Google I/O, the company’s annual developer conference, is set to begin this week with an opening presentation on Wednesday, May 11. With hardware and software announcements for products set to be released in the next year or so, the keynote is relevant to a much broader audience than just helping developers. 

Pixel 6a, Pixel Watch

Image source: Androidcentral

For the past three years, Google has followed up each of its flagship Pixel smartphones with a less expensive model with fewer features. It’s the Pixel 6’s turn this year, but rumours suggest the Pixel 6A will be different from previous A-series handsets. Last year, 9to5Google reported that the new phone would have the same Tensor processor as the Pixel 6, but a 12-megapixel main camera sensor instead of the Pixel 6’s 50-megapixel sensor.

A Google smartwatch has long been rumoured, but 2022 could be the year it happens. There have been spec and design leaks, and a filing with the US Patent and Trademark Office revealing the Pixel Watch name. Most notably, an apparent prototype of the smartwatch was found abandoned in a restaurant, resulting in a flood of photos being posted online.

Android 13

Android 13 themed icons

On the software front, Android 13 is the next major release of Google’s mobile operating system. It has technically already been released in beta, providing small glimpses of Google’s plans for the update, but we won’t get a full picture of Google’s overall vision for Android 13 until I/O.

Updates to other platforms

Google does not manage only one operating system. It also has Wear OS for smartwatches, which will almost certainly get some stage time if Google does announce its Pixel Watch this week.

There’s also its Android TV and Google TV software, and the company appears to be interested in offering support for home fitness workouts, as well as more smart home controls and video conferencing services.

A new Nest Hub?

Given that Google’s last Nest Hub smart display was released only a year ago, it seems hasty to expect a follow-up. However, according to a March 9to5Google report, we may see one with a detachable screen that can be used as a tablet this year. The form factor appears to be ideal for a smart home controller, which would also explain Google’s renewed interest in tablets. 

With a rumoured launch date of “2022,” there’s no guarantee Google will be able to show off the new product this week, assuming it exists at all.


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