Google I/O began yesterday and kicking the event off was the over-sized keynote. This years keynote seems to have been a bit different as compared to previous years. We had heard rumblings about that before I/O began, however it seems most were in denial and still hoping to see lots of hardware announcements.
Those who followed the news yesterday will realize that didn’t happen. In fact, this was very much a developer oriented keynote and while there was mention of some goodies for the average user — the hardware focus never came. We didn’t see the rumored Nexus 4 with LTE and Android 4.3 and we didn’t see the beefed up Nexus 7 either.
There was one bit of hardware news though, the Google Edition GALAXY S 4. This handset will be available in June, but perhaps key was the software. The GALAXY S 4 Google Edition will be running a stock Android installation and as such, will be updated in a manner similar to the other Nexus devices. Keeping on the topic of hardware, there still could be an new Nexus 7 coming.
Other goodies that we did see, and one that was for everyone was Hangouts. The app came available for Android users yesterday and serves to replace the older Google Talk app. If you haven’t already checked Hangouts out, you may want to take a peek at out hands-on from earlier. Another big item here was Maps, both for the desktop and mobile side.
The Maps for Mobile app picked up goodies such as search and rating improvements along with Zagat and more. Additionally, Google Search and Google+ received quite a bit of attention with a whopping 41 new features confirmed as coming to the latter. With that, as Google I/O continues through May 17th you can expect continued coverage. Plus, you can check out the earlier coverage in the Google I/O portal.