What will be Offered by Google in the Future

google-apps

Google Glass isn’t any less controversial than it was last year, but curious beta testers are still snatching up invites and paying its wild $1,500 (about £892, AU$1,618) price. That’s good news for Google but it doesn’t really bode well for its fans who want a Google Glass consumer version at a more affordable price coming out of the conference. Think about it. It’d be a slap in the face to everyone who bought Glass during April’s much-hyped one-day sale to have a newer and cheaper version come out two months later. This only this would work is if Google gave all Explorers the consumer version for free. It would account for the steep built-in price when analysts have pegged the consumer edition at as little as $300 (about £178, AU$324). But that may be wishful thinking among Explorers. Google Glass consumer version at Google IO 2014Google IO challenges: The battery needs to be small in the back, yet more powerful.

Google has sold a bunch of Chromecast dongles, but it doesn’t mean much if there aren’t more apps available for the inexpensive media streaming device. The company has a long way to go before it catches up to the app lists of the Apple TV, Roku 3 and similarly shaped Roku Streaming Stick. The new Amazon Fire TV set-top box is also hot on its trail thanks to Amazon Instant Video. It’s an app that Google’s device lacks along with a majority of sports apps. That could change at Google IO. We fully expect more app announcements and a personalized main menu with the weather and photos to come to the thumb drive-sized smart TV device. It’s also a wonder why Chromecast doesn’t fully support Android device mirroring, a trick that makes us love the iOS-projecting Apple TV. We could be in for a true AirPlay rival at Google IO.

Google beat Apple’s iWatch to the punch with Android Wear, but their positions are curiously reversed when comes to in-dash car technology. It certainly seems to be taking a backseat to Apple CarPlay, an iOS-based infotainment system that was announced two months ago. Where exactly is “Android in the Car?” Apple CarPlay vs Gogole MapsApple CarPlay is almost here with… Apple Maps. Expect an answer from Google at IO Google’s infotainment system is still expected to be unveiled in 2014, which makes the June Google IO conference the appropriate rollout vehicle, if you will.

The company doesn’t have to do much to catch up. Just saying “We have Google Maps,” should do the trick given its navigation track record and the performance history of Apple Maps. An all-in-one system for maps, messages and music could alleviate distracted driving and end up making the Android port to cars Google’s most important new product category for 2014. Doubly, Google’s infotainment system could potentially support Android and iOS devices, which would contrast with the iPhone-only Apple CarPlay. It’d be a bummer to have a friend unable to pipe a playlist through the stereo because they own a rival phone. This is where Google usually succeeds and Apple’s walled-garden lets us down. The far-off Google self-driving car may also have us all sucked into the company’s car ecosystem eventually, giving Google a trifecta: Maps, autonomous cars and capability.