What To Expect at This Week’s Google I/O Conference

It's that time of year again. Apple's WWDC is past, and developers' eyes now turn to Google's I/O conference.

The Googlepalooza for developers opens Wednesday in San Francisco. Although it's focused toward developers, the event usually offers announcements of interest to any Google- or Android-watcher.

As with any self-respecting tech event, speculation has begun in earnest. Android-based smart watches are expected to be highly visible this year, especially since developers might be walking out with them as part of their event swag.

Samsung Watch

Google is expected to have some response to Apple's growing claim on health sensoring via wearables. One report, from CNET, predicts Samsung will make an appearance at I/O to demo a new Android Wear watch. This will have political overtones, given that Samsung has also begun releasing wearables running on its Tizen operating system, which is seen as a way for Samsung to become less beholden to Google.

Some new version of Android is expected to be previewed, although there are differences of opinion as to whether it will be a major new version or an incremental update. One rumor floating around focuses on something called Quantum Paper, a new design framework so that Android experiences will be uniform across platforms. Such an effort, huge though it may be, could go a long way toward quelling continuing talk of the fragmentation of the Android OS, which is best visualized by the many different kinds of interfaces and interactions.

Depending how extensive Google wants to make this year's scope, there could also be developments in the ripe areas where Android has barely gotten a foothold. These include TV, autos, and those many devices ready to become part of the Internet of Things.

Home Automation

Home automation in particular could be a focus, especially given the recent news that Google-owned Nest bought home video...

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