Software figures to take up a lot of the agenda for the opening Google I/O keynote today (May 11).
How to watch the event
Google I/O 2022 is happening online this year as well and is free to attend with invitations open to everyone. The keynote is scheduled to begin at 10 AM PDT (10:30PM) on May 11. If you intend to attend the event, do remember to register yourself first on io.google/2022.
Google I/O 2022 has a look at the big expectations headed into this event, but here’s a quick recap of the major rumored announcements leading up to today’s keynote.
Android 13: We’re almost certain to get a preview of the next version of Google’s mobile software, even if Android 13 Beta 1 is already out. Changes thus far have been mostly aimed at developers, though you can now edit copied text before you paste it and there’s a new Photo Picker. Past I/O keynotes have explained the focus of each Android update, and we’d expect to see android 13 get similar treatment this year.
Wear OS: Google’s wearable software got a major overhaul last year, and Wear OS 3 even powers the Galaxy watch 4 — but only that smartwatch so far. It’s possible that changes at Google I/O 2022, as Google could unveil which Snapdragon Wear 4100-powered watches will get the software update. There’s a possibility of new Wear OS features as well.
Pixel 6a and Pixel Watch: If Google is going to make any hardware announcements at Google I/O 2022, it’s likely to include one or both of the Pixel 6a and Pixel Watch. The former is the lower cost version of the Pixel 6, rumored to be including the same Tensor chipset that caused a splash with last fall’s flagships. The latter would be Google’s first attempt at a smartwatch all its own.
Just because hardware gets previewed at Google I/O won’t necessarily mean it will be available immediately. One Pixel Watch rumor suggests we’re only going to get a glimpse at the watch, with the full release not happening until later in the fall, about the same time Google’s Pixel 7 flagships debut.
Other potential announcements: Hardly a Google I/O keynote goes by without Google announcing new features for some of its software and services, so expect Maps, Photos and the Google Suite apps (Docs, Sheets and the rest) to potentially wind up in the spotlight. Google’s work on artificial intelligence is ongoing, and you’d expect that to translate into some on-stage demos showing off a new Google Assistant feature or two. And Google has its fingers in software for everything from your car to your TV to your smart home. Any one of those things could get a shout-out during Google I/O.