Apple had its time to shine earlier in June, and now its Google's turn. Google I/O 2012, the company's annual developer's conference, is expected to unveil the next Android operating system and its upcoming release in its Nexus-brand of devices. The keynote is set to launch in only a couple of hours, and here's the final roundup of last minute rumors and what to expect from the search engine giant's spotlight moment.
1. Android 4.1 Jelly Bean Unveiled. It's no secret that Google will officially reveal its next Android operating system. The rumor mill has been relatively quiet when it comes to the mobile software upgrade, but it was recently reported that an update could come soon for Samsung Galaxy Nexus devices. PCWorld notes that a leak that surfaced as of late indicates that Google may send this update directly to its users, rather than waiting for manufacturers such as HTC and Samsung to upgrade their devices.
2. Google's Own Siri? Apple began the digital voice assistant trend with its Siri feature, and then Samsung added S Voice to its mobile devices. Now it looks as if Google is jumping into the market with its own voice automated feature for Jelly Bean. Some speculation points to Majel, which is the codename for this alleged Google venture. The project is named after Majel Barrett-Roddenberry, PCWorld reports, the wife of "Star Trek" creator Gene Roddenberry.
3. A Closer Look At Project Glass. Ever since Google gave the world a sneak preview of "Project Glass" earlier this spring, critics and fans alike have been waiting for more. What better a chance that at its annual conference? Also known as Google Glass, the concept takes augmented reality glasses and does it Google style. The demo video which debuted in April shows a user performing tasks that would normally be done with a smartphone, such as taking photos and scheduling meetings. Co-founder Sergey Bring said that this product wouldn't be available until 2013, leaving plenty of room to reveal more information to incite fans.
4. Will Google TV Get A Reboot? Apple failed to mention anything about its alleged iTV at its Worldwide Developer's Conference, so let's hope Google doesn't do the same. Companies such as Sony and Vizio have revealed their set-up boxes for Google TV, and now that the company has solved one of the self-branded TV's most prominent flaws, it's time to move forward. According to Slash Gear, Google has equipped its TVs with an ARM core, rather than Intel processors. These were less capable of high-definition media and wasn't as conservative when it comes to power. Google has a perfect window to put its smart TV in the spotlight with its revamped hardware and miniscule competition from Apple.
5. The New Nexus Tablet. This is no longer rumor, as the news has just been confirmed by Reuters that Google will in fact reveal its first Nexus tablet. The 7-inch slate manufactured by Asus will feature an IPS screen, which is the same panel found in the new line of Retina Display MacBook Pros. The price will be $199 and it is likely to run Jelly Bean.
6. Other Miscellaneous Apps And Features. There's no doubt that the Nexus Tablet and Jelly Bean will steal the show. However, fans and critics can expect to hear more about features and services such as the Google Cloud, Google Wallet 2.0, a pinch-to-zoom in Gmail app and Android integration with Chrome OS. It will be interesting to see if Google refines its Near Field Communication payment system, and the collaboration between Chrome and Android has been long awaited. If Google manages to pull this off, it could really put Jelly Bean ahead of the competition.
Fans will have to wait until the keynote kicks off at 12:30 p.m. EST to see which of the above rumors will become announcements. If the company zips through this list at its conference, it can outshine earlier major events in the tech industry such as the Electronic Entertainment Exposition and Apple's Worldwide Developer's Conference, both of which took place earlier in June.
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