Google I/O 2012 Rumor Roundup
Google I/O 2012: What We Know So Far
Started in 2008, Google I/O is a developer-focused conference held annually by the company in San Francisco, California. The conference serves to demonstrate new technologies while allowing developers to learn coding from the "Googlers". That's not all - developers are also invited to meet with Sandbox partners who've built businesses using Google APIs.
Usually held over a two-day period, Google I/O 2012 has been extended to three days, from 27th to 29th June. The Android mobile operating system has been one of the major themes highlighted in past conferences, and this year is likely to be no exception. Fortunately, Android fanboys and girls alike who are not physically present at the event can watch live video streams of its two keynotes via developers.google.com/io. Alternatively, you can access the live stream from your Android tablet or smartphone via the official Google I/O 2012 mobile app. The time slots for the two keynotes are as follow:
- First keynote: 27 June, 9.30 a.m, PDT (28 June, 00:30 a.m, Singapore)
- Second keynote: 28 June, 10.00 a.m, PDT (29 June, 01:00 a.m, Singapore)
To prepare yourself for what's going to happen at Google I/O 2012, here's a summary of the rumors that have been floating around the web. Treat this as the starter before the main course.
Google Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
The next iteration of one of the world's most popular mobile operating system, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, is tipped to be launched at Google I/O 2012, less than seven months after the introduction of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Here's what we have heard about the upcoming update so far:
- DigiTimes quoted information from Taiwan-based supply chain makers that Jelly Bean will have integration of Chrome OS functionality, and further optimization of Android for larger screen devices such as tablets and notebooks. In addition, Google is said to be pushing device makers to run Jelly Bean alongside Windows 8.
- Google filed a patent for trackpads in late 2011 that covers the use of a multi-touch trackpad for navigating Android like a multi-touch display can. Multi-touch operations are also mapped to touchscreen events.
- The Wall Street Journal reported that Google is planning to give multiple OEMs early access to Jelly Bean, and launch up to five launch devices at one go. The new Android version is said to be available by November.
- Google let the cat out of the bag when it accidentally listed the unlocked Samsung Galaxy Nexus on the Google Play Store as the first device to be powered by Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.
Google Nexus Tablet
Rumors about Google unveiling its own tablet started late last year when Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google, revealed that the company has been planning "to market a tablet of the highest quality" within the next six months. Since the announcement, a series of reports on the details of the Google Nexus tablet - including manufacturer of the tablet, the specs, and its availability - has been circulating on the Internet.
Manufacturer: ASUS or Samsung?
- Google's source and kernel codes pointed to a collaboration with Samsung on the Nexus tablet. It is alleged to be powered by Samsung's Exynos 5250 dual-core A15 processor, Mali-T604 GPU, and come with a Super AMOLED display (1280 x 800 pixels), as well as a 5-megapixel BSI rear camera.
- DigiTimes stated in a report that the ASUS-built Nexus tablet will begin shipping in June with an initial volume of 600,000 units. This is further substantiated by a trusted source of TechnoBuffalo, who also claimed that the Google Nexus tablet will be built by ASUS.
- Bloomberg had also received confirmation from reliable sources that Google will definitely be launching a tablet made by ASUS.
Platform: Jelly Bean or Ice Cream Sandwich?
- Raw information unearthed from a leaked benchmark screenshot revealed the build number for the Google ASUS Nexus tablet to be JRN51B - J for Jelly Bean. The build and SDK versions are stated as 4.1. Benson Lin, Corporate Vice President for ASUS, also hinted that the next version of Android will be called Jelly Bean.
- However, the 7-inch tablet is rumored to be powered by Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, according to a trusted source of Techno Buffalo.
Hardware Specifications and Pricing
- A benchmark result posted on Rightware's Power Board labelled a tablet device as Google ASUS Nexus 7 with the following specs: a NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core 1.3GHz processor, and a screen resolution of 1280 x 768 pixels.
- Gizmodo Australia obtained leaked documents that the Google Nexus tablet will come with a 7-inch screen, a 1.3GHz quad-core Tegra 3 processor, 1GB RAM, Jelly Bean, and two storage options (8GB and 16GB). It is also stated to be NFC-enabled. Furthermore, Gizmodo's sources cited the screen resolution to be 1280 x 800 pixels, and the display type to be IPS. The tablet purportedly sports a 1.2-megapixel front facing camera. The 8GB model will be priced at US$199 while the 16GB model will be going for US$249.
- Quoting sources close to the tablet project, The Verge reported that "Google pushed back the planned release so that it could tweak the device". The Google Nexus was initially reported to enter production in April and ship around June with a retail price of US$199. With allegations that the Google team had plans to make some design changes, the tablet is now rumored to come with a higher price tag of US$249, and will arrive in July instead.