The Big Google News We Expect Today

Google is kicking off its I/O developers conference Tuesday and the search giant is gearing up for a rousing keynote and a two-day conference filled with hardware and software announcements.

In previous years, Google announced its location tool Gears, previewed Android and unveiled the now defunct Wave online collaboration tool. Here is what we expect to see in the upcoming days from Larry Page and company:

  • Android: Google may unveil additional details on the future release of Android dubbed "Ice Cream Sandwich". This release is expected to merge the best of Android 2.3 Gingerbread with 3.0 Honeycomb. Possible new hardware may include a dual-core Nexus handset or a Nexus-branded tablet to showcase this upcoming software release.
  • Google Music: A late-breaking rumor suggests Google will launch a cloud music player initially known as Music Beta by Google. Similar to Amazon's Cloud Player, the Google service will let you upload your music collection to the cloud and play back tracks via the web or an Android handset or tablet. The streaming service may use Flash, so iOS owners and those running Android 2.2 or older cannot join the party. Google will launch the service without licensing agreements from the music labels so the end product may be limited to personal playback only. Online music sharing and purchases may come at future date. Update: The NYTimes chimes in! The service will be called Music Beta by Google, and will hold 20k songs for free.
  • Google TV: Google TV was the hot topic of the 2010 I/O conference but the set-top box fizzled shortly after launch. Look for Google to refresh the hardware and add support for Android applications to boost interest in the entertainment-based platform.
  • Chrome OS: Google kicked off Chrome OS with the launch of the CR-48 notebook pilot program late last year. Google may finally release the details on the commercial launch of Chrome OS and name the hardware partners, most likely Samsung and Acer.

Check back Tuesday for the juicy details on what Google has in store for us in the upcoming year.