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A look back at Google I/O highlights

Google I/O 2017 is approaching fast, so take a look at some of Google's most memorable moments, people and products in years past.


Lynn La

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1 of 15 James Martin/CNET

Reminiscing about Google I/O

Google's developer conference, known as I/O, is set to kick off on Wednesday, May 17. While we expect Google to take more strides into Android O, Google Home and VR, it's nice to get nostalgic. Take a look back with us as we revisit some of the highlights from I/Os of years past.

2 of 15 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Updates to Google Street View and Android (2008)

Eight years ago, Google Street View wasn't exactly the super-convenient, comprehensive tool it is today. During its 2008 conference, the company showed off the fact that you could now move the perspective and orientation of your position in Street View (oh, how far we've come). It also announced how its Android mobile operating system can be compatible with a touchscreen.

3 of 15 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Marissa Mayer at Google

Before she became Yahoo's exiting CEO, Marissa Mayer was a Google VP. Here she is addressing the crowd at Google's first conference in 2008.

4 of 15 James Martin/CNET

The Google Ion, aka: HTC Magic (2009)

When Google released the Ion, it had a 3.2-inch camera, a 3.2-inch display and cost $800. Because it was 2009, though, we considered it to be the Android device we've been waiting for. For HTC, the handset was its second Android phone ever and the first flagship to completely rely on a touchscreen.

5 of 15 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Google Wave (2009)

The now defunct Google Wave (lead by Lars Rasmussen, left) was supposed to be an all-in-one communication platform that consolidated your email, instant messages, social networks and more. Though critics and users positively regarded the service, Google only let it ride until 2012, when it finally nixed it altogether.

6 of 15 Sarah Tew/CNET

Google TV (2010)

In an attempt to get into users' living rooms, Google launched its smart TV service, Google TV. First launched on Logitech and Sony TVs (left), the platform was rebranded as Android TV in 2014 until development was finally discontinued that same year.

7 of 15 CNET

Google Music (2011)

Google's cloud-based music service started off small when it was first announced. At first, you could only upload your music and stream your songs from any browser. Later on it became a full-fledged and cohesive one-stop music service until finally being folded into Google Play.

8 of 15 Google

Google 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (2011)

One upon a time, Google had two operating systems: Android 2.0 Gingerbread (for phones) and 3.0 Honeycomb (for tablets). The company finally merged the two together to make 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, a consolidated OS that had a brand-new look, introduced the Roboto system font and resizable widgets (left).

9 of 15 Eric Franklin/CNET

Google Nexus 7 (2012)

Google's first Nexus tablet, the 7, was a thing to behold. Android's first true competitor to the then-reigning tablet king, the Apple iPad, it was small, cheap and beautifully designed.

10 of 15 James Martin/CNET

Project Glass (2012)

While the vision of Google's smart wearable never reached its full potential when it was first imagined, it made a stunning debut at Google's 2012 conference when CEO Sergey Brin skydived out of a plane to demo Glass. It was then hand-delivered by two bikers inside the Moscone Center.

11 of 15 Sarah Tew/CNET

Google Nexus Q (2012)

With its big price tag, unique design and baffling content limitations, Google's streaming media player was met with a lot of head scratches. Predictably, Google cut the cord on the Nexus Q, but it stands as a relic to one of the company's misses. It did look really cute, though.

12 of 15 James Martin/CNET

Google Cardboard (2014)

Quirky, fun and extremely cheap (as one would guess, being that it is made out of cardboard), Google's DIY-ish virtual-reality headset wasn't supposed to be taken seriously as the next big VR must-have. But it did signal that the company was going to dip its toes into VR.

13 of 15 Lynn La/CNET

I/O moves to Mountain View (2016)

In 2016, Google moved its conference from San Francisco to Mountain View, California, at the Shoreline Amphitheater. Here, Google CEO Sundar Pichai kicks off the conference to a crowd of 7,000 attendees.

14 of 15 Lynn La/CNET

Google Home (2016)

Google introduces the Google Home, a voice-enabled smart speaker that is the central hub for your smart home accessories.

15 of 15 Josh Miller/CNET

Google Daydream headset (2016)

Google ditches the cardboard for cloth and gets serious about VR with its Daydream headset.

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