Google I/O starts today: Another tablet rumor and links to our favorite sessions

Google I/O 2012

Today, An Asus executive has told Reuters that Google is working on a small, cheap tablet to rival Amazon’s Kindle Fire, which has risen to become the second most popular tablet outside of the iPad. This is only the latest in many reports that Google will unveil a $200 7-inch “Nexus 7” tablet at Google I/O today (9:30am PT). A Gizmodo rumor even had a picture of the Nexus tablet, which looks plain and black, much like the Fire.

“It’s targeting Amazon. The Kindle is based on Google’s platform but with its own service, so Google has to launch its own service, too,” the executive told Reuters.

Though Google already has its own Google Music store, YouTube video rental service, and Google Play, Amazon won many customers over by integrating its services into the Kindle Fire in an overt, straightforward way. It’s possible that Google is planning to redesign some elements of Android to better promote its own services, as it has done on its Google.com website in the last year.

Still, it seems odd that Google is targeting Amazon, which has roughly 4 percent of the tablet market (as of early 2012) when Apple is sitting on 68 percent. Is it that hopeless to take on the iPad directly? Moves like this will continue to give Apple a perceived advantage.

Google I/O 2012 starts today

In any case, we will find out what Google has in store for Android in a couple of hours when Google I/O 2012 kicks off. We believe it will unveil the Nexus tablet and Android 4.1 “Jelly Bean,” though we’re not sure what features or surprises either of those developments will bring. It could be impressive. Microsoft was in a big rush to unveil its Surface tablets last week. This could be the reason.

There are a number of sessions going on today, tomorrow, and Friday. All of them are streamed live on the Google I/O 2012 homepage. Below are some of the sessions that look interesting to us. All times are PT. 

Day 1 (today)
Mobile

Want more power, but faster? This new charging tech claims it can deliver

Chunky power bricks and slow charging could be a thing of the past with GaNFast technology from Navitas Semiconductors. By using an alternative to silicon, GaNFast reduces power consumption and boosts output.
Mobile

Razer’s Wireless Charger will turn your desk into gamer heaven

The Razer Wireless Charger adds colorful flair to your desk or bedside table. It works with any phone that supports Qi wireless charging -- with some quirks -- but is it worth the high price tag? We take a look.
Mobile

Android vs. iOS: Which smartphone platform is the best?

If you’re trying to choose a new phone and you’re not sure about the merits and pitfalls of the leading smartphone operating systems, then come on in for a detailed breakdown as we pit Android vs. iOS in various categories.
Podcasts

Hotel bots, Autonomous hotels, Brainscans, Comedians, A robot named Marty

On today's podcast we're joined by comedians Jeremiah Coughlan and Tyler Boeh! We'll take a look at the use of 'future technology' that is is about to be deployed soon. From automobiles, to grocery store assistants, to a japanese hotel that…
Home Theater

New TV? Here's where to go to watch the best 4K content available

Searching for content for your new 4K UHD TV? Look no further. We have every major source of the best 4K content, along with the cost, hardware requirements, and features that make each service worth a look.
Mobile

Sony is showing something off at MWC -- will it be the Xperia XZ4?

Sony may have released the Xperia XZ3 in the past few months, but already it's preparing to release a follow-up, the Xperia XZ4. We're learning plenty about the phone now some details have started to leak out, and it's getting exciting.
Mobile

Do these Geekbench results accurately represent the Moto G7?

The Moto G6 range is still relatively new to the market, but rumors have already started about the Moto G7, which is expected some time in 2019. Apparently, a G7 Power version will be joining the G7, G7 Play, and G7 Plus.
Mobile

Is this the first image of a Galaxy S10 being used in real life?

It won't be long now; With 2019 underway, the Samsung Galaxy S10 is almost here. Before it arrives, here's absolutely everything you need to know about all three of Samsung's next flagships.
Wearables

Omron HeartGuide brings blood pressure monitoring to your wrist

High blood pressure leads to heart attacks, strokes, and many other health problems, so it's important to keep an eye on. Omron's HeartGuide is a fitness tracking watch that can also monitor your blood pressure from your wrist.
Mobile

Learn how to play YouTube in the background on iOS and Android

We show you how to play YouTube in the background with apps such as Opera, Chrome, and Firefox -- along with the premium offerings like YouTube Premium -- whether you have an Android or iOS device.
Mobile

Verizon’s deal could get you a free iPhone XR — but there’s some fine print

Verizon launched a new deal for its smartphones aimed at encouraging customers to open a new line. If you're willing and you want two new phones, you could get a free Samsung Galaxy S9, iPhone XR, or Pixel 3.
Mobile

Get $100 discount on the Razer Phone 2 for a limited time

The Razer Phone 2 is finally here, and it's got upgraded specs, that super-smooth 120Hz display, and an updated design. Here's absolutely everything you need to know about the Razer Phone 2.
Business

Google is buying mysterious smartwatch tech from The Fossil Group for $40 million

Google is about to step up its smartwatch game. The company has agreed to buy an unnamed smartwatch technology from The Fossil Group for a hefty $40 million. Considering the acquisition, it's clear Google is serious about smartwatches.
Social Media

Here’s how to save someone’s Instagram Story to your phone

Curious about how to save someone's Instagram Story to your phone? Lucky for you, it can be done -- but it does take a few extra steps. Here's what you need to know to save Instagram Stories on both iOS and Android.