Watch Google I/O 2017 live now
Google I/O – the company’s annual developer conference – is upon us once again. Somewhat atypically, there hasn’t been much leaked or rumoured ahead of the big event. That could mean that it’s going to be quite low key, or conversely that they’ve got huge announcements to make that they’ve somehow managed to keep under wraps.
If I was a betting man, I’d say the former, but there’s really only one way to find out – and that’s to watch CEO Sundar Pichai’s keynote speech that kicks the whole jamboree off. The good news is that you don’t have to fly to Mountain View to do that – Google is livestreaming the whole event on YouTube from 6PM GMT. And because we’re super nice, we’ll save you going there and embed the whole thing above as soon as it’s available. So bookmark and come back if you want to see the whole thing unfold live.
Google I/O 2017: What to expect
As I mentioned before, there’s been very little chatter about what to expect at this year’s I/O/ What there has been has centred around a few things:
Android O – almost certainly “Oreo” unless you can think of any other sweet dish beginning with “O” – is already available as a developer-only preview version. It brought along a number of tweaks to battery life, bluetooth audio, grouped notification and picture-in-picture video. It’s possible there are more features and a wider roll out to come at some point at Google I/O.
Google Assistant rides shotgun
Google Home is looking set to leave the, uh, home, and hit the road. I particular, Bloomberg reckons that Google will be showing off both the Audi Q8 and the Volvo V90 SUVs, which will come complete with Android built-in. The voice assistant will allow you to ask your car for directions, and make calls – and more importantly, it means your car will be closer than it has ever been to being KITT from Knight Rider.
It wouldn’t be wholly unsurprising if Google Assistant didn’t just move to cars too – there’s a talk entitled “plug into the Google Assistant services ecosystem” which has potential. Maybe other companies will be making their own versions of Google Home?
VR for all?
Google Daydream was announced at last year’s event, and as promised, it’s here, excellent but extremely limited. Other than its own Pixel phones, Google’s site only lists the Moto Z, the Mate 9 and the ZTE Axon 7 as being “Daydream ready”. While it’s possible we’ll see a bunch more handsets getting added to this modest selection, it’s also plausible that the company will do something a bit bolder.
Back in February, the Wall Street Journal reported that Google was looking at creating its own standalone VR headset that wouldn’t need a phone attached. If it exists and is ready for prime time, then Google I/O would certainly be the place to debut it…