Google canceled last year’s annual Google I / O developer conference due to the pandemic, but this year it’s back –virtually.
The event kicks off Tuesday, May 18 at 1 p.m. ET / 10 a.m. PT with a keynote address by Google CEO Sundar Pichai. And while we’re not sure exactly what Google has in store this year, we’re hoping to find out more about Android 12, Google Assistant, and Google’s vision for the smart home.
New look of Android 12
It’s been a while since we’ve had a major Android UI overhaul, but three developer insights and a plethora of leaks suggest Android 12 is getting a major overhaul. The leaked screenshots show a new colorized interface, corresponding widgets, and menu layouts based on the dominant coloring of the chosen wallpaper. There’s also a reprized quick settings panel, with bigger buttons and more contextual information. Even the helper shows a bit of color when summoned.
XDA Developers has been discover some of the most significant interface changes we could see finalized in Android 12. Expect the always-on display and lock screen to be part of the redesign, along with other subtle effects of the user interface such as screen transitions and typography.
Other improvements in Android 12 will likely focus on audio and video playback and under-the-hood privacy and security changes. Reports point to specific features, like Android automatically shelving of unused applications and offering better support for scrolling screenshots, along with updated notification permissions.
There’s also a rumored gaming dashboard to come, though it’s unclear if it would be exclusive to Pixel devices. The game mode would actually add appropriate controls and useful information like a frames per second counter. It could be akin to the game launcher that OnePlus bundles with its smartphones, which blocks notifications and other interruptions so you can focus on gaming.
Finally, some traction for Wear OS
Wear OS is taking a lot of (well-deserved) heat to fall behind other smartwatch platforms, but we might finally see some updates. There are two I / O sessions time to go what’s up and how to develop Tiles for Wear OS. Google is even send surveys, asking for advice on what to do next.
And just when you thought the Pixel Watch rumor was dead in the water, it resurfaces with a vengeance. YouTuber Jon Prosser recently showed a convincing rendering of a circular watch that looks exactly like what we’ve all imagined a Pixel Watch.
It’s also the first big event since Google’s acquisition of Fitbit was a done deal.. We probably won’t see anything new on the Fitbit front (after all, they just announced the Fitbit Luxe last month), but maybe we’ll see more closely integration between your Fitbhe and Google accounts.
The latest piece of rumbling Wear OS comes from Korean MT press briefing, which points to a Assumed Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 running Wear OS instead of Samsung’s Tizen operating system. Speaking as someone wearing a Samsung Galaxy Watch Active because there was no comfortable equivalent of Wear OS, making it happen might be all Wear OS needs. get out of his current rut.
Don’t bet on the Pixel 6
With the event being virtual and the lack of live audiences for “ooh” and “ahh” on the ads, Google is unlikely to even show a sketched rendering of the Pixel 6 during the developer’s keynote – although it teased smartphones this way at the former developer conferences. There is still so much to learn about Whitechapel, It’s Google’s turn to make a mobile processor. And that would be such a big game against Apple’s silicon parade that it would warrant a separate event with the official launch of a new flagship device.
There’s no guarantee they’ll be featured during the Google I / O keynote, but Pixel Buds A already were. inadvertent leak on Twitter. They are a cheaper alternative to the regular Pixel Buds, which cost $ 180. According to the leak, they promise to deliver great sound and one-click pairing with Google Fast Pair.
Don’t rely too much on Google to reveal the budget Pixel 5a, either. With the global shortage of chips and delays in almost every nook and cranny of technological manufacturing, there is only one Little luck that the Pixel 5a is ready to launch this soon. At least we know it does happen, because Google has refuted reports that it had canceled the model, confirming instead, it would be available later this year in the United States and Japan.
The Google Assistant in your home
Google’s vision for the smart home will no doubt see some airtime during the keynote address. There is even a session dedicated to what’s new in google Assistant The next day. Depending on the description, we can expect to hear a state of the union of sorts for the assistant, along with announcements of new products, feature updates, and tooling changes. We could even potentially hear about BERT and how Google uses it to get us across to the Assistant when we’re talking gibberish, although that’s the kind of tech demo that plays out during the opening keynote.
There is a session later that same day about what’s new in smart home, with a mention of new product announcements and a showcase of Assistant experiences built by the developer community. Anything new introduced during those two sessions will likely be software updates or capabilities made available to the Assistant, as there is already a new batch of Nest Hub speakers and smart displays.
Google is also expected to announce new products for its home security system, including better security cameras and a second generation security system. Google last year ditched the Nest Secure DIY security kit, then revealed to 9to5Google that it was planning a “new range of security cameras for 2021”. It’s also plausible that he is teaming up with ADT security veterans, given the CEO of the company. told CNBC he would deploy “Google pproducts in the third quarter of 2021. “
Android in Your tv
Chromecast with Google TV took the last holiday season by storm to set the standard for Google TV devices in the future. There are no specific Google TV sessions in the calendar. However, there is already a developer preview available for Android 12 for TVs, and Google I / O is precisely the place to guide developers in this sort of thing. Any major Google TV news will likely be more subtle thanks to the code reveals and other features announced for Android 12.
Chromebooks in all forms
Chromebooks can’t be forgotten, especially not after the platform’s phenomenal growth during the pandemic. Google offers a session on what’s new in Chrome OS the day after the keynote. The session will cover updates to the Chrome OS Linux environment and new APIs. Hopefully, we’ll also learn how many people have adopted Android apps on Chromebook laptops since their launch almost three years ago.
Whatever Google plans to reveal, join us for our coverage of the Virtual I / O 2021 Developer Conference starting May 18 at 10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET.