When Google talks, people listen, and there will likely be a lot of listening all over the world, starting June 27 as the fifth annual Google I/O '12 Developers Conference kicks off at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. While Google is expected to focus a lot on Android for smartphones and tablets, theres much more to expect this year.
Much of what will unfold in the next few days will detail all kinds of rumors that have been circulating as the conference approaches, including talk about the pending release of the next Android operating system update, 4.1, or Jelly Bean.
Other rumors involve talk about ways Google will continue to battle Apple in the marketplace, now that the two companies have taken on a more adversarial tone since Google developed Android and Apple announced in May that it's dumping Google Maps on its hardware and replacing it with its own mapping applications.
In addition, Google is expected to roll out a specially branded Android 4.0 tablet by Asus, as well as new Chrome OS devices and a new version of Google TV, according to a June 26 report by Global Equities Research. On the software development side, Google is expected to show off a software development kit (SDK) for Google Drive and new APIs for Google Wallet and Google Places.
But it's not just what will be happening inside Moscone that should catch developers attention. Yes, about 5,500 paid attendees will pack the place following an online ticket sell-out that happened in just 20 minutes this past March, but another 30,000 people around the world are also expected to gather in their own small groups to view the proceedings throughlive video streams that will cover most major events at the conference. Developers and other Google enthusiasts can join that crowd in person by searching for a free local meeting through the Google I/O Extended Webpage.