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Google I/O 2014: Expect Android 'L' series OS, Nexus 9, wearables and more

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This week, Google I/O 2014 will give developers, tech industry analysts and conscious consumers an idea of what to expect in terms of innovation. As Bloomberg Businessweek reports (June 24), Google will offer a preview of its next generation of its Android “L” series OS.

Google usually releases its major dessert-theme codenamed Android operating system (OS) during the fall, “I want the world to understand what we are doing sooner,” Google senior vice president of Android, Chrome and Apps, Sundar Pichai told Bloomberg Businessweek. An early preview of the “L” series Android OS might also mean that developers can get a head start in detecting bugs and creating apps for the upcoming software.

Following the “K” series Android KitKat 4.4 OS announced in fall of 2013, the new version of Android could be called Android 4.5 or 5.0 “Lemon Meringue Pie” or “Lollipop”. Last year, Google changed the Android OS code name from “Key Lime Pie” to “KitKat in honor of Nestle’s chocolate covered wafer snack.

Rumored for a fall release, it wouldn’t be surprising if Android “Lemon Meringue” or “Lollipop” were to debut on the next generation Google Nexus flasgship smartphone. Rumor has it that, LG is developing the Google Nexus 6 for a launch this fall. While it’s unclear whether the Nexus 6 phone actually exists or not, an image published by Android Police reveals that an 8.9-inch Nexus tablet built by HTC is on the way. Pegged the Nexus 9, the tablet is powered by a NVIDIA Logan 64-bit (Tegra K1) processor and is expected to be announce this week at Google I/O 2014.

During the two day Google I/O developer conference, Google is also expected to discuss the future of its Android Wear OS for wearables. According to CNET, Samsung will purportedly announce an Android Wear smartwatch, similar to its Tizen OS Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo smartwatches.

Samsung’s debut Galaxy Gear smartwatch was powered by Android, the switch to Tizen came along with the second generation release of Samsung wearables. Executives at Samsung expressed battery drain concerns utilizing Android for wearables. Tweaked for functionality and less stress on battery, Google’s Android Wear OS is specifically designed for smartwatches.

Announced earlier this year in March, Android Wear will run on Motorola’s upcoming Moto 360 smartwatch and LG’s G Watch. It’s speculated that Google may introduce Android Wear for Google Glass.

Google may also unveil “Auto Link” for cars, an answer to Apple’s CarPlay. Google Auto Link is described as a “projected” system, giving users navigation control of their phone’s OS using the vehicle’s built-in controls. Android TV could could be another topic at Google I/O 2014, a platform with a concentration on content rather than apps and software like Google TV.

The annual Google I/O developer conference takes place June 25 - 26 at the Moscone West Convention Center in San Francisco. The two hour developer conference keynote address starts at 9 a.m. PST.

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