10 of the biggest announcements from Google I/O history

Google is having its annual I/O developers' conference on June 25 and June 26 in San Francisco. As we wait to hear what's in store this year, here is a look back at some of what Google has done in years past.

Google I/O turns seven this year and has created a lot of waves over the years. From the introduction of Android to Google Wave to Google+, here is a look back at the big announcements from each of Google's I/O developers conferences and where they stand now.

Some are huge hits and are still going strong, some have burned out and some, well, we don't know exactly where some of them stand. This is by no means a comprehensive list of everything Google has introduced at these conferences -- but here are 10 we find interesting. 

2008: Android

Google acquired Android in 2005, but it wasn’t until 2007 that Android was revealed as an open OS for mobile devices. Still, most people hadn’t actually seen Android until Google’s first I/O conference, where the company showed off how the OS worked on a mobile handset.

Today, Android is a huge success. A recent report by IDC has it owning 80% of the mobile market, and new Android phones are coming out all the time.

2008: Gears

Google Gears was actually launched in 2007, but Google expanded the project and renamed it at I/O in 2008. Now known as just Gears, it was an open source software platform claimed by Google to “enable more powerful Web applications.” Gears encouraged developers to be more innovative within browsers, making browsers more powerful and adding features like geolocation and LocalServer API, which let some applications run offline.

In the end, Gears was shelved in 2010 when HTML 5 began incorporating the functionality of Gears. Google posted its last Gears blog entry in 2011, finalizing the demise of Gears and confirming it would remove Gears from Chrome. 

2009: Google Wave

Announced at 2009’s I/O conference, Google Wave was a software platform for real-time collaborative online editing. Named after the word for a transmission from the TV show Firefly, Google Wave combined aspects of email, instant messaging and social networking so collaborators could communicate within the browser instead of needing separate software for each function. 

Wave was hailed as the next big thing; some even thought it could replace email (but let's be serious, email is here to stay, whether we like it or not). But alas, that wasn't to be. In January 2012, Wave became read-only and, by that April, Wave was shut down. Today, Apache has taken over the product and renamed it Wave in a Box.

2010: Google TV

Google TV was a big deal when it was demoed at Google I/O 2010. It combined Android with Chrome, essentially opening up home televisions to the Internet. Later developments included adding voice search directly to Google TV.

But the platform never really got off the ground. And by the time Google I/O 2012 rolled around, the newly announced Nexus Q took on a lot of the functionality of Google TV.

The last blog post from the Google TV forum was in 2013, announcing that Redbox instant by Verizon was now available on it. There has been no news about the platform since then, and we now have Chromecast. Could Google TV be played out?

2011: Music Beta by Google

When Google unveiled Music Beta by Google at 2011’s I/O, it came as no surprise – people had been expecting it for months. When it launched, Google didn’t have licensing deals with music labels, so users could only upload their music to it. What made it special was that music was uploaded to the cloud and then could play across your devices.

Music Beta has now become Google Play All Access. By November 2011, Google had partnerships with three major music labels, opening up the service to buying and streaming. An All Access account costs $9.99 monthly.

2012: Nexus Q

The Nexus Q, a spherical media streaming device, was announced at I/O in 2012. It interfaced with your TV and home audio system via the cloud. It could play video directly from YouTube or your digital library on any connected TV (sound familiar?). 

Unfortunately for Google, initial reviews said that it didn't offer enough for its $299 price tag, prompting the company to shelve the product in October 2012. Obviously, Google didn't let the idea go, though, since it came out with the Chromecast, which has much of the same functionality, but sells for only $35. 

2012: Nexus 7

Google showed off its new 7-inch Nexus tablet at I/O 2012. The tablet had a 1280 x 800 pixel display and ran Android 4.1, the first device available with the OS. Made by Asus, it it cost only $199, making its low price a "killer feature," as our blogger put it.

Overall, the Nexus 7 was a success, positively reviewed for its solid build and hardware, but it lacked cellular connectivity and an expandable storage option. In 2013, Google released the second-generation Nexus 7 which sought to improve on the first model with a higher-resolution display, more speed and longer battery life. It sells for $229. 

Credit: YouTube.com
2012: Google Glass

Google Glass was demoed at the 2012 I/O conference, and it was indeed a spectacle. Google had stunt people wearing Glass parachute onto the roof of the Moscone Center, rappel down the side of the building and ride into the keynote on bikes -- all while streaming video live from Glass to the main stage. Our writer called it "the coolest product demo ever."

In 2013, Google started its Google Glass explorer program, distributing Glass to thousands of people who had applied to the program and were willing to shell out $1,500. In April 2014, Google opened the program to an additional 8,000 people

2013: Google+

At Google’s sixth annual I/O developers conference last year, the event kicked off with a nearly four-hour keynote address, and one of the biggest announcements revolved around Google+, which was boosted with 41 additional features.

The updates included a new overall design, a revamped Google Hangouts function that merged Talk and Chat with Hangouts and new features for Google+ photos. These included Auto Highlights, Auto Enhance and Auto Awesome, which generates videos montages set to music by compiling images and videos taken within a short period on your phone.

Today, Google+ is moving right along, but its future has been called into question after Vic Gundotra, the visionary behind Google+, stepped down last April.

2013: Google Maps

In 2013, Google also announced some updates to Google Maps. In addition to upgrading public transit routes, Maps also became more personalized, telling users about stores, restaurants and other landmarks in the area that users frequent. 

Google also added 3D images of cities to Google Earth and, thanks to an amalgamation of user-contributed content, tours inside popular landmarks around the world.

Curious about how Google Maps is doing today? Pretty well -- it's the most used smartphone app on the planet.

Google I/O 2014

So, what will this year's Google I/O bring? We'll find out very soon, but informed speculation focuses on news about wearables through Android Wear and more cross-platform funtionality between Android and Chrome. And with Google scooping up so many robotics companies over the past year, one of our writers even speculates that Larry Page might take the stage with a robot companion.

In the meantime, tune in for our live coverage of the keynote. And let us know in the comments field below about any of your favorite Google I/O announcements, past or present, we may have left out of this slideshow.