Google I/O Developer Conference: Will Partners Be Wowed?


Google's annual I/O Developer Conference begins Wednesday morning in San Francisco, and partners are expecting big news during the two-day event.

Google has a history of pushing the envelope at the I/O Developer Conference. Two years ago, the company kicked things off with Google Glass. This year, Google is looking to expand and evolve its already massive operating system by breaking into the smartwatch market.

[Related: Samsung: Going With Tizen Over Android In New Samsung Z ]

Android, the leader in market share among smartphone operating systems, according to research firm IDC, has been transformed into a version for wearables called Android Wear, which Google revealed in March.

"We are expecting a game-changing announcement," said Ira Grossman, CTO of end user and mobile computing for MCPc, a Cleveland-based national partner specializing in mobile solutions with its Anyplace Workspace. "The ecosystem around Google Android continues to expand and is quickly approaching critical mass. We’re starting to see more enterprises take a second look at Android as management and security of these devices and the Android OS achieve parity with [Apple] iOS."

Samsung reportedly will use Wednesday's event as a platform to show off its new smartwatch that runs on Android Wear, according to CNET, which also reported that Motorola and LG are expected to unveil their own gadgets.

An Android-operated smartwatch by Samsung would be an attention-grabber, not only because it would represent a new device in a growing space but because Samsung already has a smartwatch and a smartphone that run on its own Tizen OS.

Solution providers see wearables as a space that is going to grow and may very well take off due to the interest that surrounds all of the latest gadgets and because of their ability to start communicating with other devices.

Solution providers view Android, as well as Apple's OS X and iOS, as poised to make a big dent in Microsoft's enterprise share. Their fear, however, is that the number of devices the OS is on creates a lack of commonality.

Part of the beauty of Android, according to solution providers, is that the OS can be customized to meet the needs of different manufacturers. Unfortunately, though, that can lead to management and support headaches because of the differences in the software running on each individual devices.

PUBLISHED JUNE 24, 2014