May 13, 2013 01:57 PM EDT
While it has been confirmed by Android and Chrome head Sundar Pichai that the Google I/O conference this year will be largely developer oriented, that’s not to say that people eager for hardware won’t have anything to look forward to.
At the top of our list is the most awaited piece of hardware. Yes the Google Glass did feature in last year’s I/O but the Glass Explorer version is now available to select early adopters at the hefty price tag of $1,500. The profile of the Glass really picked up over the course of this year, the Glass is an agenda topic on May 16th and consist of four sessions: Developing For Glass, Building Glass Services with the Google Mirror API, Voiding Your Warranty: Hacking Glass, Fireside Chat with Glass Team.
It will be interesting to see if and how the conference handles the many issues raised about the glass from arguments about privacy, how impractical it is, how dangerous it is and how dorky it is. It’s possible they may choose to simply gloss it over in favor of revealing pricing, third-party apps being developed and availability details.
The mythical Motorola X is the Google-built phone that has both native Google Android software and hardware that has been speculated about ever since Google acquired Motorola for $12.5 billion. Right now details are sparse and fantastical claims abound, “Some of the rumors floating around suggest the device will have a 4.8-inch touch screen and a Snapdragon 800 processor running at 2GHz. Some say the X Phone will be virtually indestructible sporting a hardened case and display that is even tougher than Gorilla Glass.”
If the phone is forthcoming, it probably won’t be announced or given away at the I/O conference regardless since, at most, all that we have is preliminary sketches and blueprints.
Nexus 7 and Nexus 4 update
Strictly speaking this isn’t new hardware, just an update to existing hardware. The Nexus 7 is the highly successful $199 mini-tablet that has competed nicely against the iPad Mini. It seems that Google plans to give the tablet some heavy upgrades for it’s second-gen incarnation, “The next-generation tablet looks like it'll feature a high-res screen and a thinner design, and will replace Nvidia's Tegra 3 chip with Qualcomm's Snapdragon.” This makes sense, why change a good thing?
The Nexus 4 is Google’s smartphone and pictures abound of the white Nexus 4 spotted just a few days advance of the conference, It wasn’t originally thought that the Nexus 4 would receive an upgrade but the pictures combined with de-stock of Nexus 4 phones may mean an upgrade is coming.
This is semi-new hardware, the Nexus Q was announced in Google I/O 2012 but ended up flopping because of its lack of functionality. It couldn’t do anything more than stream Google play music and movies to other devices. Google scuttled it shortly after launch and said it would redesign the Nexus Q to be more useful. It’s possible that we might see a Nexus Q re-launch this year but Google has been dead silent about it so don’t count on it.
Interested in the Google I/O 2013 Conference? You’re in luck! We’ll be covering it all week starting Wednesday.
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