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Google I/O Rumor Roundup: What to Watch (a Smartwatch?)

Google's I/O developer conference kicks off Wednesday, and a slew of new consumer products are expected -- from smartwatches to Android in your car.
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Google's I/O developer conference kicks off Wednesday, and a slew of new consumer products are expected -- from smartwatches to Android in your car.

While I/O is focused on developers, Google -- like its rivals -- typically makes a number of consumer-friendly announcements during its opening keynote address. In the weeks before, there's usually a storm of rumors about what's to come.

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In addition to a possible new version of Google's Android operating system (which may be nicknamed "Lollipop," according to some reports), here's what to expect from Google I/O 2014.

On your wrist: Android smartwatches

In March, Google announced Android Wear, a smartwatch platform that will heavily incorporate Google Now voice controls. Google promised watches from manufacturers including Samsung, LG, HTC, Asus and Fossil to hit the market "later this year."

According to CNET, at least Samsung and LG will launch their Android Wear watches at I/O. Support from those big names will draw in developers, who received a preview of the platform via a video Google posted last week:

In your gym: Google Fit

It just isn't a tech conference without a health-focused announcement these days. At Apple's developer conference in June, the company unveiled a "HealthKit" that bundles all data from various fitness and health trackers into a single place.

Google is expected to launch its own health-data system called Google Fit. According to Forbes, Google Fit will suck in data from multiple apps and devices, much like Apple's HealthKit.

In your television: Android TV

Google has already waded into the television world with Google TV -- a partnership with set-top-box makers like Logitech that ultimately proved lackluster -- and the Chromecast computer-to-TV add-on launched last summer.

At I/O, Google is expected to launch "Android TV." Tech blog The Verge posted an extensive report in April about the platform, citing leaked documents in which Google purportedly calls it an "entertainment platform" that is "cinematic, fun, fluid, and fast."

On your face: Google Glass for all

Google's Glass headwear is still in beta testing, available to intrepid early adopters whom Google calls "Explorers." Pundits wonder whether I/O will mark Glass' expansion out of beta into a full consumer launch. On Monday, Google announced a U.K. Explorer program.

In your car: Android for autos

As with Android Wear, Google has already telegraphed its plans for cars. In January the company announced an Open Automotive Alliance, a partnership with major automakers including GM and Honda that is "committed to bringing the Android platform to cars starting in 2014." I/O could be the place for Google to reveal its specific plans.

In your hands: New tablet and smartphone

Software is the star of Google I/O, but the company may have some hardware news on tap as well. The gadget rumors include a possible new Nexus tablet and smartphone.

As always, Google could throw in a few surprises. Some Google-watchers expect an update on the company's Project Ara modular smartphone, for example. The company may also give a peek at its plans in robotics, as Google has been busy buying up companies like Boston Dynamics.And with the company's secretive Google X research lab working on projects like self-driving cars, any off-the-wall announcements are possible.