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Google I/O 2014 Starts Tomorrow: What to Expect

The Mountain View-based giant will hold the Google I/O 2014 keynote tomorrow, June 25, at 9:00 AM PDT at Moscone Center in San Francisco. We already know from the previous editions that Google I/O is the place where we get to look at the company’s latest technologies and innovations.

But what should we expect from Google I/O 2014? I’m glad you’ve asked, because that’s exactly what I’ll be trying to answer in this article. There are a lot of rumors and speculations regarding Google’s annual developers conference, but some of them are less likely to materialize.

Last March, the folks at Google introduced Android Wear, a new software platform that aims to attract the OEMs willing to develop smartwatches and other wearables. Soon after the Android Wear announcement, both LG and Motorola introduced their first smartwatches powered by the new operating system. Called LG G Watch and Motorola Moto 360, the two devices are yet to be properly revealed and their technical specifications are only known to us courtesy of the leaks and reports that made the headlines in the last couple of months.

Aside of G Watch and Moto 360, the rumor mill speculates that Samsung is also ready to introduce their own Android Wear-powered smartwatch at Google I/O.

Reports in the industry have suggested that Google plans to introduce a fitness-orientated application called Google Fit, a response to the Health app introduced by Apple in iOS 8. Will it be an integral part of Android Wear? Most likely.

Anyway, most fans are hoping they will be able to see the Android “L” (Lollipop?) release at Google I/O. We don’t know yet whether it will be called Android 4.5 or Android 5.0, but we are sure it’s coming. Even though everybody doubted that Google will introduce Android “L” at Google I/O, Android chief Sundar Pichai hinted in an interview for Bloomberg Businessweek that he’ll preview the next Android iteration at tomorrow’s conference. But, yes, unfortunately there’s a “but,” Android “L” will not be released to the public right away. As you may know Google made a habit out of releasing new Android versions synchronized with the debut of a new Nexus device.

Even though there are some rumors of a new Nexus tablet manufactured by HTC, the new device will definitely not be released at I/O. Or at least that’s what the Google’s product launch pattern teaches us. The Mountain View-based company usually releases a Nexus tablet in July and a Nexus smartphone late October and that’s what it’s likely to happen this year, too.

The HTC Nexus tablet is codenamed Volantis and is reportedly packing an 8.9-inch screen, 64-bit Tegra K1 CPU, 8 MP primary cam with OIS, 2 GB of RAM, “aluminium zero-gap” construction, and a starting price of $399. Even though it was rumored that the next-gen Nexus tablet will be called Nexus 8, because of the screen size Google might call it Nexus 9. Of course, only if the reports prove accurate.

The Google I/O list of expected products also includes Android TV. If the rumors are to be believed Android TV is a new platform that runs on a set top-box meant to bring the Android experience in our living room and that might also bring gaming functionality. Fortunately, the introduction of Android TV will not bring death to the popular Chromecast.

Besides Android TV, Google is also said to announce “Android in the Car,” again a service that aims to rival an already existing Apple product. Introduced in June 2013 at WWDC as “iOS in the Car,” Apple’s service was renamed CarPlay and launched to the public this year at Geneva Motor Show.

There have been reports that Google I/O 2014 will also bring us a more affordable Google Glass and a new Chromebook.

How many of these new products will actually see the light of day tomorrow at Google I/O?We can’t know for sure, but we will definitely be here discussing them in the morning. What are your expectations for this year’s edition of Google’s technology conference? The comments section below is all yours.