Google’s annual developer conference, Google I/O, is slated to take place from May 18 to May 21. The show will open with a keynote address from Google chief Sundar Pichai and other Google executives, and then we can expect the tech behemoth to announce new hardware, software, and various updates for its existing apps and services.
Android 12: This year’s Google I/O is expected to be all about Android 12. Google is likely to launch the first beta of the software at I/O 2021. This will allow the general public to preview the workings of the system. There will certainly still be bugs but not nearly as many as you would find on a developer preview.
Earlier, too, Google had launched the first beta of Android 9 and Android 10 on this platform. Android 11 beta was limited to Pixel devices only. We might see a similar limitation this year.
Google Pixel 5a: Google watchers are expecting the Google Pixel 5a phone launch at Google I/O. It likely would have launched the Pixel 4a at the 2020 event had it actually happened. Instead, the Pixel 4a landed in August.
Though the global paucity of chips might hit the launch of the 5a, but the company may announce its release date for later.
Google Pixel earbuds: Google entered the wireless buds market with the second-gen version of its Pixel Buds in 2020 that cost $129. There are rumors that it is ready to launch a cheaper variant of the earbuds named Google Pixel Buds A. The company’s plans to launch the buds were leaked in an email, and hence, it is believed that Google is ready to launch them now.
Though it is not clear what would be the pricing of the new buds and what all features will be removed to accommodate the cost reduction. There will likely be a new green colorway for the earbuds, though.
Whitechapel: Another rumor doing the rounds is that Google is ready to announce its first-ever custom mobile processor codenamed “Whitechapel” this year. The processor is meant for its upcoming Google Pixel 6.
Whitechapel is a co-development from Google and Samsung, with Google providing designs and Samsung providing hardware. It is believed that the Whitechapel comes with more advanced capabilities than the Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G that is being used in the Google Pixel 5a. However, it is nowhere comparable to Apple’s A14 bionic.
Smart Home: Google is also planning to showcase some smart home tech products at the I/O 2021.
Stadia: Google Stadia is going to see a quiet exit as it seems the game streaming platform has not witnessed much success in its one year of existence. We might see the expansion of device support, new game partnerships, or even updates to the entire business model of Stadia.
Smart Wear: A new OS-based smartwatch is on the anvil too from Samsung. This would be the first non-Tizen smartwatch from the brand since around 2014. Google’s is slowly moving away from Fitbit, but it could make some announcements related to Fitbit hardware and integration with the wider Google ecosystem.
Google Assistant: Google always updates the voice assistance capabilities at I/O events. We can expect some new trick revelations at this year’s event too.