What to expect from the developer conference

Google’s annual developer extravaganza, Google I/O, is almost here. The conference is set to begin on May 11, starting with a keynote address at 10:00 AM PT (that’s 1 PM ET, 7 PM CET, and 10:30 PM IST).

As with last year’s conference, I/O 2022 will be free to ‘attend’ (virtually, that is), and everyone can stream the entirety of the event from the comfort of their pajamas. That said, the opening keynote usually has the most relevant announcements for everyday consumers, so that’s the bit you’ll want to be sure to watch.

We’re anticipating plenty of exciting news — including a good deal of hardware. What follows are our best guesses on the news to come, grouped by likeliness.


Android 13

It’s no surprise that Android 13 is coming; there’s a new version every year, after all, and enterprising users can already test the OS in its beta form.

So far, that beta hasn’t been very exciting. It features some minor UI tweaks and extra customization options for Google’s Material You design language, but so far it doesn’t look drastically different from Android 12.

The most useful new day-to-day feature might be a new clipboard that lets you keep track of copied text and images and edit them before pasting. Google is also trying to wrangle notifications by proactively asking you if you want to continue to see notifications from various applications. I appreciate it, but it’s a little ironic that Android 13 sends you popup notifications to ask you if you want to stop notifications.

All that being said, the company tends to keep some of its most exciting features — as well as public-facing beta builds — until I/O. While I wouldn’t expect any dramatic changes given the major redesign we got with Android 12, Google says and 13 is focused on privacy and security, so we’ll probably see various updates in that regard.

Updates to the Google Assistant and other services

We haven’t heard concrete rumors about the Google Assistant for I/O 2022, but Google always has something to say about its voice AI at the event. You can expect the same this year.

Likewise, you can expect a litany of updates across Google’s various products like Maps, Photos, and Drive.


The Pixel Watch

There’s a really good chance we’ll hear more about the Pixel Watch at I/O this year. There have been leaks aplenty in the past few weeks, strongly hinting the device will at least be announced soon.

The Pixel Watch will seemingly sport a round design with curved edges and silicone straps; it looks a bit like a mythical round Apple Watch. It also seems to be significantly smaller than the majority of Wear OS devices.

Leaked Pixel Watch
Credit: Reddit