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Google I/O 2013: What to expect from Google’s big event

Google I/O is hands down the biggest date in an Android fan’s calendar, with Google’s annual show usually full of new software, devices and news. There’s often new stuff for Chrome, Maps and Google’s ever-expanding list of other services, so there’s plenty to learn about.

Google I/O kicks off later today in San Francisco, and we’ll be covering the event live. In case you’re wondering what you can expect from the big G, here’s what we think will be revealed.

Android 4.3 (Jelly Bean)

Unfortunately Android 5.0 or ‘Key Lime Pie’ doesn’t look likely for I/O 2013. Instead we’re hearing reports of Android 4.3 coming along, which will be another flavour of Jelly Bean, as Google likes to put it. We’re not too sure on the finer details, but we know for sure Google’s engineers have recently been testing it out.

New look Google Maps

Google is set to give its hugely popular Google Maps service a big revamp today, cleaning up the interface and linking it to various social platforms. Gone will be the big white sidebar and in its place pop-out boxes when you click a location. These will contain Zagat and Google+ reviews and comments, or so we’re told.

Play Games

Google has been testing out a mobile gaming platform recently that has naturally leaked online. Play Games will be a new addition to the stable of Google Play services and will offer a similar experience to Apple’s Game Center. You’ll be able to link up with friends, game together, share scores, chat and such. There are also badges, achievements and notifications which will sync between your Android phone and tablet – sounds cool, right?

Hangouts and Chat unified

We’ve been hearing a lot about a project Google calls ‘Babel’ in the past few months. As it turns out we’re looking at a unification of Google+ Hangouts and Google Talk. It’s said to be called Google Hangouts to avoid confusion and it’ll let you chat, send files, video call all in one place. Perhaps this will signal the death of Google Talk?

Google takes on Spotify

Google’s music streaming service has been in the works for a long time and today will see it launch. It’s unlikely to launch as a separate service and will link up with Google Music, adding something extra to an app that already offers cloud storage, music purchases and local content playback. Set to take on the likes of Spotify and Rdio, Google’s new service is said to be revealed today and will launch between July and September.

White Nexus 4

Originally something of a gadget unicorn, the white Nexus 4 now looks set to become available shortly after I/O. The phone has recently made several unannounced appearances online, but whether Google will actually show it off later today or just silently make it available to buy, we don’t know.

Nexus 7 MK2

An updated version of the popular Nexus 7 is thought to be ready for launch, with the key upgrades being to the screen, processor and camera. The display will remain 7-inches in size but will jump to Full HD quality, the processor will jump to a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 pro, and there will be a 5 megapixel camera on the back. It will of course also be one of the first devices to run Android 4.3.

Lots of Glass

The hype for Google Glass has reached fever pitch recently, so expect plenty of Google Glass features at I/O. whilst we know a lot about the futuristic goggles now, Google will be keen to show it off some more. Expect first person views, perhaps some more skydiving?

What do you want to see that’s not on our list? A Nexus 5? Perhaps a shiny new Nexus tablet? Let us know!

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