What can you expect from Google I / O 2022

Google’s annual developer conference, Google I / O, takes place this week, starting with an opening presentation on Wednesday, May 11 at 13.00 ET. While the conference itself is designed to help developers get the most out of Google’s tools and platforms, the keyword is aimed at a much wider audience with hardware and software announcements for products to be released within the next 12 months.

This year we could see a number of hardware messages under the keynote. Rumors abound about the search giant’s first portable device, the Pixel Watch, as well as a mid-range counterpart to last year’s Pixel 6 smartphones. We may also see an announcement about a new pair of genuine wireless earphones. And maybe some surprises too.

Software announcements are likely to focus on Google’s core operating systems, such as Android 13, the next major release to be launched later this year. Google presenters may 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 see some improvement.

Here is a complete overview of what to expect:

A Pixel Watch prototype leaked between the 40mm Apple Watch (left) and the 46mm Samsung Galaxy Watch.
image: Tagtec 414 (reddit)

Google may finally announce the Pixel Watch

Rumor has it that Google is making its own smartwatch. It has always existed, but 2022 may be the year it actually happens. it was there Specs Leaks And Design Leaks, and the file of the US Patent and Trademark Office Pixel Watch name was revealed. But more importantly, the obvious smartwatch prototype Abandoned was found in a restaurant, resulting in a deluge of photos posted online.

From all the leakage, we are 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 (including spending billions on Fitbit) can create something that poses a real challenge to Apple’s dominance.

Unofficial reproductions of the expected Pixel 6A design.
Photo: Steve Hammerstoffer / 91 mobile phones

New Pixel 6A mid-range phone

For the past three years, Google has been following all their flagship Pixel smartphones with a cheaper version with reduced specifications. This year it’s Pixel 6’s turn, but rumors suggest that the Pixel 6A may be a little different than the A-Series’ phones.

While phones like the Pixel 4A and 5A pair similar camera features as their flagship counterparts with less powerful processors, reports suggest that the Pixel 6A could change this approach. a report of 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 6s 50MP sensor.

The advertising at Google I / O comes a little earlier than the August launch, which we have typically seen for medium-sized Google phones. But the time of the latest FCC submission suggests that the release may be just around the corner.

Maybe some professional wireless earphones

These rumors have not been confirmed, but a John Prosser’s latest leak It has been suggested that Google is preparing to launch a new set of genuine wireless earphones 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 earphones to show their support for active noise reduction – which would be the first of a pair of genuine Google wireless earphones. .

Google currently sells only one pair of true wireless earphones, namely: Pixel Buds A Series, which was originally announced as a more affordable counterpart to second-generation Pixel Buds. But since Pixel Buds is stopping now, Google is only selling the affordable part of the group. Adding a professional brand would be a natural transformation.

Notification mockup that Android 13 apps can request.
Image: google

Lots of details about Android 13

On the software side, Android 13 is the next major version of Google’s mobile operating system. Technically, it was already released in beta Give a little glimpse of Google’s update plans, but we’ll only get a full picture of Google’s overall view of Android 13 for I / O.

So far, it seems that Android 13 is ready to continue much of the work that Google started with Android 12. It seems that last year’s custom themes (branded Material You) are likely to expand with More UI elements in operating system Google continues Limit what aspects of the operating system Android apps have access to by default. Any news on major new initiatives is likely to appear under a Google keynote.

And maybe, maybe, some collapsible news

Android 13 is not the only major update Google has made to its mobile operating system this year. There’s also Android 12 for it, a new version of the operating system optimized for tablets and foldable devices. We know it’s coming out sometime this year. It comes 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, there have long been rumors that Google is working on one or two foldable devices alone. At one point, it was rumored that they were on their way to last year’s launch, but given the recent leaks, it does not appear that an announcement is imminent. After all, foldable phones are still quite niche products outside of China, even though Samsung is now in its third generation of foldable devices.

What are the new Nest Hub tags?

Given that it’s only a year ago that Google released its latest Nest Hub smart screen, it seems too early to expect a sequel. But a report from 9to5Google from March He claims that sometime this year we could see a removable screen that can be used as a tablet. It seems that the form factor would be perfect as a smart home console and also explain the renewed interest Google is paying for tablets.

But with rumors of a mysterious “2022” launch date, there is no guarantee that Google will be ready to unveil the new device this week, if it ever existed.

A rendering of what the Pixel Watch’s interface might look like.
photo: Evan Blass / 91 mobile phones

Plus updates to its other platforms

Of course, Android is not the only operating system that Google uses. It also has Wear OS for smartwatches, which will almost certainly get some attention on stage when Google announces the Pixel Watch this week. Even if it does not, the offer comes a year after Google announced it would integrate its platform with Samsung’s Tizen. (The resulting program kept popping up in a Galaxy Watch 4. file) And it seems that Google probably has more to add on how the development progresses.

There is also Android TV and Google TV, designed – you guessed it – for television. And we know they have some new features this year because a product manager said a lot back in January. Supporting home training exercises seems to be something that the company is interested in, in addition to offering more smart home management and video conferencing services.

Expect lots of Google software and service updates

Other than hardware and platform-specific ads, no Google I / O keyword would be complete without the search giant announcing updates to some of its many apps and services. For example, last year we saw a dossier feature for locked folder announced in Google Images, updates to Augmented Reality display of Google Maps, new “Smart Canvas” initiative of office productivity software designed to make the various services more interconnected.

With the breadth of Google’s software offering, it’s hard to come up with definitive predictions about who will get attention on stage this year. But I guess Google Workspace will stand out. Smart Drawing Board has already made a number of these and is discovering the new features for Google Docs, I suppose this is only the beginning of Google’s plans to revise its remote office software.

With some well received surprises

In addition to more typical product announcements, Google always has a few surprises waiting for I / O. Last year, it revealed a file An Experiment called Project Starline, is a video chat kiosk designed effectively to give the impression that you are sitting directly in front of someone who may be hundreds of miles away. Along with other AR / VR projects we’ve heard about (such as the Project Iris augmented reality headset), it’s not a real product yet and will be in 2024 at the earliest. But Google is often eager to showcase that kind of early R&D projects, and this year is unlikely to be an exception.

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