10 Things Google Didn’t Talk About At I/O 2014

Google packed its I/O keynote presentation full of Android. The Android Wear software developer kit is ready to go, and Google laid out its plans for taking over your car and your living room. Android apps will soon run on Chromebooks and Samsung is making a Android Wear smartwatch. 

But Google didn’t hit on everything we were expecting. Here are 10 things that Google didn’t announce at I/O, many of which might still pop up later this year or early next:

  • Android Silver: Google is reportedly working on a reference design program for high end smartphones that will be built by its manufacturing partners and sold by carriers. Android Silver is expected to replace the Nexus program in 2015.
  • Moto 360 launch: Samsung and LG are building Android Wear smartwatches and will be available to order today. But the most anticipated of the Android Wear watches is the round Moto 360 from Motorola. Google said it would be available later this summer, but gave no date.
  • Android Nearby: A new proximity service from Google baked into Android was rumored to be ready for I/O. Android Nearby was supposed to work a lot like Apple’s iBeacons. Nearby may be a feature that is baked within the “L” preview of Android, but it wasn’t featured during the keynote by Sundar Pichai, Google’s head of Android and Chrome, or Google’s head of Android engineering Dave Burke.
  • Google Glass: Google’s pariah of a wearable eyewear wasn’t mentioned once during I/O, despite the fact that it’s getting a hardware upgrade
  • A new Nexus device: Google is changing the way it announces and launches Android platform updates. Instead of announcing and launching it on the same day and having developers and manufacturers catch up, Google announced the preview of the “L” version of Android. Be it Lollipop or Lemon Merengue, the official version of “L” will launch later this year. But since Google didn’t announce the official release of the newest Android version, there’s no corresponding Nexus device to go with it. If you’re waiting for the “Nexus 6” smartphone or “Nexus 8” tablet, you’ll need to hold your breath until the fall.
  • Project Tango and Project Ara: The mobile 3D machine vision project codenamed Tango has a large booth on the third floor of Moscone West, but Google didn’t mention any updates to the project during the keynote. Same goes for the “lego kit” modular smartphone, Project Ara, which started as an advanced Motorola research experiment. 
  • Chrome OS Updates: Google’s laptop operating system got a little attention during the keynote, but no official updates outside of the fact that Android apps will soon run on Chromebooks. New split screen and touch screen capabilities were no-shows this year.
  • Nest and Android Home: The theme of Android “L” is that Android is really going everywhere. There’s Android Wear, Android TV, Android Auto … but no Android Home, as some had expected following Google’s acquisition of smart-thermostat maker Nest
  • Android Studio: Last year Google announced the Android Studio tool suite to give its developers a dedicated place to build Android apps. Android Studio has been in beta ever since, Google didn’t say anything about it moving into full production—or about any updates—during the I/O keynote.
  • Google+: The social network got no love at all this I/O, and didn’t even feature in any of the presentations near as I can tell. Looks like there might be something to the rumors that it’s getting a downgrade in Google’s plans following the sudden departure of exec Vic Gundotra back in April.

Lead image of Sundar Pichai at I/O by Owen Thomas for ReadWrite

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