Google announced its IO 2022 keynote conference for May 11, concluding on May 12, which will mainly be an online event.
After Google canceled its 2020 event due to the pandemic, Google IO 2021 was online only. But with this year's event seemingly hosting an online and offline audience, we may see more demos this year of what Google's been working on.
We suspect Sundar Pichai will kick off the main keynote on May 10, which we expect will be free to stream as before.
We’ll be back live from Shoreline Amphitheatre for this year’s #GoogleIO! Join us online May 11-12 https://t.co/KgNKbaLeym pic.twitter.com/NUodJb7UCiMarch 16, 2022
We won't know officially until the May 11 keynote what Google intends to show off, but we can already extrapolate based on the rumors and leaks coming from Google's camp. Below, we'll predict Google's hardware and software lineup for Google IO 2022, as well as explain how the virtual event will work.
Google IO 2022 is announced as a mostly-online event, but you can register to attend.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? Google’s yearly developer conference
- When is it? May 11-May 12, 2022
- How can I register / how much does it cost? On the Google event page for free; all you need is a Google account
What are the Google IO 2022 dates?
Google revealed that its developer conference would take place from Wednesday, May 11 through Thursday, May 12. Google regularly schedules its annual three-day conference for mid-May, making these dates on-brand for the company.
The traditional keynote hasn't been confirmed as yet, but we expect it to be held on the first day of IO 2022, May 11.
Is Google IO online-only?
Google canceled the May 2020 event in early March 2020, right at the advent of the pandemic when everyone had begun to shelter in place and live events felt increasingly unsafe.
Google normally holds the Google IO keynote and subsequent developer sessions in physical gatherings at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, California, where COVID-19 restrictions on large events are slowly being lifted across the country.
But with Google IO 2021 repeating the same plan as 2020, many had assumed that IO 2022 would follow. This has turned out to be partly true, as you can register to attend, but the company has said that invites will be hard to attain.
How Google IO 2022 will work
Most casual Google users associate Google IO with the keynote address, which streams online where anyone can watch it. But in previous years you could also buy a pass to attend Google developer sessions, new product demos, labs to learn about new code, and other events for professionals or hobbyists.
This year, most of those events look to be virtual and free, with Google announcing more details as the event gets closer.
Some Google IO 2022 events will be free to all and rewatchable on-demand, as in previous years. But there will be other events that will require you to reserve a slot due to its popularity.
What to expect at Google IO 2022
Based on Google's annual product and software calendar, plus all the leaks and rumors we've heard about, we have a general idea of what Sundar Pichai and the Google execs will discuss during the Google IO 2022 keynote. Here are the highlights:
The latest Android OS is already in the developer beta stage on Pixel 6 phones and lower, but we're certain that Google will spend time outlining Android 13's undisclosed tricks on stage.
With Apple almost certainly introducing iOS 16 at WWDC in June, Google will want to jump ahead of that and show off its newest innovations first. It could even announce the launch of the Android 13 public beta, though that isn't confirmed.
While the preview shows few hints towards Android 13, it does look as though privacy will be another focus for Google in this release, alongside more refined theme options.
With Android 12L focusing on tablets more than ever, there's a chance that we may see an Android 13L that's primarily tailored for tablets and foldable devices.
Less likely: Pixel 7 and Pixel Tablet
Google is actively developing the Pixel 7 and a Pixel foldable phone, alongside a rumored Pixel Tablet, potentially for a simultaneous October 2022 release. That's far enough out that Google may not want to show off their specs or hardware until it's closer to Fall.
But Google IO has primarily been software-focused, with the only hardware being shown in previous years, being a Chromecast or Google Home products.
However, with IO 2022 allowing some attendees, there's always a chance that hands-on demos is something that the company will want to take advantage of.
New Fitbit hardware or Wear OS updates
Since Google IO 2021, we've seen a bigger focus from the company on how Wear OS 'fits' in its product line, but we've yet to see another Google-branded smartwatch return.
This may be the year that we see a section dedicated to Fitbit, Wear OS, and more. Google is aware that the Apple Watch rules over all others in the category, and 2022 may be the year that we see some more major improvements.