Google’s annual developer conference, Google I/O, is set to take place this week, kicking off with an opening presentation on Wednesday, May 11 at 1 p.m. ET. Although the conference itself aims to help developers get the most out of Google’s tools and platforms, the keyword is appropriate for a much wider audience, with hardware and software announcements for products due to be released in the next 12 months.
This year, we could see a number of hardware announcements during the keynote. There are persistent rumors about the search giant’s first wearable device, the Pixel Watch, as well as a mid-range counterpart to last year’s Pixel 6 smartphones. We may also see an announcement of a new pair of true wireless earbuds. And maybe some surprises, too.
Software announcements will likely focus on Google’s core operating systems such as Android 13, the next major version due to launch later this year. Google presenters can announce new features for other platforms such as Wear OS or Android TV. It’s also possible that the company’s ever-growing suite of services (think Google Maps or workplace tools like Google Docs) will receive some improvement.
Here’s a full summary of what to expect:
Google may finally announce the Pixel Watch
Rumors about Google making its own smartwatch It has been there forever, but 2022 could be the year it actually happens. it was there Specifications leaksAnd Design Leaksand the US Patent and Trademark Office file Pixel Watch name revealed. But more important is the obvious prototype of the smartwatch Found abandoned in a restaurantresulting in a flood of images being posted online.
Among all the leaks, we’re starting to get a good idea of what shape the Pixel Watch will take. The big question now is whether all of Google’s investments (which include Spend billions on Fitbit) could create something capable of presenting a real challenge to Apple’s dominance.
New Pixel 6A mid-range phone
Over the past three years, Google has followed every one of its flagship Pixel smartphones with a lower-cost version with reduced specs. This year it’s the Pixel 6’s turn, but rumors suggest that the Pixel 6A might be a little different from the A series phones.
While phones like the Pixel 4A and 5A pair similar camera features to their flagship counterparts with less powerful processors, reports suggest the Pixel 6A could upend that approach. a report from 9to5Google Last year it was suggested that the new phone could have the same Tensor processor as the Pixel 6 but a lowered 12MP main camera sensor instead of the Pixel 6’s 50MP sensor.
The announcement at Google I/O will come a little earlier than the August launch that we’ve typically seen for mid-range Google phones. but the The timing of the last FCC submission It suggests that its release may be around the corner.
Maybe some professional wireless earbuds
These rumors are unconfirmed, but a The latest leak from John Prosser It was suggested that Google is preparing to launch a new set of true wireless earbuds called Pixel Buds Pro. Not much is known about their potential features and specifications, but the word “Pro” is usually used in the name of a set of earbuds to show their support for active noise cancellation – which would be the first from a pair of Google true wireless earbuds.
Google currently sells only one pair of true wireless earbuds, which is Pixel Buds A-Serieswhich was Originally announced As a more affordable counterpart to the second generation Pixel Buds. But with Pixel Buds stop nowGoogle only sells the affordable entry in the group. Adding a professionally branded entry would be a natural transformation.
A bunch of details about Android 13
On the software side is Android 13, the next major version of Google’s mobile operating system. It was already technically Released in beta Provide small glimpses of Google’s update plans – but we won’t get a full idea of Google’s overall vision for Android 13 until I/O.
So far, it looks like Android 13 is poised to continue much of the work Google started with Android 12. It looks like last year’s customizable themes (branded with Material You) will likely expand to include More UI elements in the operating systemGoogle continues Restrict what aspects of the operating system Android apps can access it by default. Any news about major new initiatives is likely to appear during a Google keynote.
And maybe, maybe, some folding news
Android 13 isn’t the only major update Google made to its mobile operating system this year. There is, too Android 12 for, a new version of the operating system optimized for tablets and foldable devices. We know he’s due to be released sometime this year It will be shipped on devices from Samsung, Lenovo and Microsoft. I/O would be a good time for the search giant to provide more concrete details.
In addition to software, it has long been rumored that Google is working on One or two Foldable devices on their own. At one point, there were rumors that those were on their way to it Last year’s launchHowever, given a lack of leaks lately, it doesn’t look like an announcement is imminent. After all, foldable phones are still pretty niche products outside of China, even though Samsung is now in its third generation of foldable devices.
What are the new Nest Hub tags?
Since it’s only been a year since Google released its last version Nest Hub Smart DisplayIt seems too early to expect a follow-up. But a report from 9to5Google from March He claims we could see a detachable screen that could be used as a tablet sometime this year. It looks like the form factor would be perfect as a smart home console and would also explain Renewed interest Google pays for tablets.
But with rumors of a mysterious “2022” launch date, there’s no guarantee that Google will be ready to showcase the new device this week, if it ever even existed.
Plus updates to its other platforms
Of course, Android isn’t the only operating system that Google runs. It also has the Wear OS for smartwatches, which will almost certainly get some attention on the stage if Google ends up announcing the Pixel Watch this week. Even if it doesn’t, the offer comes a year after Google announced that it would integrate its platform with Samsung’s Tizen. (The resulting program kept appearing on a file Galaxy Watch 4.) And it looks like Google will likely have more to add about how development is going.
There’s also Android TV and Google TV, designed – you guessed it – for TVs. And we know they have some new features coming this year because of a product manager said a lot Back in January. Supporting home fitness exercises appears to be something the company is interested in besides offering more smart home controls and video conferencing services.
Expect lots of Google software and service updates
Aside from hardware and platform specific ads, no Google I/O keyword would be complete without the search giant announcing updates to a few of its many apps and services. Last year, for example, we saw a file Locked folder feature Advertised in Google Images, updates for Google Maps Augmented Reality Viewnew “Smart Canvas” initiative of office productivity software designed to make its diverse services more interconnected.
With the breadth of Google’s software offerings, it’s hard to make definitive predictions about which ones will get attention on stage this year. But I think Google Workspace will probably stand out. The Smart Drawing Board has already made some spot the new Features For Google Docs, I suspect this is just the beginning of Google’s plans to overhaul its remote office software.
With some well-received surprises
Beyond more typical product announcements, Google always has a few surprises up its sleeve for I/O. Last year, it revealed a file An experiment called Project Starline, is a video chat kiosk effectively designed to create the impression that you are sitting directly opposite someone who may be hundreds of miles away. Along with other AR/VR projects we’ve heard about (Like the Project Iris augmented reality headset), it’s not a real product yet and may not be until 2024 at the earliest. But Google is often keen to show these types of early R&D projects, and this year is unlikely to be an exception.
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