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.
Developers Will Be Watching Google I/O Remotely
“Personally, to me it’s fascinating that that many people, in the middle of the night around much of the world, would want to get together in a room to participate wherever they are,” said Mike Pegg, the producer of Google’s I/O event. “There are groups of developers who will watch that entire video streaming for the entire day. Its a really interesting thing, a sign of the times, about how developers get together and build today.”
What’s also changed, Pegg said, is that in the first years of the event, and of the similar developer’s events that preceded it, the crowd was filled mostly with “a lot of hackers and hobbyists and weekend developers and the occasional businessperson here or there.”
Today, that mix has matured, said Pegg, with far more business people in attendance who are seeking new technologies to incorporate into their business operations.
This year’s conference will also feature a free Android app that can be downloaded from the Google Play Store to smartphones and other devices to get the latest content and happenings at the event, said Pegg.
For those who are watching online, each daily keynote will be streamed live, as well as sessions on Android, Google+ and more, said Pegg.
On the conference floor this year, there will be a host of changes, Pegg said, including easier ways to find a Google expert for one-on-one discussions about the latest technologies at Google. The so-called “Developer Sandbox” will be right in the midst of the conference and attendees will be able to step right up to the booth to talk with an expert, without scheduling appointments and being in a nearby location as in the past, he said.
“This year, you’ll be able to walk up to that product area and ask a question, which is why being at Google I/O live is so important,” said Pegg. “We want to share this event with everyone. Nothing we are talking about is a secret.”
Video of the other happenings at the conference that are not live-streamed will be posted on Google’s own YouTube.com site 24 hours after they occur live, he said.
The live streamed events are expected to focus on some of the things that the company has been talking about a lot recently, he said, including Google Maps, Google Drive, Cloud, Chrome, Android, and other topics of key interest to developers and businesses.
The evolution of the Google I/O event has been moving “from people kicking tires and building apps” to more of a focus on how this all relates to businesses and the work they have to accomplish, said Pegg.
“This year it will be about businesses that are here and what they will do to build their next businesses,” said Pegg.”I just can’t emphasize enough that aspect of it. It’s just a way that people can make a real business out of this technology.”