Google has confirmed the annual Google I/O event will return with a fully virtual event from May 18-20.
The company is expected to pull back the curtain on Android 12, as well as announcing the latest features for Chromebooks, Google/Android TV, as well as first-party apps like the Google Assistant, Search, Chrome, Maps, YouTube, Gmail and much more.
Android 12 has already been released in early developer previews, but we’re expecting to learn much more about 2021’s operating system during the main keynote address hosted by major Google executives and engineers.
It’s also possible we’ll see hardware at the event, with the mid-range Pixel 5a possibly landing, as well as a new pair of Pixel Buds, which were leaked on the Google Store earlier this week. We could also see new devices from the company’s Nest smart home offshoot, which includes thermostats, cameras, smart speakers and displays.
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The company isn’t announcing anything today, so we’ll have to wait until May 18 to see what’s in store at this year’s Google I/O conference.
Unfortunately, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Google has made the decision to hold a virtual event with no developers, media or members of the public in attendance. Given the progress being made with vaccines and therapeutics, it’s hoped that 2021 will be the last year for virtual events, but for now the decision is welcome. Last year, Google I/O was cancelled completely, so progress is definitely being made.
The announcement was confirmed by Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai on Twitter, who says the event will be free for everyone this year.
The Google I/O webpage explains: “Connect with developers from around the world at this year’s virtual Google I/O for thoughtful discussions, hands-on learning with Google experts, and a first look at our latest developer products.” The company also offers an interactive coding game for folks to figure out, in order to reveal the dates.