The annual Google IO event has been confirmed for 2022 – this year, it'll take place between May 11 and 12, with a big keynote conference kicking it off on that first date.
This was confirmed by the company's CEO Sundar Pichai, who posted on Twitter to confirm that the company's big yearly event would return on those dates – and at a physical location too, showing an interesting recommitment to physical events after the pandemic.
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
Nw, before you roll your eyes and think 'this is too techy, I don't care' – well, there's a reason this might be interesting to you.
You see, while Google IO is mainly a developer event, in the same vein as Apple's WWDC, we also sometimes see tech from the company unveiled at the event. So here's a quick sizzle through the key things we're hoping for.
Google almost always shows off its next Android update at IO – this year, that's Android 13.
We know a little bit about this update – a small beta brought lots of privacy features, code pointed to the ability to toggle the brightness of the phone's flashlight (though you'll need a device with hardware that facilitates this) and Google has teased the ability to compress apps you don't use much, saving you from deleting them.
Those are cool features but they're not exactly flagship ones, so we're hoping Google has something big up its sleeve for its unluckily-numbered next update.
Google IO is typically a software-focused event, but it generally didn't talk about Wear OS, its smartwatch operating system…
… until 2021, when Wear OS 3 was unveiled, and it was the biggest shake-up to the company's smartwatch software in years. It was designed alongside Samsung, but more companies were set to use the software for their wearables too.
It's been a bit of a quieter year for Wear OS than we expected, as not as many companies adopted the new system as we (and likely Google) would have liked. But with the backing of Samsung, we don't think Google will forget about its software – hopefully, we'll see new features for it that make it more tempting for manufacturers.
Google Pixel 6a
There's an outside chance that we'll see the Google Pixel 6a – the company has previously unveiled its affordable A series of gadgets at Google IO before, though it hasn't for a few years.
This would be an inexpensive take on the Pixel 6, designed for people whose budgets don't have space for super-pricey Android phones.
If the Pixel 6a doesn't appear, we could still see other A-series devices like earbuds, as they've shown up recently at IO too.