Google I/O 2018, the tech giant's annual developer conference, is all set to kick off proceedings with CEO Sundar Pichai's keynote speech at 10am Pacific Time (10:30pm IST) at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California. Google usually showcases crucial Android updates, new hardware products, new apps, and other company developments at the event. This year, the search giant is expected to take covers off some undisclosed features of Android P, developments in the wearable industry, Google Assistant, Chrome OS, and its other popular products. Here's a quick run-through of everything we expect at this year's Google I/O.
The Google I/O 2018 keynote will be live streamed worldwide by the Internet giant, so developers across the globe can catch all the action from the conference. You can head to the Google I/O website to catch the live stream, or download the app for Android or iOS to watch it on your mobile device. And, of course, you can just hit the play button in the video embedded below to watch the keynote live.
The most obvious and expected thing that will be talked about at Google I/O 2018 is Android P, the next major upgrade to the world's most popular operating system. While the P moniker hasn't received an official 'sweet' nickname yet, the Developer Preview 1 was released back in March. So, we have a great idea of what the new OS will offer. But, I/O 2018, much like the past few years, will witness the official unveiling of Android P. Google might drop Developer Preview 2, revealing some unknown features of the update.
Previously, we have seen that Android P will add new features such as support for display cutout (notch), enhancements to ART (Android Runtime), smart replies on the notification bar, and other design modifications.
Wearables is another segment where Google would look to announce developments in. The company recently rebranded Android Wear to Wear OS, albeit with no new hardware or software changes. So, we can expect some updates to Wear OS at the upcoming Google I/O 2018. Wear OS, however, recently brought new Google Assistant features to compatible smartwatches.
LG recently - at the launch of the G7 ThinQ - claimed that Google will make official certain new features and skills for Google Lens at I/O 2018, possibly dubbing it Google Lens 2.0. Additionally, LG G7 ThinQ has become one of the first handsets to get the new features.
Google Lens, unveiled first at I/O last year, is an image recognition tool that helps provides contextual suggestions for objects that you scan with the camera. For instance, scanning a restaurant will show things like the menu, pricing, reservations, and timings. Four smartphones from OnePlus recently received Google Lens on Google Assistant.
Ever since Apple unveiled its first school-focused iPad last month, Google is under pressure to announce a competing product. And, the company's biggest bet is Chrome OS, the no-frills operating system. Interestingly, Acer recently launched the world's first Chrome OS-based tablet. So, we could see something more on that front at this year's Google I/O.
Smart speakers is a market that Google has actively been a part with three full-fledged smart speakers currently selling in the Google Home range. As Facebook gears up to join the likes of Amazon and Apple in the industry, Google might look to put a display on one of its upcoming smart speakers, a development that might come to life at Google I/O 2018. Even something like the Amazon Echo Spot could be neat.
Almost synonymous with Google Home is Google Assistant, the company's advanced virtual assistant. While nothing has yet been revealed by the search giant, we could see a few new partnerships, skills, capabilities, and, of course, Actions added to Google Assistant making it even more powerful on the billions of devices that it runs on.
Finally, the hottest terms in town - AR (Augmented Reality) and VR (Virtual Reality) - might have some sort of showing at the annual developers conference. Announced at last year's I/O, the Lenovo Mirage Solo standalone Daydream VR headset finally saw the light of day at CES 2018. In terms of VR, we could witness newer, more advanced headsets to take on the likes of Facebook's Oculus and HTC's Vive. Additionally, there could be some developments around ARCore, the company's AR-based SDK on Android.