Google I/O 2022 Live Blog: Android 13, Pixel 6a, and Breaking News

Google I/O 2022 Live Blog: Android 13, Pixel 6a, and Breaking News

Tech Highlights:

  • But Google makes its own devices, too, and in the build-up to Google I/O, we’ve heard plenty of rumors suggesting that some of them may make an appearance during today’s keynote. The likely candidates include the latest budget phone from Google and perhaps even a peek at a long-awaited wearable that’s been rumored for years.

  • Discover all of Google’s yearly developer conference announcements. Philip Michaels’s article was published 32 minutes ago. Software is expected to dominate the topic for today’s Google I/O presentation (May 11). But don’t count out the possibility of a new piece of gear or two making an appearance. Google I/O is the software company’s annual developer conference, and with an audience of app developers, it’s only natural that Google would want to focus on new features coming to devices that run Google’s software. As a result, we’re sure to hear about everything from the latest Android version to Wear OS to Chrome.

But even if the Pixel 6a and Pixel Watch don’t materialize, expect a news-packed keynote, as Google typically has a lot to show off, from software to services to new advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning. The keynote starts at 1 p.m. ET / 10 a.m. PT / 6 p.m. BST, and you can watch the live stream of the Google I/O keynote on the event’s website, as well as in the embedded feed below. Our Google I/O 2022 preview 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.

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.

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.

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. If you want a stealth candidate for a Google product to make news at I/O, look no further than Maps, one of the software giant’s more popular programs. Maps has made frequent appearances at I/O keynotes over the years, as the crowd seems to get fired up by a helpful app gaining even more features.

Off the top of my head, the past few I/O keynotes have seen Maps add Google Assistant, adapt an incognito mode and work AR-guided navigation into Live View. What could be on tap for 2022? Your guess is as good as mine, but I’d predict something that leverages all that data Google’s collected about people and places to fuel some new Maps capability.

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