Google I/O 2022 kicks off on Wednesday, May 11th, and the developer-focused event might be more interesting than it’s been for the past past few years. Similar to the last few years, Google has decided to take I/O online and is inviting anyone to join and watch the keynote.
The conference will run from May 11th to 12th, but most of the big news will likely drop at 10am PT/1pm ET on the 11th during the event’s opening keynote.
While Google I/O will always focus on the developer side of things, Pichai said during Alphabet’s most recent earnings call that there will be new hardware and Android announcements during this year’s event.
Like always, we’ll learn more details about the newest version of Android. Unlike last year, Google has already released the Android 13 beta. According to the Android 13 beta release cycle, the second beta will release in May. This means that we’ll likely see beta 2 at the event.
So far, Android 13 isn’t much to write home about. We’ve seen updates like more Material You colour options, app suggestions in all apps list, brand new clipboard help, spatial audio and Bluetooth LE, etc.
However, during the investor’s call, Pichai said that Google will unveil new Android features and services, so I’m hoping to see more exciting things at the event.
For what it’s worth, Android 13’s first Beta brought a new ‘Face Unlock’ UI to the Pixel 6 Pro. While the feature isn’t functional yet, Google might dive into it at the event.
Other Android announcements
According to Google I/O’s official program, there will be updates to ARCore, AI and machine learning, Google Cloud and Workspace, Google Home, Chrome OS and more.
Additionally, we’re likely going to see new Assistant features. Since the company announced Assistant six years ago, Google has always emphasized Assistant functionalities that it typically adds to its Pixel smartphones. Previously, we’ve seen announcements like Duplex, a service that places calls and makes reservations on the user’s behalf.
Other Google projects like Lens will likely see announcements alongside Google’s core services like News, Search, Gmail, Workspace, and more.
And with the potential launch of the Pixel Watch (more on the long-rumoured smartwatch later), we might see a substantial update to Wear OS.
Google Pixel 6a
Hardware is poised to be a pretty big part of I/O 2022 as we’re expecting the reveal of the Pixel 6a and the Pixel Watch. Starting with the Pixel 6a, we anticipate that the phone will sport a 6.2-inch OLED display, a 5,000mAh battery and will continue to feature Nexus 6P-like visor with a glossy back.
Additionally, the phone is rumoured to feature the older ‘IMX 363’ camera sensor used in the Pixel 5 and prior models. The Pixel 5 features wide and ultrawide lenses, which means the Pixel 6a also might lack a telephoto shooter.
This year, the Pixel 6a will lose its 3.5mm headphone jack, a first for the company’s ‘a’ series. Further, the Pixel 6a is expected to launch in Canada this year. Canada’s Radio Equipment List approved the upcoming mid-range phone on April 11th and indicated that the phone will launch here, unlike last year’s Pixel 5a.
Pixel Watch 👇
I’m hearing that Google is planning on launching it on Thursday, May 26th — over year since we leaked it.
This is the first we’ve seen a set date on the device behind the scenes.
Google is known for pushing back dates — but if they do, we’ll know 👀 pic.twitter.com/Kk0D4Bom6d
— Jon Prosser (@jon_prosser) January 21, 2022
Finally, it looks like we’ll see the Pixel Watch finally get revealed at this year’s I/O. According to several leaks, the device, codenamed ‘Rohan,’ will sport minimal bezels and an Apple Watch-like ‘Digital Crown.’ Further, the watch will feature a heart rate sensor and fitness-focused Fitbit implementations.
A Reddit user recently showcased the 20mm variant with a black soft silicone watch band, and described the Pixel Watch as the most comfortable watch they’ve ever worn.
Google filed a trademark for “Pixel Watch” with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. That said, Canada’s Radio Equipment list has yet to include a listing for the Pixel Watch, so it’s possible the wearable won’t make its way here — at least not immediately.
Google Pixel Buds Pro
Google Pixel Buds Pro coming 🔜
Real Red, Carbon, Limoncello, Fog
— Jon Prosser (@jon_prosser) May 3, 2022
The Pixel Buds Pro could also reportedly be revealed at this year’s I/O, according to sometimes reliable source of leaks, Jon Prosser. The earbuds will reportedly come in ‘Real Red,’ ‘Carbon,’ ‘Limoncello’ and ‘Fog.’ However, beyond this, nothing else is known about the Pixel Buds. Given the lack of rumours about these buds, it’s likely that we won’t actually see them at the event, but it’s possible.
All of this is based on speculation and rumours. We could see all the above-mentioned devices and updates, or none of them — we won’t know for sure until I/O 2022. To follow along with the announcements as they happen, make sure to follow MobileSyrup on Twitter and Facebook, or visit our website during I/O’s keynote.