Google I/O begins as we speak: Android 12, Pixel Buds and what else we’re anticipating

James Martin/CNET

Google I/O kicks off as we speak, and regardless that it is a builders convention, we’ll doubtless nonetheless see some main product bulletins. We’re anticipating extra particulars on Android 12 and probably Pixel {hardware}. The corporate skipped I/O final 12 months as a result of pandemic, so there’s lots to compensate for. 

Find out how to watch Google I/O

Google I/O is totally digital this 12 months and free for everybody to attend, working Might 18 by 20. The opening keynote begins at 10 a.m. PT/1 p.m. ET on Might 18. Google has additionally printed an official schedule for keynotes and breakout classes. To join Google I/O, you simply must register to your Google account and register for the occasion. 

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This is all the things we anticipate to see at Google I/O.

Android 12 updates

Android 12 might carry the most important visible change to the working system in years. Leaked screenshots emerged earlier this 12 months displaying a brand new interface, widgets and privateness options.

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Our first take a look at Android 12


Whereas the primary developer beta launched in February had a whole lot of adjustments below the hood, there have been a number of hints within the Settings app pointing to a whole redesign on the best way. Known as “Materials NEXT” in a leak from XDA Builders, we might even see adjustments to the lock display, notifications panel and a brand new theming system.

It is doubtless Google will announce the general public beta of Android 12 at Google I/O, so we might see the primary official take a look at Android’s new paint job, too. The timing of I/O additionally roughly traces up with Google’s schedule proven under for Android 12 beta releases. 

Learn extra: All the things else we’re anticipating in Android 12.

That is Google’s personal schedule for Android 12 beta releases. 

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET
Pixel Watch, Pixel Buds A-Collection, WearOS

We have been listening to rumors a few Pixel Look ahead to years. May Google I/O lastly be the occasion to showcase Google’s first branded wearable? A leak in April from Jon Prosser confirmed a round watch doubtless powered by a brand new model of WearOS. The renders present a watch with out a bezel across the display, no bodily buttons, interchangeable watch straps and indications the watch may have a coronary heart price sensor.

That is additionally the primary main Google occasion since buying Fitbit. It appears unlikely that we’ll see new {hardware} because the Fitbit Luxe was simply introduced, however Google might announce broader integration of Fitbit throughout the Google ecosystem, and even in WearOS itself.

One other WearOS rumor from Korean information outlet MT factors to the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Watch four working Google’s working system as an alternative of Samsung’s personal Tizen, which we’d hear extra about throughout I/O.

Android (Twitter account)

Google could have already unintentionally leaked the most recent Pixel Buds in an e-mail to Nest customers in April, adopted up with an unintentional tweet from Google’s personal Android account in Might. Identical to the “A collection” of Pixel telephones, the Pixel Buds A could price lower than the unique Buds that presently promote for $180. The leak additionally confirmed a brand new mint inexperienced shade, and the tweet stated the earbuds will help the brand new Quick Pair function for fast Bluetooth gadget pairing on Android.

It appears extremely unlikely we’ll see the Pixel 5a introduced at Google I/O, given that there is presently a world chip scarcity and the corporate additionally issued an official assertion saying the telephone can be launched later within the 12 months to quash rumors of its cancellation. The Pixel 4a was launched in August 2020, so on condition that timing, it is smart for Google to avoid wasting the 5a announcement till later within the 12 months.

The opposite wildcard could possibly be Google’s rumored cell processor. Codenamed Whitechapel, it might be developed together with Samsung and make its debut within the upcoming Pixel 6. Once more, it is unlikely we’ll see that telephone introduced at I/O, however asserting the chip might give some heads-up for builders.

Google Assistant and sensible residence merchandise

Google I/O has had some show-stopping demos up to now, like when the Google Duplex AI had a pure telephone dialog with an actual individual to make a hair appointment. Whereas we have no leaks pointing to precise capabilities coming to the Google Assistant, possibly we might hear information of the brand new Assistant coming to extra Android units, not simply Pixel telephones. 

An official weblog put up additionally stated to anticipate new options and new product bulletins in sensible residence. Google simply launched the $99 Nest Audio towards the tip of 2020, so possibly it might get some new options, or we might see a brand new model of the Nest Hub Max.

There’s additionally hypothesis about an up to date Chromecast, because of an FCC submitting that appeared in March. 

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