What To Expect From Google I/O 2022

Google CEO Sundar Pichai recently confirmed the dates for Google I/O 2022, the next iteration of its annual conference intended for developers. In a tweet, Pichai revealed the event will kickstart on May 11, 2022, and end the next day.

Like last year's Google I/O, the 2022 edition is mostly an online-only event that developers will need to register for in order to attend. The company has also indicated there will be some form of in-person attendance only open for select guests — and this does not include members of the tech blogging or journalism industry.

The Google I/O conference has traditionally witnessed several product and feature launches from the company. In addition, the occasion has also been used to discuss features coming to future Android versions, and the 2022 conference is likely to be no different.

The company has, in the past, also used the conference as a launchpad for several of its hardware products that include the likes of Google Home (in 2016) and several Pixel smartphones — including the Pixel 3a and the 3a XL. While not confirmed yet, there is a good chance we may see the company announce a couple of new products at Google I/O 2022.

Since most of us are not really keen on the developer side of the Google I/O conference, this article focuses on possible announcements that Google may make this year.

Likely announcements at Google I/O 2022

It's safe to assume a significant part of the conference — including the keynote — will be dedicated to Android 13. With Google having already released the Android 13 Beta for select Pixel series handsets, we already know what some of these features are. However, there is reason to believe Google could be saving some of its best features for the day of the announcement.

While we still do not know the general theme of Android 13's direction, initial indications are Google will be primarily focusing on privacy-related aspects with this iteration of Android. This is an almost necessary step given that Apple has taken significant strides in this direction with iOS 15.

There have also been reports about the likelihood of Google renewing its focus on tablets, given the developments we have witnessed with Android 12L. Google I/O could be used to showcase the new features Google intends to bring to tablets and large screened Android devices with Android 13L.

What about hardware?

As for hardware, there has been talk about the company launching a new Pixel tablet before the end of 2022. Previous reports discussed the possibility of Google announcing a new Pixel tablet alongside the Pixel 7 smartphone and the Pixel foldable phone by October 2022. However, given there is a four-month gap between Google I/O in May and October, it is unlikely Google may showcase any of these rumored devices at the event. However, the company could still use the occasion to send out teasers for these products – just like it did for the Pixel 6 lineup last year.

It is also pertinent to note that Google does not have a history of announcing major hardware products at Google I/O, with the exceptions being some Google Home products, a couple of Pixel smartphones, and select Chromecast models.

What about wearables? We expect Google to dedicate a significant portion of its keynote to new initiatives it's planning for WearOS. Given Apple's dominance in the smartwatches segment, there is a chance the company has planned major feature updates to its wearables operating system — some of which could be announced at Google I/O 2022. There is also the likelihood of Google clubbing these initiatives with new Fitbit hardware.

How to attend Google I/O 2022

Since the pandemic hit in 2020, Google has transformed Google I/O into an online-only event. As a result, anyone can e-attend by simply tuning into the live broadcast.

For those interested in attending developer-centric sessions, there is an option to register for the event, following which they can save and view content that's relevant to them. In order to register, you may be required to create a developer profile. Unless you are keen on the developer events scheduled for Google I/O, we recommend watching the standard, free-for-all keynote, which should cover all the consumer-centric announcements from the company.