Top 5: Google IO Predictions

One of the largest developer conferences is nearly upon us, and we’re counting down our top five Google IO predictions ahead of May 18th!

Google IO – next to Apple’s WWDC – is one of the year’s most anticipated developer conferences. Ahead of May 18th this year, we’re counting down our top 5 Google IO predictions!
This year’s Google IO is scheduled to run from the 18th-20th of May, and will open with a one hour keynote from CEO Sundar Pichai.
Google is set for a busy 2016 ahead of the rollout of Android N and in light of Pichai’s recent comments on the development of AI. Without any further ado, let’s get to it!

More light on Android N

Google’s next update to Android might not exactly be a surprise – considering that the company has already shown off numerous previews – but it is highly likely Pichai will take the time to discuss the future of the OS and, potentially, its final name.
Google IO is the likely avenue from which we will hear just when Android N will reach consumer devices, though it is likely the update will first reach the company’s next set of Nexus handsets, which are rumored to be in the capable hands of HTC.
Read: Android N has been released, as a preview

The future of virtual reality

Huawei, LG and Samsung have all come to the party with their own virtual reality headsets, though rumours of a ‘VR Mode’ baked in to Android N raise an interesting precedent for Google to produce its own VR headset.
Google, of course, already produce Cardboard – an affordable headset that anyone can either purchase or make for free.
Several sessions on the second day of Google’s IO is dedicated entirely to virtual reality – under the headline “VR at Google” – and it is more than likely considering new consumer interest in VR as a platform that Google is ready to expand its interests.
Read: Android N preview reveals potential new “˜VR Mode‘

The artificial intelligence space race

We might already have intelligent digital assistants in our pockets through the likes of Siri, Google Now, Cortana or even Vix, but Sundar Pichai’s recent comments on artificial intelligence in his Google annual letter could lead to an interesting turn of events at IO.
Recently, Pichai stated that “Looking to the future, the next big step will be for the very concept of the ‘device’ to fade away. Over time, the computer itself“”whatever its form factor“”will be an intelligent assistant helping you through your day. We will move from mobile-first to an AI-first world.”
What specifically Google could have up its sleeve is unknown, though given the company’s massive search business and focus under Pichai, we could see new emphasis on bots – which Facebook Messenger has already introduced onto its platform.
Read: Google CEO outlines his vision for artificial intelligence

Self-driving cars

Google has been quite public about its development of a self-driving car in comparison to rumors surrounding Apple’s development of a similar concept.
Given the fact that Google has already unleashed its fleet in X and has promised to unveil its self-driving vehicle on the streets around its Mountain View campus this year, one of our chief Google IO predictions is that Google could use the conference as a platform to demo its concept.
Read: Google attracts Tesla talent for its self-driving car

The rebirth of Chrome OS

Google’s line of Chromebooks might be affordable, though its hard to say that the company’s line of computers matches the value proposition of cheaper Windows 10 computers.
With indications already abounding that Google is hard at work bringing Android apps to the platform – further introducing a new Material Design overhaul – the last of our Google IO predictions is that the company will use its conference to showcase the future of Chrome OS.
With the indication that Google is readying the launch of the Play Store aboard Chrome OS, we believe its only a matter of time before we see an entirely revitalized OS.
Read: Chromebook update set to bring material design, Android apps

Have your say!

Those are our top five Google IO predictions! What are you looking forward to seeing at the company’s conference on May 18th? Be sure to let us know in the comments below!
Follow Bryan Smith on Twitter: @bryansmithSA