It's official: Google I/O 2017 will take place in May in Mountain View.
Google holds an annual conference for developers, engineers, executives, and the media -- so that it can discuss all-things Google and Android-related. Developers and engineers use information from this show to get their apps and products up to date with Google's latest innovation, while the rest of us drool and look forward to what's coming in the months ahead. It's early days still, but we already have an inkling of what to expect.
Now that the dates have been confirmed, we're updating this guide to keep you informed of all the latest news, announcements, and rumours. We will also continue to update as Google I/O gets closer, so keep checking back.
When is Google I/O 2017?
Google I/O 2017 will take place between 17 May 2017 and 19 May 2017 at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California.
How much are Google I/O 2017 tickets?
Google hasn't announced how much tickets are or when they will go on sale. Last year, it did a lottery system, meaning anyone could apply to get tickets, but only a few were accepted. In order to register, you needed to go to the Google I/O website during the registration period, sign in with your Google account, and have your credit card details ready. General admission tickets were priced at $900, while academic tickets were $300.
Where can you stream Google I/O 2017?
Google live-streamed last year's keynote, which you can playback here, so we expect it do the same for this year's I/O keynote. We will update this page with a link to the live stream if and when it becomes available.
What can you expect from Google I/O 2017?
Google's I/O webpage has yet to be updated with a countdown clock or a full schedule. However, based on last year's main topics covered at the conference, as well as the company's patterns and various industry rumours, here's what we expect to see at Google I/O 2017:
Google usually uses Google I/O to tease improvements to Android. Last year, it talked about the split-screen mode, ability to reply to texts from notifications, and an update to the Doze batter saver. It also teased Android N. Google will more than likely mention the next version of Android at this year's show, so expect to hear something about Android O/8.0. Any guesses as to what the final, dessert-themed name will be?
Google unveiled Android Wear 2.0 last year, and it hasn't even released yet. We're now expecting it to launch in early February, followed by a few new Android Wear devices, including two LG-made watches from Google. We think Google might take time to discuss the roll out of Android Wear 2.0 at this year's show, or it might even announce new features. Either way, it'll at least mention its OS for wearables.
At Google I/O 2016, Google showed us it was interested in going beyond Google Cardboard by introducing a new mobile, approachable to virtual reality in the form of Google Daydream. Since then, we've seen Google introduce a Daydream VR headset, Pixel phones with Daydream support, and other manufacturers add support for Daydream. We're hoping to see more hardware and software announcements.
Oh, keep in mind Google is rumoured to be developing a high-end VR headset along the lines of HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. Unlike the Daydream View, it would be an all-in-one experience that doesn't require a phone. Also, on 26 January, HTC's design lead announced that he joined the Google Daydream platform. Claude Zellweger, according to his Twitter, is the maker of the HTC Vive VR headset and HTC 10.
We suspect more leaks in the coming months if Zellweger is indeed working on the secretive project.
Chrome OS now works with full Android apps. And, recently, a few new Chromebooks have been announced. Other than that, the Chrome OS space has been pretty quiet. Google has of course denied the rumours of a full OS merger between Chrome and Android, but maybe Google will use Google I/O 2017 to announce new features coming to the operating system or new Chromebooks and Chrome OS devices in the pipeline.
Android Auto is Google's attempt at getting Android into vehicles. We will likely see more manufacturers announce new car models compatible with Google's system, but it would be nice to see Google executives discuss new innovations for the platform as well. In 2015, Waze (which is part of Alphabet) executives suggested the intelligent navigation system could be added to Android Auto. Maybe we'll hear more on that? Pretty please?
Last year, Sundar Pichai, Google's CEO, talked a lot about machine-learning advances and artificial intelligence, as well as how they benefit its new Google Assistant. The service is an extension of Google Now. With it, you can ask conversational questions using the "OK Google" command. In the past 12 months, it has been added to the Google Home speaker, Allo chat app, and Pixel flagships. We're betting it'll be updated.
Speaking of Google Home, Google unveiled the voice-activated speaker at Google I/O 2016, but it's only been available for a few months now, letting you manage everyday tasks, ask questions, control select connected devices, and more. We're not expecting Google Home 2.0 to debut at this year's show, but maybe Google will announce new features and integrations. It might even copy Amazon and do a Dot-like version.
Google unveiled its Allo messenger app at Google I/O 2016, though it hasn't done much with it since. The app is able to create smart replies you can use, and it can decipher information from photos to help provide a relevant response, and it even includes a limited version of Google Assistant. It'd be interesting to see the app offer a full-fledged version of Assistant, or at least add more cool tricks.
Google also unveiled about Duo at I/O 2016. It's a one-to-one video calling app that works on both Android and iOS. Like Allo, it hasn't made a big impact since launch. Google might use this year's conference to discuss the latest on the app, and perhaps address its confusing approach to messaging/calling. So far, it offers Duo, Allo, Hangouts, and Google Voice. Google could try to combine Duo with Hangouts.
Augmented reality was hot last summer, and it's expected to continue being popular. Keep in mind Google has long been working on Project Tango tech, which uses motion-tracking and depth sensing to build a 3D world onto physical surroundings, and at CES 2017, many manufacturers made announcements about AR devices, apps, and accessories. We therefore expect to hear more about Project Tango.
Google's cross-carrier network, Project Fi, which automatically switches carriers in order to provide more reliable access to mobile data, is now available for Pixel, Nexus ,and a few other devices. At Google I/O 2017, Google may announce more compatible devices.
Is that it?
Yep. Google's self-driving car project as been spun into a standalone business known as Waymo. At Google I/O 2017, we could learn some more details about what’s next, but we wouldn't count on it. Also, Google has reportedly suspended all plans to launch a Project Ara modular smartphone. The interchangeable phone concept has been shelved to streamline the company's hardware strategy, it is claimed.