Here in year three of the pandemic, mask mandates may be lifting, but tech announcement events are still virtual.
Google kicks off its I/O developer shindig on Wednesday. Like last year, the soiree will primarily be an online affair. Some Google employees will be in attendance at Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, California, but the rest of us will be watching a livestream.
I/O is technically a developer event where software programmers attend sessions and learn how to make apps for Google’s platforms. But the company also uses the first day’s keynote address to announce new products. Lots of news has been rumored or leaked already, so we have a decent idea of what’s to come. There’s always room for a few surprises, however. (Never know when you’re going to be accosted by some wild new drone.)
Google likes to tease the newest iteration of its Pixel phones at I/O. It’s about time for Google’s budget-conscious line to expand with the Pixel 6A, which some leaks suggest will be equipped with Google’s premier Tensor chip. (Though the camera will likely be a downgrade from the current flagship phone, the Pixel 6.)
Rumors have also been swirling about a Pixel Watch. It might—finally! At last!—be time for Google to reveal it. If the many leaks are to be believed, the Pixel Watch will embrace a traditional round design (unlike the Apple Watch’s square motif).
On the software side, there’s bound to be a suite of updates to Android’s mobile operating system. Android 13 is in beta now, with a full release expected this Fall. At past I/O events, Google has shown off new aesthetic changes to its mobile apps, as well as updates to privacy settings, shopping features, and wearable OS.
How to Watch
The keynote event starts Wednesday, May 11 at 1 pm Eastern, 10 am Pacific. Expect the presentation to last about two hours. You can stream it right here on this page or, if you feel like Google’s just not getting enough web traffic these days, at the I/O website. You can also watch live on Google’s YouTube page. (There’s a stream in American Sign Language too.) Check back on WIRED.com during and after the event for all sorts of nerdy analysis about what’s been announced and what it all means.
If you want a peek into the I/O developer experience, you can sign up to attend the event for the full two days. Like last year, attendance is free, though you will need to make an account to gain access to the technical sessions.