Watch a Google I/O 2022 live stream later this week, and you’ll see the usual software-centric fare you’d expect from a developers conference. But you might get a glance at some new hardware from Google, too.
Traditionally, Google uses its I/O conference to showcase the latest changes in software like Android or Wear OS, services like Gmail or Photos and advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning. But Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google parent company Alphabet, suggested in late April that hardware announcements were in the works for this year’s event. And we’ll find exactly what’s in store later this week.
Interested in seeing the new hardware Google’s cooking up? Want to find out the latest Android 13 news now that the first beta of the mobile phone software update is out? It’s all going to be available during the Google I/O keynote. And watching the live stream of the event guarantees that you’ll see every announcement out of Google I/O as it happens.
Here’s a guide on where to watch the Google I/O 2022 live stream and what you can expect to see once the event gets underway.
What is Google I/O?
Google I/O is the software giant’s annual developer conference. It’s been held annually since 2008, with one notable exception: In 2020, Google canceled the event because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Last year, Google I/O returned, but as a completely virtual event. The 2022 edition of Google I/O will be mostly online, too, though a small number of people are attending in person.
As a developer conference, Google I/O largely focuses on code and the nuts and bolts of Google’s vast array of software and services. App makers use the multi-day event as a way to get hands-on time with Google to make products for Android, Chrome, and whatever other platform you can think of.
However, Google I/O opens with a keynote where the company spells out to a broader audience new and updated software. That’s the portion of I/O that draws the most attention from the wider world.
When is the Google I/O 2022 keynote?
Google has scheduled the Google I/O 2022 keynote for Wednesday, May 11, at 1 pm ET/10 am PT/6 pm GMT. That event marks the beginning of Google I/O, which will run two days this year — May 11 and May 12.
Immediately after the opening keynote, Google will then hold a developer-centric keynote, likely going to software changes at greater depth. That keynote gets underway at 4 pm ET/1 pm PT/9 pm GMT.
You can get a full list of all the keynotes, learning labs and technical sessions at the Google I/O website.
How can I watch a Google I/O 2022 live stream?
The Google I/O page will have a live feed of the event that anyone can watch. Google has also posted a keynote stream on YouTube that will go live at 1 pm ET/10 am PT on Wednesday, May 11.
What should I expect from Google I/O 2022?
As noted above, Google tends to showcase its various software and services at I/O, with special attention paid to the next version of Android. In the past, I/O has marked the public debut of the latest Android beta, but this year, the Android 13 beta is already out, as Google works to get that update ready for a release later this year.
Still, the Google I/O keynote will be the first time Google can really go into depth on the new features and enhancements coming with Android 13. So far, much of what we’ve seen has been geared toward developers, as they work to update their apps for the new software. However, highlights in the first Android 13 beta include support for spatial audio, upgraded Bluetooth LE support, previews of copied text that you can edit and a new Photo Picker.
In addition to Android 13, expect some of these other products to share the Google I/O stage.
Pixel 6a: Wait, didn’t we just say that Google tends to focus on software at I/O? Yes, but the Pixel 6a might be an exception, as Google uses the spotlight from its developer conference to launch a new version of its budget phone.
The Pixel 6a is expected to switch to a Tensor chipset like the one used in Google’s Pixel 6 flagships, so talking about the new phone at Google I/O will give the company a chance to showcase its machine learning-powered features. The Pixel 6a is also expected to adapt the distinctive look of the Pixel 6 while continuing to sell for less than $500.
Pixel Watch: This is the other piece of hardware that’s widely expected to appear at Google I/O, though it may just be a preview of this long-awaited smartwatch from Google. One rumor suggests Google may show off the watch now, but wait until the fall to release the wearable alongside the Pixel 7 flagships.
Pixel Watch leaks show off a rounded design with a crown and two buttons on the side. Rumored features included sensors that can read heart rate, ECG and body fat percentage, much like the Galaxy Watch 4, which also runs on Google’s Wear OS. (And yes, expect to hear about an updated version of Wear OS, too.)
We could see up to three different Pixel Watch models, each with different specs or their own focus. Think of one watch aimed at the fitness sector, while another courts the lifestyle market.
Pixel Buds Pro: In the past week, leaker Jon Prosser has said that a new version of Google’s wireless earbuds is arriving soon, which would seemingly line up with the timing of Google I/O. The trouble is, there have been very few leaks about these buds, other than speculation they’d add more advanced features like active noise cancellation and spatial audio support. We’d consider this more of a longshot announcement compared to the Pixel 6a and Pixel Watch.
More software and services: Google is a vast company with a lot of different offerings — everything from the Chrome OS and Chrome browser to YouTube streaming and its G Suite of cloud-based office apps. Any one of those entities could demand stage time during I/O’s keynote.
Recent keynotes have introduced features to Gmail, Google Maps and Photos — widely-used software where new capabilities would be of interest to the vast majority of people tuning in to the I/O keynote. For that reason, you can probably bank on one or more of those offerings claiming a share of the spotlight. Similarly, there’s been a lot of activity on the mobile payments front, with rumors that Google is looking to revive its Wallet offering as a digital wallet complement to Google Pay transactions — that might be announced at I/O as well.
But the most likely possibility involves new capabilities for Google Assistant. At recent I/Os, Google has shown off how its assistant can book appointments over the phone and recognize text in photos — capabilities that worked their way into features on Android phones. These are attention-grabbing demos that show off Google’s mastery of AI and machine learning, and we’d imagine Google’s not going to pass up an opportunity to let us know about more advances in this area.