Google I/O 2015 Kicking Off today: What To Expect … And Not Expect


The countdown to Google I/O 2015 has moved from months to days, with the company’s annual developers conference set to kick off this weekend.

As the search engine company prepares to deliver its state of the union address, it’s time to look at what fans can expect from keynote presentations and what may likely be glossed over or unmentioned.

Last year’s Google I/O covered Android L (now Android 5.0 Lollipop), Google Auto, Android TV and the Android Wear platform. Here’s what is expected (and also ignored) this year:

Android M

It’s been pulled now, but there was, for a short time, mention of Android M—Milky Way or Mars maybe—in an entry on the conference’s schedule. The developer version of Google’s next mobile operating system was mentioned in an entry titled “An Android for Work Update” that described how Android M can create new markets for hundreds of millions of devices for workers.

Virtual Reality

The first generation of virtual reality experiences will be offered primarily through headsets that rely on computers and video game consoles, but the sector is expected to move to mobile to drive it to the masses. Google is preparing to leverage that market.

In a half-hour session titled “Make Believe,” Google will engage developers on the future of VR and its efforts to be part of that movement.

“Join us to explore virtual reality and how it may change our lives,” stated the entry. “Learn how it works and how to design virtual reality experiences. Includes lessons learnt from virtual reality game developer Katie Goode.”

Satellite Mapping

The company that gave the world satellite images of itself, of every square foot of every perfect mountain and every imperfect road, is preparing to move its cartography services into real time.

Google acquired satellite mapping service SkyMap last year. This year, in a session titled “The Earth in real time,” it’s preparing to tell the world what it intends to do with the service.

“With Skybox, we’re looking to take the next step forward in satellite imaging and find new ways to help people use data from space to solve problems on Earth,” stated the description.

Google Glass

Last fall, Google said its Glass program had graduated, and the company thanks all of the smart glasses’ early adopters. While the company partnered with Intel to push more power into Google Glass, there has been little or no evidence to place the wearable tech into the I/O 2015 agenda.

The conferences’ wearable sessions focus on fitness and personal security. In the one talk that will cover app development for wearables, the description focuses on the Wear platform.

New Phone

Apple hasn’t tipped its hand as to what the iPhone 6’s S variants will hold and the spring of 2015 appears a bit too early for Google to show what it has planned for the fall.

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