The Google Pixel Watch is a strong candidate to be revealed at I/O 2022 today, bringing an end to a long wait for the company’s first wearable.
While we don’t know for sure what it will look like or what its specs will be, we have a pretty good idea due to a multitude of leaks over the past few months.
The biggest of these, a couple of weeks ago, came when a Pixel Watch prototype was reportedly left in a restaurant. Yes, really. Assuming the images are genuine, it looks to be an attractively curved smartwatch with a near-bezel-less design and a couple of hardware buttons on the side.
If you want a stealth candidate for a Google product to make news at I/O, look no further than Maps, one of the software giant’s most popular programs. Maps have made frequent appearances at I/O keynotes over the years, as the crowd seems to get fired up by a helpful app gaining even more features.
Off the top of my head, the past few I/O keynotes have been seen Maps add Google Assistant, adapt an incognito mode and work AR-guided navigation into Live View. What could be on tap for 2022? Your guess is as good as mine, but I’d predict something that leverages all that data Google’s collected about people and places to fuel some new Maps capability.
There’s one hardware rumor that I don’t think will pan out for Google I/O 2022 and it involves the supposedly imminent launch of the Pixel Buds Pro.
A few weeks back, leaker Jon Prosser said that the Pixel Buds Pro were set to debut soon, and even listed some colorways the wireless earbuds would appear in. Prosser did not specifically mention I/O in his tweet from him, but at the time, the developer conference seemed soon enough to fit the bill.
Google Pixel Buds Pro coming 🔜Real Red, Carbon, Limoncello, FogMay 3, 2022
There’s only one problem with that line of thinking — we haven’t heard many details about the earbuds themselves. And that’s usually as good a sign as any that a launch won’t happen any time soon. The more rumors you hear about a product, the closer you are to a launch, at least in my experience.
Then again, given my experience with tech predictions, don’t be surprised should Sundar Pichai stride to the Google I/O stage today sporting a pair of Pixel Buds Pro.
As for potential Tensor powers, I tackled that topic a few weeks back when I wrote about the Pixel 6 features I hope to find in the Pixel 6a. Let’s just say that Magic Eraser — the tool for one-tap removals of unwanted objects and people from photos — had best make the grade.
To my way of thinking, there are two intriguing things about the Pixel 6a, which may or may not show up at Google I/O today. For starters, what will adding the Tensor chip to the Pixel 6a enable the budget phone to do? And how does the Pixel 6a stack up against the Galaxy A53?
The answer to the first question probably helps supply the answer to Question No. 2. Should it arrive now, the Pixel 6a appears at a time when it’s the Samsung phone that can claim to be better value among Android handsets, at least if our Galaxy A53 vs. Pixel 5a face-off is anything to go by. The Pixel 6a has its work cut out for it to topple the A53, and Google’s usual expertise with photography will only go so far.
My colleague Jordan Palmer has been spending a lot of time with Android 13, and he goes into today’s keynote hoping that Google addresses a thorny issue — just what exactly third-party apps can track about you on Android.
If you read Jordan’s Android 13 wish listyou’ll find that he thinks the solution to what ails Android lies in Apple’s approach to the same issue with its iPhones.
Google I/O is traditionally Android’s coming out party, with Google showing off its upcoming software update during the I/O keynote, and kicking off a beta process that culminates in a release of the next version of Android toward the end of summer.
android 13 may well launch in the same time frame later this year, but you can already get the first beta of this software update, provided you have a Pixel phone. However, we’d expect Android 13 to get a big showcase during today’s keynote, especially if Google wants to talk up any features that haven’t gotten much attention yet.
Good morning, and welcome to Tom’s Guide’s Google I/O 2022 live blog. We’ll keep you up to date on all the latest news from the conference as it happens — so bookmark this page and check back regularly.