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What to expect from Google I/O 2022

Google’s annual developer convention, Google I/O, is scheduled to happen this week, kicking off with a gap presentation on Wednesday, Could eleventh, at 1PM ET. Though the convention itself is pitched at serving to builders get essentially the most out of Google’s instruments and platforms, the keynote is related for a much wider viewers, with {hardware} and software program bulletins for merchandise due for launch within the subsequent 12 months.

This yr, we might see plenty of {hardware} bulletins through the keynote. There are ongoing rumors in regards to the search large’s first wearable, the Pixel Watch, in addition to a midrange counterpart to final yr’s Pixel 6 smartphones. It’s doable we might additionally see a brand new pair of true wi-fi earbuds introduced. And possibly even some surprises, too.

Software program bulletins are more likely to concentrate on Google’s major working programs like Android 13, the subsequent main model due for launch later this yr. Google’s presenters might additionally announce new options for different platforms like Put on OS or Android TV. The corporate’s ever-increasing vary of companies (assume Google Maps or office instruments like Google Docs) are additionally more likely to obtain some enhancements.

Right here’s a full rundown of what we’re anticipating:

A leaked Pixel Watch prototype between a 40mm Apple Watch (left) and a 46mm Samsung Galaxy Watch.
Photograph: tagtech414 (Reddit)

Google would possibly lastly announce its Pixel Watch

Rumors of Google making its personal smartwatch have been round endlessly, however 2022 might lastly be the yr it truly occurs. There have been spec leaks, design leaks, and a US Patent and Trademark Workplace submitting revealing the Pixel Watch identify. Most importantly, nonetheless, is an obvious prototype of the smartwatch discovered deserted in a restaurant, resulting in a flood of images being posted on-line.

Between all of the leaks, we’re beginning to get a reasonably good concept of what type the Pixel Watch will take. The massive query now could be whether or not all of Google’s investments (which embody spending billions on Fitbit) can create one thing that’s in a position to current an actual problem to Apple’s dominance.

Unofficial renders of the Pixel 6A’s anticipated design.
Picture: Steve Hemmerstoffer / 91Mobiles

A brand new midrange Pixel 6A

For the previous three years, Google has adopted up every of its flagship Pixel smartphones with a extra inexpensive model with diminished specs. This yr, it’s the Pixel 6’s flip, however rumors recommend the Pixel 6A could be slightly completely different from earlier A-series handsets.

Whereas telephones just like the Pixel 4A and 5A paired related digital camera options to their flagship counterparts with much less highly effective processors, stories recommend the Pixel 6A might flip this strategy. A report from 9to5Google final yr instructed the brand new cellphone might characteristic the identical Tensor processor because the Pixel 6 however a downgraded 12-megapixel foremost digital camera sensor as an alternative of the Pixel 6’s 50-megapixel sensor.

An announcement at Google I/O would come slightly sooner than the August launches we’ve usually seen for Google’s midrange telephones. However the timing of a current FCC submitting suggests its launch could possibly be simply across the nook.

Perhaps some professional wi-fi earbuds

This rumor is much less sure, however a current leak from Jon Prosser instructed that Google is getting ready to launch a brand new set of true wi-fi earbuds known as the Pixel Buds Professional. Not a lot is understood about their potential options and specs, however using the phrase “Professional” within the identify of a set of earbuds is usually used to indicate they help energetic noise-cancellation — which might be a primary from a pair of Google true wi-fi earbuds.

Google at the moment solely sells one pair of true wi-fi earbuds, the Pixel Buds A-Sequence, which had been initially introduced as a extra inexpensive counterpart to the second-generation Pixel Buds. However with the Pixel Buds now discontinued, Google is just promoting the inexpensive entry within the lineup. Including a Professional-branded entry could be a pure shift.

A mockup of the notification permission that Android 13 apps might must ask for.
Picture: Google

A bunch of particulars about Android 13

On the software program facet, there’s Android 13, the subsequent main model of Google’s cell working system. It’s technically already been launched in beta — providing small glimpses of Google’s plans for the replace — however it received’t be till I/O that we’ll get a full concept of Google’s general imaginative and prescient for Android 13.

Thus far, it appears Android 13 is about to proceed loads of the work that Google began with Android 12. Final yr’s customizable themes (branded as Materials You) look more likely to increase to cowl extra UI parts within the working system, and Google is continuous to limit what features of the working system Android apps have entry to by default. Any information on main new initiatives will possible emerge throughout Google’s keynote.

And possibly, simply possibly, some foldable information

Android 13 isn’t the one main replace Google has coming to its cell OS this yr. There’s additionally Android 12L, a brand new model of the OS optimized for tablets and foldable gadgets. We all know it’s as a consequence of launch sooner or later this yr and can ship on gadgets from Samsung, Lenovo, and Microsoft. I/O could be a very good time for the search large to supply extra concrete particulars.

In addition to software program, Google has lengthy been rumored to be engaged on one or two foldable gadgets of its personal. At one stage there have been rumors that these had been going to launch final yr, however, given the shortage of leaks lately, it doesn’t really feel like an announcement is imminent. Foldable telephones are, in any case, nonetheless very area of interest merchandise exterior of China, regardless of Samsung now being in its third technology of foldable gadgets.

Indicators of a brand new Nest Hub?

Given it’s solely been a yr since Google launched its final Nest Hub good show, it appears untimely to anticipate a follow-up. However a report from 9to5Google from March claims we might see one that includes a removable display screen that could possibly be used as a pill sooner or later this yr. The shape issue feels like it could be excellent as a wise house controller and would additionally clarify the renewed consideration Google is paying to tablets.

However with a obscure rumored launch date of “2022,” there’s no assure Google can be prepared to indicate off the brand new system this week, and that’s if it even exists within the first place.

A render of what the Pixel Watch’s interface might seem like.
Picture: Evan Blass / 91Mobiles

Plus updates for its different platforms

After all, Android isn’t the one working system that Google manages. It additionally has Put on OS for smartwatches, which can virtually actually obtain some onstage consideration if Google does find yourself saying its Pixel Watch this week. Even when it doesn’t, the presentation comes a yr after Google introduced it could be merging its platform with Samsung’s Tizen. (The ensuing software program went on to seem on the Galaxy Watch 4.) And it appears possible that Google can have extra so as to add on how improvement goes.

There’s additionally its Android TV and Google TV software program, that are designed for — you guessed it — TVs. And we all know they’ve some new options coming this yr as a result of one in every of its product managers mentioned as a lot again in January. Help for house health exercises is outwardly one thing the corporate is occupied with together with providing extra good house controls and video conferencing companies.

Count on a plethora of Google software program and repair updates

Away from {hardware} and platform-specific bulletins, a Google I/O keynote wouldn’t be full with out the search large saying updates for a handful of its quite a few apps and companies. Final yr, for instance, we noticed a locked folder characteristic introduced for Google Images, updates to Google Maps’ augmented actuality view, and a brand new “good canvas” initiative for its workplace productiveness software program that’s designed to make its numerous companies extra interconnected.

Given the large breadth of Google’s software program choices, it’s troublesome to make particular predictions about which ones will get consideration on stage this yr. However I’d guess that Google Workspace is more likely to characteristic prominently. “Sensible canvas” has already resulted in some slick new options for Google Docs, and I believe that that is simply the beginning of Google’s plans to overtake its workplace software program for distant working.

With some surprises thrown in for good measure

Away from extra typical product bulletins, Google all the time has just a few surprises up its sleeve for I/O. Final yr, it revealed an experiment known as Mission Starline, successfully a video chat sales space designed to create the impression that you simply’re sitting straight reverse somebody who could be tons of of miles away. Together with different AR / VR initiatives we’ve heard about (just like the Mission Iris augmented actuality headset), it’s not an actual product but and won’t be till 2024 on the earliest. However Google is usually eager to indicate off these sorts of early R&D initiatives, and this yr is unlikely to be an exception.

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