to their service roadmap. And since this article is all about predictions, why not toss out some city names: Baltimore, Charleston, Cincinnati, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Miami, San Diego, Savannah, Seattle.

The spread of Google Fiber can’t happen fast enough. Perhaps best explained by Google Fiber Community Impact Manager Rachel Merlo, “What we are seeing so far is looking a little bit like the early days of going from dial-up to broadband. We didn’t really know what to expect but the innovation followed.”

[Prediction: Rob Jackson]
[Probability: 20%]

What do YOU think?

Will anything from our above wishlist come true? How about predictions you don’t think will happen but that you really want to see?

Leave your predictions below and make sure to follow Phandroid for live coverage of Google IO 2015!

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