In a little less than 24 hours, Google I/O 2012 will start with a keynote, most likely hosted by Vic Gundotra. The rumor mill is in full speed, and here’s what we expect to be announced at I/O 2012:

  • A Google TabletBuilt by Asus, the price (around 200 dollars) and form factor (7”) seem to put it more in competition with the Kindle Fire than with the Apple iPad. Plus point: a reference tablet for Android.
  • Android 4.1Code named Jelly Bean, it is rumored to have a new search bar, and a Siri-like voice activated assistant (Google Assistant, or should we nick name her Gia?).
  • Maps on iOSThis will be interesting. Google announced a new version of Google Maps very shortly before Apple’s official announcement that it will replace Maps with its own mapping app in iOS 6. Will Apple actively block Google Maps on iOS, claiming it duplicates functionality in the system? And how will that fly with the European Union’s legislation…?
  • Google GlassesTraditionally Google has put together a very nice goody bag for attendees, including phones, Chrome books, etc. It seems everyone is hoping to find the latest implementation of Project Glass under their chairs this year.
  • More hardware in the Play storeVery recently, we were surprised by the appearance of a (very old) cell phone in the Google Play store. Expectations are high that the selection of unlocked phones and other hardware will increase. If the cell phone selection increases, how will carriers react to this…?

There are more than likely a few other surprises coming up, so be sure to check out the Google I/O pages (see the widget on the right hand bar for quick access).