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Android 4.3, Google Babel, and the Nexus 7: What’s in store for Google I/O?



Google’s annual developer conference is mere days away, so expect a giant heaping of announcements in the near future. We absolutely know the keynote will take place on Wednesday, May 15, and there we can hope for a number of new products and features to be unveiled. But truthfully, for now, we can only assume and guess at what those might actually be.
Plenty of rumors cropped up to fuel this intrigue, most of them surrounding Google’s forthcoming Nexus devices. But there are a few related to new features within Android, like an integrated
multiplayer gaming service. We may also see the return of the Nexus Q, or a device like it, that Google could be putting the finishing touches on at this time. Speculation points to happenings with Google's Wallet service too, and there is even talk surrounding Google's consolidated messaging service.

Google "Games"

The hysteria began when Android Police first discovered a feature list related to what appears to be a multiplayer gaming service, a la Apple’s Game Center. The list was discovered in a tear down of My Glass, which is the companion application for Google Glass. The package contained back-end code for an integrated multiplayer gaming service that has a separate “Games” folder. The folder revealed files related to turn-based multiplayer games and an in-game chat module. Further evidence pointed to a gaming leaderboard, as well as the ability to receive invitations from other users wanting to play or “lobbies” where players can hang out as they wait for the roster to fill up. Many popular game titles have made their way over to Android in the last year and Google recently hired Noah Falstein as its Chief Game Designer. In the pre-I/O rumor mill, that's enough to give some credence to these findings.
But then Android Police managed to get a copy of the new version of Google Play services, which had genuine evidence of shared files for Google Play Games. The site provided screenshots that leaked what the new "Play Games" application will look like. There was a drop-down menu that will enable users to switch accounts and a settings menu for managing game notifications. A full-blown tear down discovered that the application will enable synced game saves, icon badges, matchmaking and invitations, achievements, and leaderboards.
Although Android Police has always been rather spot on with its leaks and pre-release teardowns, remember—everything is alleged until we hear it straight from Google.

.And the X phone?

TechCrunch reports that sketches have surfaced of a new handset model number from Motorola. What makes the news particularly interesting is that the blueprints of model number XT1058 are purported to be preliminary plans for Motorola's supposed "X Phone." Currently, there are no actual specifications tied to it.
The FCC's listing of this model number shows that it at least features Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, and 802.11ac, and apparently it supports AT&T's particular LTE bands. The sketches also match leaks that had surfaced a few months ago from Android and Me, which reported that the back of the "X Phone" would use a logo that acts as a touch sensitive button to launch commands on screen. The mock up photos originally appeared on Vietnamese tech news site, Tinhte.vn, but the speculation matches up with the recent patent Google filed for backside controls.
However, it seems unlikely that Google would reveal the "X Phone" at I/O this week. It was only a few months ago that the company was looking for someone to head up the project. It seems more possible that we will learn more about the what the future holds for this collaboration between Motorola and Google.
 

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