Just about everything, it turns out. Google's I/O developer conference was full of surprises.
Google Play's game store will now save scores and games across devices, so you no longer have to win either your phone or your tablet. Win on them both at the same time. Google Play Music got a big boost by turning into a Spotify competitor with a subscription model for music. $9.99 a month gets you all-you-can-eat music listening from the Google Play library. Google+ got a huge redesign with an emphasis on photos and hangouts. Google also introduced a new photo file format. (They've introduced other standards that went nowhere, so I'll wait for a bit before converting all my files.)
Speaking of Google Hangouts. It's now a standalone app and potential Skype and Facetime killer. You can run it on an unlocked, pure Android version of the Galaxy S4, which Google will sell you for $649.
Google's developer conference is around the corner. Will we see an updated tablet? It's likely. Google Glass is likely to be a huge focus as well. In fact, as much as they were promoting Google Glass at the South by Southwest conference in Austin, attending developers will probably find one in their goodie bag.
Will Google roll out a new initiative or project? That remains to be seen. This year the focus may be on getting support for existing projects, but it's a pretty safe bet that there will be a new version of Android introduced. Maybe this year Google TV will get some more love as well. I'd like to see it get fewer buttons on the remote, but I'll probably have to wait for Apple's developer conference to see that sort of aesthetic in a connected TV.
You may have been busy fiddling with your One Channel layout, but YouTube was busy winning in court. The ongoing Viacom lawsuit produced another victory for Google and YouTube. This site breaks it down a little better than I can. Content owners may be frustrated by the amount of policing they still have to do to get their own content removed (I know I am), but in the end, it's still better to have open platforms.
I've had people wonder about this. Rooting Android gives you a lot of risks but a lot of potential rewards. Rooting is mainly something done by geeks and the computer savvy, and there's good reason for that. You risk breaking your phone when you try, and unless you've got a reason to try it, it's probably not worth the effort to try it. Basically, are you the type of person who takes apart your radio and reassembles it for fun?
Remember how Google Fiber was only in Kansas City? And then it was a big deal because they were coming to Austin, Texas? Well now they're coming to Provo, Utah, too. I'll take this as a sign that they're ramping this up as an actual business model instead of just an experiment. Maybe they'll be able to hit all the cities that requested the service (she says hopefully, knowing that her city was on that list.)
Meanwhile, Google has started bypassing nearer areas in the Kansas City metro area with an agreement to expand into Olathe. Alas, they have not expanded into my area of the metro yet. I have my fingers crossed that they will eventually get there. However, expanding into Austin would be huge. Not only because Austin is a huge tech and arts hub that would really benefit from the technology, but because it would signal Google's nationwide expansion.
The first prank from Google I've spotted today is an extra feature for Google+ images. Select a picture from your file and go to edit it. Choose the smiley face at the top of the screen. It will attempt to read the expression of any faces in the picture. I'm sure we'll see many more pranks today.