This year’s Mobile World Congress (MWC) is about to kick off in earnest on 27 February in Barcelona, and one of the biggest presences this year in Google. As well as launching a dedicated microsite, manned with our green friends and with a countdown clock, Google is hosting its own major stand at the event.
MWC is renowned for big hardware announcements, but in more recent years its become a launchpad for major software and service releases too. So just what can we expect from the Android stand? Apart from the coolest merchandise of the show, of course…
Google home entertainment hub + Google Music
Google already showcased home-network prototypes at their own I/O conference last year, and given that a Google Music service has already been outed in 2011, albeit without much bells and whistles and without a European release, the Barcelona conference could be the ideal opportunity to add a package.
Rumour #2 Jelly Bean release
This doesn’t seem to be a likely option for MWC – with Ice Cream Sandwich only showing its face four months ago, and still only available on a fraction of handsets, we’d expect to see Android 5.0 Jelly Bean released at Google I/O in summer instead.
That said, if this new OS has its sights set on the laptop and netbook market, with talk of dual-booting with Windows and even rumours of a full Android desktop version then perhaps it might not be such an outside bet after all.
Rumour#3 Ubuntu Android handsets
Now, Canonical’s official MWC launch of Ubuntu for Android is definitely happening and it has aims pretty similar to the rumoured Jelly Bean release above – ie turning your mobile into a desktop through docking. But Ubuntu will need to be loaded up on handsets by manufacturers, and include the right hardware to work – could we see the first Ubuntu handsets at MWC?
Some more patents filed over at the Googleplex also hint at some voice-activation technology between mobile devices and Google TVs that would allow you to control your set through either an app or a special Android remote control – simply by the power of your voice. Could we see Android TV remote/handset hybrids at MWC?
Google X Glasses
OK, it’s an outside chance for MWC, but this awesomely sci-fi concept of augmented reality glasses is apparently being hatched at Google X Labs according to some “insider sources”. The internet has been rife with what might be possible with a real pair of Google Goggles that could overlay extra info, making real reality pretty plain in comparison.