Google I/O 2014: Android 5.0, Nexus 9 and Android Wear expected

With Google’s I/O keynote just around the corner rumours are swirling about what the tech giant has up its sleeve. But with speculation running wild about which devices and software Google will unveil, it’s difficult to know what to expect.

So we’ve trawled the cyber highways to offer a definitive guide to the biggest rumours currently doing the rounds.

Android 5.0
One of the biggest announcements expected on Wednesday night is the unveiling of Android 5.0. While there is little official information about Android 5.0 Lollipop, current rumours suggest it will be a fairly significant update.

Google is expected to replace Android 4.4 KitKat’s user interface with a new “flat, minimalistic” design similar to that of Apple’s iOS 7. The updated operating system (OS) is also expected to have significantly lower system demands than previous versions and will be able to run on handsets with as little as 512MB of RAM – like Microsoft’s Windows Phone OS.

At the other end of the spectrum, Google is also expected to bolster the potential performance of top-end Android handsets, and will add support for 64-bit processors.

Android 5.0 is also expected to have a wealth of new software features. The biggest rumours suggest Android 5.0 will feature new Healthbook and Google Babble services.

Healthbook is expected to offer similar services to other health services, such as Fitbit, and will let users track their calorie intake, exercise and steps, for example. Google Babble is a rumoured cross-platform instant-messaging service that will sync conversations from Hangouts, Voice and Facebook Messenger.HTC Nexus 9 with Android 5.0 Lollipop and an 8.9in screen

Nexus 9
Google is expected to unveil a new Nexus 9 tablet at the I/O conference. While far from official, rumours suggest the tablet will be built by Taiwanese firm HTC. If true this will be a big move for HTC, which hasn’t made a tablet since it released the Flyer in 2011.

The tablet is expected to be the first device to launch running Google’s Android 5.0 mobile OS and is said to be powered by Nvidia’s 64-bit Tegra K1 chip.

The tablet is also rumoured to depart from previous Nexus tablets designs and feature an iPad-like aluminium chassis. It is also expected to feature an 8.9in 2048×1440 resolution touchscreen display, 8MP rear-facing camera, 3MP front-facing camera and optional 4G LTE support.

HTC is expected to launch 16GB and 32GB versions of the tablets, which will be priced at $399 and $499, respectively.

Android Wear
There’s been a lot of buzz about Android Wear since Google unveiled the OS in March. Despite the buzz we’re yet to see any devices running the OS. We expect Google will rectify this at its I/O event and show off the Motorola Moto 360 and LG G Watch Android Wear devices for the first time.

Enterprise upgrades
Google has been increasing focus on the enterprise market over the past year and has worked hard to tailor and develop its mobile hardware and services to meet businesses’ needs.

As a result this I/O we expect to hear a wave of enterprise-focused announcements that could cover anything from storage to security.

Odds and ends
Google is expected to unveil purely consumer Android TV and Nest smart home technologies alongside its Nexus 9 tablet and Android 5.0 OS.

Android TV will be an entertainment device rumoured to run on Google’s Android mobile OS. As well as access to entertainment services, such as Netflix, YouTube and the Google Play store it’s also expected to let users stream games from their smartphone to their TV.

V3 will be covering Google’s I/O conference keynote from 5pm UK time on Wednesday, make sure to check back then for the official news.

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