What's going on?
Brian Tong here with your Googlicious and this week it's everything you can expect to see at Google IO 2016.
Now we don't plan on seeing any big surprises, but the headliner of th keynote, no doubt, will be Android VR.
We've talked about how the conference schedule has several VR dedicated sessions and Google is really the first big company to make VR accessible to the masses with cardboard But it's time to get more serious.
Reports say Android VR will launch as a dedicated standalone headset, and according to tech journalist, Peter Rojas, Android VR will be less powerful than the ATC Vibe or Oculus Rift, but a better experience than the Gear VR.
So you've gotta be curious to see how it'll really fill that sweet spot in-between.
The latest release notes from the Unreal Engine preview had references to Android VR and this is gonna be one of Google's big pushes.
Earlier reports from the financial times also claimed we might see a demo of it at Google IO with actual VR hardware to be introduced sometime in September.
Now Project Tango seems to be a logical companion that could have some connection to Android VR, or it'll be part of their VR push as well Bloomberg reported that Google is planning on using their 3D mapping Project Tango Tech to offer detailed 3-D mappings of building interiors.
It wants to digitally map buildings in 3-D to a resolution of just a few inches with a goal of allowing developers to take these new tools and create new app services In past years, Google I/O was a showcase for Android N and it still will be.
It's just gonna be a lot harder to shine with Android VR there.
The Android N developer preview has been out since March.
So we pretty much know what to expect It looks and acts a lot like Marshmallow, so there are no drastic changes, but there are some nice tweaks like the new quick settings pull down, split screen mode that works on phones but really is better on tablets, and yes, it's own night mode, so we're expecting to see this and a little more from Android N.
Also, the merging of ChromeOS and Android could get some love at IO this Year, Google officially said it's happening but we haven't seen any new announcements from them.
Reddit user TheWiseYoda posted a screenshot in April from Chrome OS that gives you the option to enable Android apps to run on your Chromebook, showing us one of the first overlap Apps between the two.
You know it would be sweet to see a hybrid of Chrome OS and Android that might compete with Microsoft Surface lines.
Now there's also a lot of Android ware sessions planned this year.
We know the Smartwatch market is still trying to figure itself out and reports say, we might see a new piece of hardware from HTC at IO for an Android ware watch plus maybe new improvements to Android ware, so we'll look for that.
And then possibly The coolest thing that Google could be working on outside of all their secrets at Google X. Reports from both The Information and Recode say Google is working on an Amazon Echo competitor that has yet to be named.
But internally is codenamed Chirp.
Reports say it resemble the OnHub wireless routers that Google currently sells.
And I've been a fan of Google voice tech from day one.
The home smart assistant space is the most intriguing consumer tech product out there right now, thanks to Amazon and Google's could be really special but Amazon's third party partnerships have taken off with really no competitors to the Echo right now.
Recode also says it is unlikely the device will lauch at I/O but we might get a look at it With a launch targeted for some time this year.
So, that's the highlights and everything we expect to see at Google's I/O this year.
You can join us for our live CNET coverage this Wednesday, May the 18th, starting around 9:15 AM Pacific time and we'll also be taking your live calls in case you need a friend to talk to.
That's going to do it for this week.
You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet me at @briantong.
Thanks so much for watching and we'll catch you all next time for more of that Googlicious.
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