Google CEO Sundar Pichai shows off AI advances at the company's 2017 I/O developer conference. (Bloomberg News/Alistair Barr)
Google’s big yearly developer event is upon us, offering both industry insiders and geeks alike a peek into what the tech giant has in store for the year to come.
Here’s what we anticipate on the Android, apps and connected device fronts.
Android Q’s main lines will be presented, naturally, and lucky owners of a smartphone from the Pixel range are already able to preview some of the upcoming mobile OS update’s beta versions.
Among other developments, Android Q will have to adapt to new technologies, such as the launch of 5G or the arrival of folding screens.
New features already confirmed for Android Q include an OS-wide dark mode, as well as a “desktop” mode that will allow for easier toggling between mobile and computer use.
What follows next is the subject of much anticipation. As far as the launch date for the operating system is concerned, Android users will have to wait until the fall.
The first to benefit from the upgrade will be the aforementioned Pixel users, followed progressively by owners of compatible models from other manufacturers. Upgrades of Google’s other operating systems, ChromeOS and WearOS, are also on the docket.
As for applications, Google should be making announcements regarding improvements to its Assistant, as well as Maps and Photos.
The company is also expected to provide an update on its future cloud gaming service Stadia, announced during the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco last March.
Google’s entry into streaming gaming is still planned for the end of 2019, at least in North America, but Google I/O will be the ideal arena to find out more on the specifics of the games and the launch.
On the hardware side, Google will likely take advantage of the event to unveil the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL, its new mid-level derivatives of the Pixel 3 model.
According to American media, the devices will probably have 5.6- and 6-inch screens respectively, as well as a Qualcomm Snapdragon 670 processor with 4 GB of RAM.
On the camera side, Google might equip its new smartphones with a 12-megapixel sensor. As with the Pixel 3, Google is betting on artificial intelligence over the presence of dual (or more) lenses to generate quality shots.
Google might also introduce a new “smart display,” a type of connected screen compatible with Google Assistant and able to respond to voice commands, which might be larger than its current Home Hub, and double as a home alarm system.
Relive the best moments from the Google I/O 2018 conference:
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