Google’s annual conference for developers, Google I/O, is happening May 11-12, just a few weeks away. Last year at I/O 2021, Google showed off Android 12, its new video-chat tech Project Starline and major updates to WearOS. We have our eye on all the new technology Google might introduce during this year’s event.
Rumors are flying about the next Google Pixel phones, a possible Pixel Watch and Android 13, Google’s presumed follow-up to its Android 12 operating system. Though it’s all speculation, it’s safe to say Google has some big announcements in store for I/O 2022. Here’s what you need to know before the conference.
How to watch Google I/O 2022 live
Google I/O will be free to watch live at io.google/2022, and the event will also be recorded and available to stream afterward. In the meantime, you can register for a free Google developer profile if you’re interested in getting email updates about the conference and keeping track of the events you’ll attend virtually.
What we expect Google to announce
It’s highly probable that Google will give us a look at the next Android mobile operating system, Android 13. By the time I/O begins, the new Android OS will still be in the midst of beta testing, but we’ll likely learn some key details at the conference. The Android Developers Blog has already shown us a number of new settings and features, plus improvements on Android 12’s Material You design framework. Here’s everything we know about Android 13 ahead of its wide release, which is expected later in August or September.
Three years ago at I/O 2019, Google introduced the first budget “A” version of its Pixel phone: the Pixel 3A. Then, for the next two years, Google pushed the Pixel 4A and 5A releases from May to August due to pandemic-related delays. Rumors suggest that Google might resume the original “A” release schedule for 2022, debuting the 6A at I/O this year. (However, tech leaker Jon Prosser says the actual launch will be delayed until July 28 for most markets.) According to leaks from industry tipsters, the 6A might get the 6 and 6 Pro’s powerful Google Tensor chip, along with a 6.2-inch OLED display and a punch-hole front camera.
Read more: Google Pixel 5A vs. Pixel 4A vs. Pixel 3A
Though Google already owns Fitbit and builds Wear OS in partnership with Samsung, this year’s I/O event could see the company finally dive into the smartwatch waters once and for all with the rumored Pixel Watch. Pixel Watch speculation includes a potential Wear OS interface, a minimalist design, health-tracking features and three different versions. A leak from a carrier’s inventory surfaced in early March, showing the Pixel Watch in gold, gray and black options with 32GB of storage.
Read more: Google’s Rumored Smartwatch Should Take a Page From Its Pixel Phones
Pixel Fold and Android 12L developments that support foldable phones
Android 13 isn’t the only Android OS update we could see at I/O this year. Google has been teasing Android 12L, a version of Android 12 adapted for tablets and foldable phones (like Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 3). Speaking of which, Google is expected to launch its own foldable — a Pixel Fold? — later this year. Maybe we’ll get a glimpse during I/O.
Changes for Google Stadia
It’s possible that the Google-owned cloud gaming platform Stadia could make an appearance in some form. Rumors suggest that Google will offer Stadia’s streaming tech to other companies, including Peloton, under the name “Google Stream.” If this proves true, we just might see a rebranding announcement at I/O.