Google I/O 2022 preview: what to expect from Android 13 to Pixel 6a

Google I/O 2022 preview: what to expect from Android 13 to Pixel 6a

Google I/O 2022 preview: what to expect from Android 13 to Pixel 6a

If you’ve got a keen interest in technology, chances are you’ve heard that an event called Google I/O is coming up this May. If you’re new to I/O, we’re here to explain when it is and what it’s all about.

For seasoned I/O followers, our guide features all the key details for the conference, which once again is operating a bit differently due to the pandemic. Read on for everything you need to know, including the I/O 2022 dates and a full preview of what to expect, from the Pixel 6a and Pixel Watch to Android 13 and much more.

When is Google I/O? 2022 dates and format

Google I/O 2022 is taking place May 11-12 at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, California where the company is based. For global audiences, this is the San Francisco Bay Area in Northern California. The all-important keynote takes place Wednesday, May 11 at 10:00am local PT, which is 1pm ET and 6pm BST in the UK.

The Shoreline has a capacity of 22,500, comprised of 6,500 reserved seats and 16,000 general admission places on the lawn. This year I/O obviously won’t be anywhere near full due to ongoing Covid concerns in California, with in-person attendance mostly limited to essential company personnel. More on that below.

What is Google I/O?

Google I/O is the tech superpower’s annual developer conference. When most people talk about I/O, what they’re actually talking about is the opening keynote on the first day of the event. This is where Google typically highlights its latest major software updates for platforms like Android and – sometimes – it has new hardware to showcase as well.

After that, subsequent keynotes and workshops tend to be much more technically focussed and of less interest non-devs. Does “Build an event-driven orchestration with Eventarc and Workflows” tickle your fancy? Then you’ll love all of I/O 2022. If it makes you go ‘WTF?!’ then it’s likely just the main keynote you’ll want to tune it for.

Of course, Stuff will be covering all the biggest announcements out of I/O 2022 live, so for all the latest headlines, reveals and analysis, you can also just stick with us.

Before the pandemic, the opening Google I/O keynote was a mass attendance in-person event, but it has been more restrained in the last couple of years, due in part to the online-only format enforced by Covid. This year, I/O 2022 is still very much still a digital event, with only a handful of employees and partners attending the Shoreline Amphitheater in-person for the keynotes.

This means we probably won’t get any of the eyebrow-raising stunts I/O used to be known for in years gone by. But as well as health and safety, the benefit of the format is that it means anyone can watch Google I/O live online. There’s a couple of basic software requirements, but most people probably meet them without even realising it. Scroll down to our Google I/O live stream guide below for full details.

Everything to expect at Google I/O 2022

Pixel Watch reddit leak, courtesy of user tagtech414
An alleged Google Pixel Watch, as shared by Reddit user tagtech414

Google is expected to pack I/O 2022 with plenty of new product announcements – guaranteed on the software side in the form of the latest Android updates, and likely at least one piece of new hardware to showcase its powers. Here’s e

Android 13

The one dead cert for I/O 2022 is that we’ll get our first proper look at the latest version of Google’s mobile software, Android 13. Google stopped officially naming its mobile OS after delicious treats with Android 9 Pie, but internally Android 13 is rumoured to be called Tiramisu – one of Stuff’s favourites, for what it’s worth. What will actually likely be released at Google I/O this year is Android 13 Beta 2, which is historically more significant than Beta 1, which often lacks some of the update’s headline new features.

That said, don’t expect Android 13 to be as big a change as Android 12 was. It’s understood that Android 13 will be comprised of mostly feature updates rather than representing a total overhaul – still exciting, but perhaps a tad less so than last year’s total design overhaul.

Pixel 6a

Of the various possibilities for new Google hardware at I/O 2022, the Pixel 6a is the most likely and makes the most sense. Google has a long history of offering more affordable ‘A series’ alernatives to its flagship smartphones – this year, the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro – and before Covid it the first of these in May 2019 at that year’s I/O. Plus, the Pixel 6a has recently passed through the FCC in America, strongly suggesting an imminent launch.

Pixel Watch

The other candidate for an all-new Google gadget at I/O 2022 is the oft-rumoured Pixel Watch. Big G has been said to be working on an in-house smartwatch since all the way back in

Another possibility is that Google reveals the Pixel 6a and teases us with the Pixel Watch, saving its full reveal for later in the year – likely this autumn, when it could launch alongside the new Pixel 7 flagships.

Updates for Chrome OS, Google Home and more

In addition, the full I/O 2022 schedule reveals that most of Google’s software will be on the receiving of an important update this year – the biggest of which will be highlighted at its annual conference. Specifically mentioned are Chrome OS, Google Home, Google Pay, and Google’s AR tools, so whatever Google device you own, chances are it’s going to be that little bit more exciting by the time I/O is done and dusted.

Google I/O live stream: how to watch Google I/O 2022 online

Image credit: Google

Google has promised that anyone watch the I/O 2022 opening keynote live online, saying it will make an I/O 2022 live stream available “completely free and open to everyone virtually.”

This is likely to be available on the Google YouTube channel and will also almost certainly be on the official Google I/O website, where developers can register for an account to stream sessions and keynotes from the entire conference.

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