Google is to hold an event on July 24 in San Francisco, an early morning get-together hosted by the company’s head of Android and Chrome, Sundar Pichai. The invitation has circulated, but gives absolutely nothing away about what could be announced on the day. Given Pichai’s position in the company, we can logically expect it to be related to Chrome or Android, and as Google I/O was lacking in new hardware and software announcements, we’re hoping it’s all about Android.
Here’s what we think might be announced.
Yes, finally, we could see a new version of Android. (It’s been since late 2012, for Pete’s sake!) However, as the version number suggests, it’s probably going to be an evolution of Jelly Bean, so we shouldn’t expect an extensive new feature list. This is certainly the impression we’ve got from leaked builds of Android 4.3, which have been shown to include Bluetooth Low Energy, a new dialer, and a new camera application.
We’re now about a year on from the Nexus 7’s announcement, making it the ideal time for a sequel to arrive. Sure enough, various rumors and leaks have indicated an updated Nexus 7 tablet will arrive around the end of July, which fits in rather nicely with Google’s event.
We’ve heard plenty about the tablet, too. While the screen is expected to remain at 7-inches, the resolution could be bumped up to 1080p or higher, and the processor swapped from a Nvidia Tegra chip to a Snapdragon chip produced by Qualcomm. A 5-megapixel camera may be added to the rear of the tablet, which if a leaked image is accurate, will lose the textured design seen on the first.
The one thing we don’t know is how Google will name the tablet. Nexus 7 2 is a bit clunky, so perhaps it will do an Apple and simply name it the, “New” Nexus 7. However, a leaked spy shot allegedly taken from UK retailer Carphone Warehouse’s inventory system shows the tablet as the Nexus 7 2, and that it will be available in both 16GB and 32GB versions.
Nexus 4 Refresh
While a new version of Android and an updated Nexus 7 tablet are the top contenders for Pichai to reveal this week, there is also one other possibility, but it’s more of an aside than the main event. A refreshed version of the Nexus 4 smartphone was rumored before Google I/O, with reports linking it to more storage and 4G LTE connectivity. The white edition has come and gone, so perhaps a slightly updated phone will fill the gap until it too is ripe for replacement at the end of the year.
The Nexus 5 and Android Key Lime Pie are extreme outside chances, based on existing talk of the Nexus 5 coming in October, and almost nothing at all on the next major revision of Android. Google will live stream the event on YouTube, and it begins at 9am PT on July 24.
More events coming…
Verizon’s July 23 event: According to reports, Verizon will be adding new devices to one of its most popular exclusive ranges, which could mean we’ll be getting a series of new Droid-branded smartphones. This fits in with several recent leaks, which document the Droid Ultra, Droid Ultra Maxx, and the Droid Mini. The Droid Ultra was accidentally revealed on Motorola’s website, so not only appears to be a genuine device, but also that the Google-owned firm is going to be producing all three new Droid phones.
Moto X coming August 1: It’s not likely the much-rumored Moto X will be launched on July 24 either. Motorola has sent out invitations to a separate event for August 1, and as the Moto X name is splashed across the front, it’s a safe bet we’ve got a little longer to wait before the customizable, assembled-in-Texas smartphone is made official.
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