Photo: Steve Kovach, Business Insider
Google’s big annual developer conference, Google I/O, begins next week.It’s where Google typically rolls out a bunch of new products and gives developers and press a sneak peek at what’s coming in the next year.
Last year, Google made a ton of announcements — but it hasn’t followed through on all of them. Not exactly.
Google Music is out of beta and has since re-launched and re-branded under Google Play, which includes Android applications and a lot of other content.
It has a new design and a new storefront to go with it. Google followed through on Google Music, even if it isn't as stellar as everyone hoped.
Google had a huge presentation on a project called Android @ Home -- a way to configure and control every bit of your home with your Android device.
The idea was that you could control your sprinkler or your fridge with an Android device and a big batch of software development kits.
But since then, we haven't really seen Google go all-in on this.
Google last year made a big commitment to the Chrome Web Store by opening it up to a bunch of new languages.
It also launched Angry Birds on the web store, and said it was committed to bringing in a bunch of high-level applications for the Chrome Web Store.
We've since seen some high-quality games like Bastion and Cut The Rope land there, and there are hundreds of apps on the Web Store.
Google unveiled the Android Accessory Design Kit (ADK), which was supposed to give developers new ways to equip phones with USB accessories.
The idea was that you would have Android users carrying around a bunch of extra gadgets, like game controllers.
But how often do you see Android users carrying around accessories? This seems like a bit of a dud, with most users looking only to depend on the phone -- not accessories.
We've had a chance to play around with Google's Chromebook laptops, which are basically lightweight computers that have a web-based operating system.
They're actually not that bad.
The Chromebook still doesn't compete with a top-of-the-line computer like a MacBook Air, but it shows some promise.
Google also unveiled a gigantic program where they would rent out Chromebooks to schools and businesses.
The idea was to remove the need to constantly update hardware and software by having regularly-renewed hardware and web-based software.
Unfortunately, most businesses are still rocking Windows or Mac computers. Nifty idea, though.
In a side presentation at Google I/O next year, Google teased a bunch of updates to the Android Marketplace, acknowledging that it had some problems.
Well, it did one better than that. Google smashed the Android Marketplace in March, redesigning it and wrapping it up with Music and other services as Google Play.
The new storefront has better ways to discover new content and find what you're looking for.
At Google I/O last year, the company said it forged new partnerships with carriers to make sure Android devices were getting updates on time.
But to this day, Google still can't get the newest updates out to most phones. There's a ton of operating system fragmentation, unlike Apple's iPhone.
Google also promised devices would continue to get updates for 18 months. That doesn't look like it's happening.
Google's big announcement last year was the Honeycomb update, which provided a better tablet operating system for Android tablets.
But the company also teased Ice Cream Sandwich, saying it would come out in the fourth quarter last year. Google made good on that promise, and it's the most competitive operating system for the iPhone yet.
At the end of the keynote, Google gave away a ton of Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablets. This was supposed to be a big, big deal.
Unfortunately the Galaxy Tab was nowhere near competitive to the iPad. Neither was the Xoom, or any other Android tablet.
Google is expected to unveil a Google-built tablet at I/O this year, so we'll see if they can make a serious pass at the iPad. Google's supposedly partnering with Asus to build the tablet.
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