Google’s I/O conference keynote was accurate to what Senior Vice President Sundar Pichai described in his interview with Wired magazine: Everything introduced was focused on developers and users. What we didn’t see unveiled at the conference was any of the software or hardware that have been churning the rumor mill for months.
The I/O keynote mainly discussed software; developers and enthusiasts saw several programs unveiled, including Google Play Services, a new Google Maps, the Android Studio IDE and Google Play All Access.
A new Nexus Edition of the Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone was also unveiled, running a stock version of Android, as were several Chromebooks including the high-end Chromebook Pixel.
Rumors about the Nexus Edition or Google Edition Galaxy S4 surfaced less than 24 hours before I/O; however, it was the only accurate prediction about unveilings at the conference.
Let's review the software and hardware that remains in the realm of rumors following the Google I/O keynote and what the future may hold for them.
Android 4.3/Android 5.0
Rumors about Android 4.3 are fairly new, as evidence of the proposed Jelly Bean update surfaced just weeks before Google I/O, in the server logs of several popular tech websites. Before that, most were convinced that the next Android operating system would be Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie. Despite neither Android 4.3 or 5.0 being unveiled at Google I/O, many are still optimistic about the prospect of seeing Android 4.3 unveiled and released some time in 2013. Rumors now suggest that the system will become official by August at the earliest.
Just hours before I/O’s keynote began, more concrete evidence of Android 4.3’s existence surfaced in the form of a Google search result directly from Android’s developer’s website that referenced Android 4.3. Additionally, the Bluetooth Special Interest Group, or BSIG, released a statement alluding to a “new Android API” that will support Bluetooth Smart "appcessories" for phones and tablets. While not confirmed, most consider that the new Android API is Android 4.3.
Second Generation Nexus 7 Tablet
Rumors of a new Nexus 7 tablet with updated specs and a similar price tag to the original have circled mostly due to the popularity of the Nexus 7. Released in July 2012, the device has not only been well-received but has been hailed as the best tablet and best gadget of 2013 by several publications and organizations, including T3 magazine and the Mobile World Congress.
There were several clear mentions of the Nexus 10 tablet during software demonstrations at Google I/O; however, we may have to look between the lines to point out the Nexus 7 appearances. Some suggest that the new Nexus 7 tablet was featured in the demonstration video for the new Google Hangout app that will replace Google Talk. A small tablet device believed to be Nexus 7 can be seen in the video, featuring a blue notification light blinking, a capability that the current Nexus 7 does not have. While the device could be another yet-to-be-unveiled Nexus product, most are certain it’s not a Nexus 10. Reports still suggest that the new Nexus 7 will launch in July alongside Android 4.3, a rumor that was predicted before Google I/O.
32GB LTE Nexus 4/Nexus 5
Hopes of seeing a Nexus 5 smartphone unveiled at Google I/O were quickly squashed in the days leading up to the conference as all eyes were on the Nexus 4 smartphone. Rumors suggested that we would soon see an LTE version of the smartphone packing 32GB of internal storage and sporting a white chassis. Additionally, images of the alleged phone surfaced just before Google I/O, showing a white phone with the Nexus logo clearly printed on its back. Android and Me claims to have seen the white Nexus 4 LTE at Google I/O and says that the device will be available at the Google Play Store starting June 10.
Google X Phone
The Google X phone remains one of the most elusive devices in the rumor mill. While it isn’t surprising the there was no information about the phone at Google I/O, current speculations about the device appear to be losing steam. The most recent rumor indicated that the Google X Phone, or the Motorola XT1058, was spotted in an FCC filing. Other rumors suggest the device will be offered by AT&T exclusively for its first three months of availability, expected to begin in August. There have been no definitive answers about the Google X Phone nor predictions on specs and release date following Google I/O.
Google Smartwatch rumors have largely been in hibernation for a few months. Back in March, news of several companies developing smartwatches, including Google, Samsung and Apple, was a hot topic. However, dreams of other devices, such as old-but-new Nexus smartphones and tablets, quickly took over. The only indication of wearable technology were those wearing their Google Glasses at the conference. Having been unveiled at lasts year’s I/O conference, Google notably had nothing to say by way of updates for the optical gadget. There has been no definitive answer about the Google smartwatch nor predictions on specs and a release date following Google I/O.