What to Expect From Google I/O 2022

Google I/O 2022 is all set and ready to take place on May 11 and 12. After a hiatus in 2020 following the pandemic and an online-only event in 2021, I/O 2022 has an in-person audience, albeit quite limited.

With all the buzz around software and hardware, there is a lot to unpack about this year’s event. We have rounded up everything we know about Google I/O 2022 so far including what it is, where you can watch it, and everything you can expect out of it this year.

What Is Google I/O?

For those uninitiated, Google I/O is the company’s annual developer conference where a bunch of hardware and software is announced, both in the form of developer tools and consumer-focused products. I/O is also where Google unveils public beta builds for the next version of Android.

Held in Mountain View, California every year, the CEO of Google delivers the opening keynote alongside different professionals unveiling feature drops and occasional hardware products. “I/O” stands for Input/Output, signifying how important this annual meetup is for developers.

When and Where Can You Watch Google I/O 2022?

You can watch Google I/O 2022 live on the official I/O website. Although you don’t need to register, those interested in earning badges and chatting during the event can sign up for a developer profile for free.

As usual, Google I/O will also be available to stream on Google’s YouTube channel making it convenient for mobile users. The event will begin with the keynote at 10:00 AM PDT on May 11 and will continue the next day.

What Does Google I/O 2022 Have to Offer?

There’s a detailed schedule on the I/O Program page, so you can tune in at just the right time for what you’re excited about. However, like every year, we expect Google to surprise us with more than just developer tools.

Android 13

While Google has already released the first beta for Android 13, we can expect to see a more finalized look at this next major iteration at I/O 2022. Last year, we got a complete overhaul with Android 12 in terms of design thanks to Material You, so it’s safe to say Google will be keeping it largely unchanged this time around.

There is speculation that Android 13 will bring a predictive back gesture. This might finally allow users to swipe to open the hamburger menu without accidentally triggering the back gesture. We can also expect Android 13 to play nicer with tablets and foldable devices as part of the Android 12L program.

Google Pixel 6a

The Pixel “a” lineup of phones has been a successful venture for Google, outselling their regular flagships. The formula of lower-spec and similar camera performance has proven to work in Google’s favor. The Pixel 6a is rumored to launch with the same in-house Google Tensor chipset and a similar design to its older siblings.

One area that is speculated to be toned down is the display, which is rumored to sport a standard 60Hz refresh rate as opposed to the higher 90 or 120Hz found on the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro. Some leaks suggest that the 6a will ship with a 90Hz panel regardless.

You can expect similar camera performance with a few corners cut to save on hardware costs. It could be the same camera module as in the Pixel 5. But if Google’s excellent photo processing is anything to go by, the Pixel 6a will be a no-brainer as a camera-centric phone.

Pixel Watch

The Pixel Watch is easily the most awaited product by Google in recent times. After much speculation and discussion, it seems like we could finally get to see a smartwatch by Google at this year’s I/O event. The Pixel Watch will be powered by WearOS 3, and we hope Google’s acquisition of Fitbit will yield us a good wearable.

Images of the alleged Pixel Watch have been floating around after a Reddit user apparently found one left at a restaurant. The images reveal a digital crown and an additional button for interaction. The Pixel Watch also uses proprietary watchbands and might feature Qi-enabled wireless charging.

Wear OS 3, Google Pay, and More

Google may unveil a redesigned Wear OS 3 update at the I/O event this year. Although we have already seen Google work with Samsung for a custom version of Wear OS, we are yet to see what a stock Wear OS 3 interface looks like.

Screenshots on Twitter by Mishaal Rahman, Senior Technical Editor at Esper, suggest a rebranding in the works for Google Pay. While Google Pay will still be used as a term for contactless payments, Google Wallet will be the new name for the app.

Other possibilities at this year’s I/O include a new Nest Hub display with deeper smart home integration. Although a Pixel Fold has been rumored, it is highly unlikely that we will get to see it at the I/O event this year.

We’re Excited for Google I/O 2022

There’s a lot more that will happen at Google I/O this year including updates for Google Play, Google Home, and Flutter. As always, you can expect there to be a good balance between hardware and software products announced, and maybe even a few more surprises along the way.

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