October 27, 2012

What You Will And Won't See At Google's Event

The October 29th press-conference may have been cancelled, but have no doubt, the Nexus-themed event will still take place soon. Here are all the probable, possible, and doubtful announcements you may hear:

Probable


  • Nexus 4. This one's been all but officially confirmed by LG and a ton of leaks. This will have a 4.7 inch 1280x768 display, be made by LG, housing a quad-core Snapdragon S4 processor, 2 GB of RAM, an 8-megapixel front camera, and either 8 or 16 GB of storage (the storage is still subject to change). Despite its high-end specs, there's a chance it'll be subsidized by Google and available free on contract, but this also remains to be seen.
  • Nexus 7 32GB w/ 3G. This one's also a sure thing. 32GB variants of the Nexus 7 have been popping up all over the place, and a Nexus 7 with 3G connectivity has gone through the FCC. The WiFi variant will be offered either at $249 or $269. But there's been no rumors about the pricing of the 3G version. If the 32GG Wifi Nexus 7 does indeed start at $249 (which I hope it does), the 16GB version will be pushed down to $199 to better compete with the 16GB Kindle Fire HD. The 8GB model will either be reduced in price or taken off the shelves completely.
  • Nexus 10. This one's been surfacing everywhere the past few weeks. Unsubstantiated rumors started a while ago. But just recently, Google's VP Vic Gundotra posted a pic on Google+ taken by a device called "Nexus 10." It's supposed to have a dual-core 1.7 Ghz Exynos 5250 processor, 2GB of RAM, front and rear cameras, microUSB and microHDMI ports, 5 MP rear camera, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0, and a stunning 10.1 inch 2,560x1,600 Super AMOLED display (which has far higher resolution than the iPad).

Possible


  • Android 4.2. This is the one rumor there's been the most confusion about. Some say it's a sure bet that Android 4.2 will come on all the new Nexus devices. Others say it'll be more of a minor update to 4.1.2. Others yet suspect Android 5.0 to make an appearance. Most people believe that the next version of Android will be called Key Lime Pie, but not everyone believes that 4.2 will be called that. The odds are, Android 4.2 will come out, but it will retain the Jelly Bean name and will have just a few minor additions. But the wildest rumors suggested that 4.2 will sport something called Customization Center, which will attempt to once and for all unify Android by creating a single place where all the custom ROMs and skins will live. Customization Center is supposed to let users download and install new skins. It'll let manufacturers put their own skins on Android phones. And most importantly, it'll let users switch to plain vanilla Android at any time. This means, as long as a manufacturer uses the Customization Center to create their own skin for Android, the device should still be able to receive the latest version of Android without disrupting the customization. This'll theoretically allow all new Android devices to be updated much sooner, without waiting for manufacturers to adjust their customizations.

Doubtful


  • $99 Nexus tablet. The rumor's been around for a while, but it's really picked up this week. The downside of this rumor is that this 7-inch tablet which is supposed to launch in December will only have a single-core processor, which will make it slow and unlikely to handle future versions of Android as they come out. Most bloggers believe that this rumor is completely untrue, I believe that Google is most definitely working on a $99 7-inch tablet. The unlikely parts are that it'll have a single-core processor and will come out before the end of the year. Google clearly demonstrated with the Nexus 7 that they want everyone to afford a cheap tablet that'll always have the latest version of Android and will run smoothly. That's why a $99 tablet makes perfect sense. But that's also why they won't make one until the necessary hardware gets cheap enough to run the operating system without a hitch. We will probably see a $99 Nexus tablet in the second half of next year, because by that time, dual-core processors, 1GB RAM chips, and 8GB flash drives will be cheap enough.