This weeks’ Google I/O developer conference was the first in several years where the company limited its keynote appearance to a single day. In this single 3-hour session, what Google has abstained from speaking about may be more telling than what they did announce. Here we’ll have our own run-down of what Google was expected to speak about but didn’t – in Android, Chrome, Google Services, and everything in-between.
Android OS Update As it was last year, so it was expected to be again here in 2013. Google didn’t make an update to Android itself, instead issuing updates to services like Google Play for developers on the back end as well as apps that work in Android – and in iOS. While Android 4.3 may still be on the horizon, coming up quick, it’s not been a part of Google’s major announcements this week – at least not yet. This speaks volumes about Google’s approach with the conference, letting the world know that they’re not about to be pigeon-holed as a company that relies on updates to its software as major announcement fodder while they’ve got perfectly good app releases to shout about. As Apple’s new operating system update is rumored to be around the corner, it’s possible that Android is simply fulfilling the suggestions made by Larry Page at the end of the keynote: “Every story I read about Google is about us vs some other company, or something else, and I really don’t find that interesting. We should be building great things that don’t exist. Being negative is not how we make progress.” – Larry Page Smartphones and Tables for Developers In 2012, Google gave away a Samsung Galaxy Nexus smartphone and a Google Nexus 7 tablet as well as a Chromebox – the year before, they gave away a mobile hotspot from Verizon and a Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet. This year developers are being given a Chromebook Pixel. Google was expected to give away an LG-made Nexus 4, a Nexus 10 tablet, and other goodies, but they appear to have abstained. With this move, Google has made it clear: the most important services announced today will either be on devices the attendees of this conference will already own OR exist on Chrome. Chrome has been placed at the center of the future of Google, both as an operating system and as a web browser. Google Glass Development There’s been no shortage of appearances by Google Glass this week at the Moscone Center, each of these devices having been made available to developers at Google I/O 2013, shipped in the weeks coming up to this event in waves. Though there is a massive showing for Glass on one of two levels of developer booths and Google software and services pop-ups, there was no mention of development for the device in the keynote. Glass was mentioned by Larry Page in his question and answer session at the end of the keynote, but it certainly wasn’t in any way that was planned beforehand. Glass is not, it seems, at a place where it makes sense for Google to make a big deal of it to developers the same way new services announcements are pushed. It wouldn’t make a lot of sense to continue to update the public on Glass, either, since the consumer product is still so very far away. What do you think? Did you expect to see anything that didn’t end up appearing in the first – and only – keynote session of the week? Have a peek at our Google I/O tag portal for more updates through the week to see how everything gets rounded out. What Google DIDN’T announce at I/O 2013 is written by Chris Burns .