Countdown to Google I/O: Vincent Nguyen, the pundit

June 22, 2012

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By Vincent Nguyen, with Katie Miller, Google I/O Team

Google I/O 2012 is fast approaching, and to help energize you for three packed days of demos, announcements and developer fun, we chatted with a few attendees to see what excites them about this year’s agenda, and to get some tips on how to make the most of the event.

Today’s conversation is with Vincent Nguyen. Vincent is co-founder of Android Community and SlashGear, where he writes about mobile technology and consumer electronics. We asked Vincent for a look at what he expects during his I/O 2012 experience.

You’ve been to Google I/O before. How are you approaching this year’s event?
I've been attending Google I/O since the very first year back in 2008, and watched as the event has matured into a showcase for everything that we love about Google. Far-fetched ideas that somehow find their way into phones; ambitious plans to help users engage with data in new and intriguing ways; and a combination of enterprise and geeky glee that permeates all the way through, whether you're talking to a Google exec or a developer attendee.

We'll be covering I/O wearing two different hats, which is fitting considering Android has broken through into the mainstream as well as remaining a developer's playground. For SlashGear, we'll take a more consumer-centric approach: looking at the technologies and developments that will make a day-to-day difference in users' lives. It's really easy to put together a slick demo and presentation, but we'll be trying to make sure the SlashGear audience sees the context too, where they'll actually benefit once that technology reaches the market.

On the flipside there's the Android Community readership, which tends to be more advanced in its understanding of hardware, code and apps, as well as eager and willing to dig into the minutiae of what makes Google I/O special. There, we'll spend less time on context - though that's still important - and more on specifics, keeping readers up to speed on the cutting edge.

Android has become a huge part of I/O. What do you foresee happening with Android at this year’s conference?
Android's rise has been meteoric, and apps have grown in number and scope alongside it. Many Google I/O sessions will center on app accessibility, security and privacy, all hot-button topics in the months since last year's event. One of the great strengths of the platform is the freedom developers have to distribute their software, but with that comes no small amount of responsibility, and I'm expecting to hear more best-practice guidelines as Google shifts into broader areas.

That's where arguably the real meat of Google I/O comes about: the opportunity for developers to talk to Google's own engineers. As press attendees rather than as developers, the team and I are always mindful of the huge number of interested people who haven't been able to make it to I/O itself. We're their eyes and ears in the keynote, the backstage interviews, when talking with Sandbox partners and everywhere else. It's a big responsibility but I love the challenge of spotting the most important trends and stories and packaging them up in a way that makes sense to those not lucky enough to be on-site.

Is there anything you’re hoping to learn about that isn’t a major part of the current schedule?
Google has some challenges ahead, and like many I'll be very interested to see the latest developments in Google TV. I'm hoping the multi-screen strategy we've seen developing from other companies in home entertainment and gaming will find a counterpart in Google's platform, pulling the disparate elements of the cloud, smart mobility and entertainment together.

It's the surprise additions - the keynote items we never expect - that I'm most excited about, though. I'd be shocked if Google didn't bring the latest iteration of Project Glass on-stage, and disappointed if I don't get to try it myself sometime during I/O. I expect some talk about what Google has learned in wearable computing. After long speculation about Google Assistant, and with Samsung's S-Voice making its debut on the Galaxy S III recently, I'm also guessing that voice control will make itself heard too.

As a veteran of 4 previous Google I/O events, how are you feeling about this year’s I/O?
Ultimately, we want Google I/O to be a fun experience, and help convey that excitement and enthusiasm to our readers, developers and others through our coverage of the event. It's a huge, valuable opportunity for insight into one of the most important companies around today; a starting point for ripples that we'll see impact the tech world across the following months. It's a privilege to be involved, and I can't wait to be wowed.

Not coming to Google I/O 2012 in person? Not a problem. Watch the keynote and dozens of other sessions streamed live at

Vincent Nguyen began his career in tech more than a decade ago as a provisioning manager and software developer. As the co-founder of Android Community and SlashGear, he specializes in mobile technology, and also writes about all aspects of consumer electronics with an independent perspective. You can follow Vincent on Google+, Twitter, and Facebook.

Edited and posted by Katie Miller and Scott Knaster, Google I/O Team