Five Things to Watch for at the Big Google-Samsung Event
On Wednesday, Samsung and Google are gathering reporters in Hong Kong to talk about the next version of Android and the first devices running that software. While the Ice Cream Sandwich is partially unwrapped, there will still be a fair bit to chew on.
In addition to whatever the two companies say at their Wednesday morning press conference, we’ll have a chance to dig in further on Wednesday night, when Andy Rubin kicks off our AsiaD conference, which, conveniently, is also in Hong Kong.
Here are the top five questions on my list:
1. So, just what’s inside that Ice Cream Sandwich?
We actually know precious little about the next version of Android, aside from fact that it is designed to unify tablet and phone versions of Android. Google talked about it in only the most general terms back at its I/O conference, and hasn’t said much since.
2. And what’s inside that first device from Samsung, and when will it ship?
Announcing a product is one thing, but another question is just when will we get the product in our hot little hands. Also, it is October, and every week between now and the holidays is a big one when it comes to sales.
3. When will other devices ship?
Google embraces the notion of a lead device, meaning whatever Samsung is announcing is likely to have a short window of exclusivity, usually a matter of several weeks or a couple of months.
4. How does it stack up against iOS 5 and iPhone 4S?
Apple left a bit of an opening by not changing the iPhone more on the physical front. That said, iOS 5 packs a ton of improvements, something that 25 million people have discovered firsthand in just a week since the software became available.
And while the hardware changes on the new iPhone are limited, they have been very well received, as evidenced by sales of four million iPhone 4S units in the first weekend the product was on store shelves.
5. What about voice recognition?
Google has long had some basic voice recognition in Android, including a series of voice actions, but this area is suddenly hot, given Apple’s announcement of Siri. Will Google have more to say on this topic?