Friday 23 February 2018

Google I/O: Is a 'music locker' on the way?

On the eve of its annual developer conference, I/O, Google looks set to announce a music service and has already unveiled movie rentals. Will the two come together in Android?

Google I/O 2010 saw the announcement of Google TV and a new version of Android, along with a music service. Photo: Getty Images
Google I/O 2010 saw the announcement of Google TV and a new version of Android, along with a music service. Photo: Getty Images

Matt Warman

At last year’s Google I/O conference, the company announced a music service, demonstrating a music player which, like iTunes, allowed users to buy songs.

Tomorrow, the search giant looks set to focus on more Android announcements, and on Wednesday it is widely expected to announce the commercial launch of laptops using its new Chorme operating system.

Writing on the Google Blog, Senior Vice President of Engineering Vic Gundotra wrote that “Google engineers from Andy Rubin and Sundar Pichai’s teams will unveil new features, preview upcoming updates, and provide new insights into the growing momentum behind these platforms.” Rubin and Pichai run Android and Chrome respectively.

Leaked screenshots suggest that a “music locker” service, like that offered by Amazon, is set to be announced and that it will let users “sync” their mobile phones with a cloud-based music service.

As last year’s music service included purchase options, it seems likely that Google is working on a piece of software that allows users to both upload their music collection and then sync it across devices, as well as buy some songs.

As the former storage option already exists from other companies, it may yet come sooner than a complex product that needs deals to be done with music labels for it to be viable.

Cnet has already reported, however, the Google has held talks with Spotify about powering its music service.

Google has already done movie deals, however, it announced today. In America, YouTube now supports movie rentals – and users can watch SuperSize Me for free - so it seems unlikely that Google would have negotiated YouTube rights and ignored the possibility of bringing those same films directly to Android.

Either a Movies App or a mobile movies service should be a distinct possibility.

When asked earlier in the year whether Ice Cream, the forthcoming version of Android, was set to be accompanied by a new device, Andy Rubin confirmed that it would.

The new software will combine tablet and mobile phone operating systems, and is due a preview. New hardware, however, is not expected at I/O as Google continues its focus on tablets.

The Motorola Xoom has already launched, and Samsung’s Galaxy Tab is eagerly anticipated.

Competition in music services, however, is a major industry focus and is set to dominate much of I/O.

Apple is expected to announce an upgrade to its music services next month, and Spotify has already launched a pre-emptive strike with its newest version.

At last year’s I/O Google announced Google TV; a look at an updated version is also set to be part of this year’s conference.

Promoted Links

Business Newsletter

Read the leading stories from the world of Business.

Promoted Links

Also in Business