Google is planning to host its annual I/O developer conference tomorrow on Tuesday, May 18, at 10:30 pm IST through a live stream. Instead of a large, in-person event, this year’s I/O will be a virtual event, thanks to the ongoing pandemic. The event will see the launch of Android 12 and likely updates to Google’s core services, and there’s a possibility of an unveiling of new Pixel hardware. Google I/O runs from May 18-20.
Here’s what’s to expect from the annual developer conference, how you can watch, and the top I/O rumours about what Google has up its sleeve.
How to watch Google I/O 2021
Tuesday’s keynote will stream on YouTube. The event is virtual this year and free for everyone. To sign up for Google I/O, all you need to sign in to your Google account and register for the event. Google has published an official schedule for keynotes.
Google I/O 2021 rumours: What to expect
I/O is largely a software-focused event, with Google entirely focusing on its core competencies. At I/O, we usually get a sneak peek of the next version of Android. Google releases the OS to developers early to get familiarise with the update before a beta release this summer. This year, Android 12 is getting a major revamp. Leaked screenshots reveal a visual change, featuring a new interface, widgets and privacy features. Google also uses its annual developer conference to announce major updates to its services and apps, including Chrome and Chrome OS. During previous events, Google announced exciting features coming to Maps and Google Assistant.
What about new hardware?
Google might announce new hardware at this year’s I/O. We have been hearing rumours of a Pixel Watch being in the works. In fact, last month leaker Jon Prosser showed a circular watch that could be the company’s first Pixel-branded smartwatch. It’s being said that the upcoming Pixel Watch will be running a new version of WearOS. The leaked Pixel Watch looks apart from Apple Watch. The Mountain View, California-based software powerhouse may also announce the new Pixel Buds. To be called the Pixel Buds A, they are rumoured to cost less than the original Pixel Buds. It’s highly likely Google will announce the price and availability of the Pixel 5a. Google last month confirmed the Pixel 5a. According to Google, the mid-range device “will be available later this year in the U.S. and Japan.”
New custom processor?
There’s a strong rumour that Google is secretly working on a custom-designed system-on-chip (SoC) for its flagship Pixel smartphones. Details are scarce right now, but clearly, Google has ambitions to take on Apple’s custom A-series chipsets used in iPhones with its first in-house designed SoC.