Google I/O 2022: How to Watch and What to Expect

BY Chandraveer Mathur

Published 11 May 2022

Google’s annual conference for developers is here, set to commence on May 11. Despite the focus on developer-centric updates, the event usually sheds light on the next major Android update, upcoming Pixel smartphones and devices, and other Google-branded smart devices. This year seems to be no exception.

How to Watch Google I/O 2022?

The 2022 edition of Google I/O is all set to commence on May 11 with a keynote address from the company’s senior management. Like the recent iterations of the event in the last few years, the event will be held virtually. While that is something to sulk about if you love the electric atmosphere of in-person events, there is a bright side. The event will be streamed live for the world to watch for free. However, the event cannot be watched from embargoed countries.

This year’s event is being held virtually due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Google says this year, a small live audience will be allowed, but the conference will primarily be virtual. This arrangement is similar to last year’s, where the search giant allowed a few employees and partners to watch the show live at the Shoreline Amphitheater.

The Google Keynote, which kicks off the two-day conference, is being streamed live on YouTube. The keynote should paint a clear picture of what to expect from the remainder of the conference.

The live stream starts at 1 pm ET or 10 am PT, or 6 pm BT, and 10:30 pm IST on May 11. So, make sure you have a steaming hot cup of coffee and snacks to enjoy the show. If you miss it, though, it will remain online to watch later as well.

Developers interested in interacting with company staff can sign up on the Google I/O conference website. Once signed in with the same Google account linked to the developer profile, these developers can chat with others as a part of the I/O Adventure experience. The company promises “interactive experiences including virtual demos within I/O adventure.

What to Expect from Google I/O 2022?

Google is usually great a staying tight-lipped about the surprises and announcements it makes at the developer conference. However, this year, the Pixel Watch leaked, and other rumors from sightings in beta software gave us hints of what to expect from the event. Now that the schedule has been revealed, we can confirm that Google I/O 2022 isn’t a conference you want to miss.

Android 13

The search engine giant usually kicks off the official beta testing for the upcoming version of Android at this annual event. So, it is safe to assume Android 13’s second beta release will be one of the key talking points of the conference. The company could also spill the beans about the significant and minor changes we can expect from Android 13. The company has already teased a shift in how the back button will work, stirring up more trouble for third-party launcher apps.

Android 13

Google Pixel Watch

Google took a bold leap into the world of custom silicon with the Pixel 6 range last year. This year’s bold hardware move is expected to be a Pixel-branded smartwatch that was accidentally leaked after it was allegedly left behind at a bar. The leak extensively covered everything there is to know about the Pixel Watch’s design. The wearable was also spotted alongside the Pixel 6a on US carrier inventory lists. (More on the smartphone later).

Rumors suggest the Pixel Watch is internally codenamed Rohan and will be available in Gray, Black, and Gold. The watch is expected to sport cellular connectivity as standard and take the fight to the Apple Watch’s doorstep. It is also a possibility that Google merely teases the wearable at Google I/O and launches it at a dedicated event later this year.

Google Pixel Watch

Wear OS

Google’s operating system for smart wearables is also expected to get some screen time this year. Last year, the company discussed it extensively. This year, it revealed it was working with Samsung to create the latest Wear OS 3 update. However, there is only one event dedicated to Wear OS at this year’s Google I/O, suggesting there won’t be much to talk about the Pixel Watch either.

Pixel 6a

Another highly-anticipated segment of Google I/O 2022 is the possible return of a-series Pixel smartphones in the form of the Pixel 6a. Although the company launched the Pixel 4a and Pixel 5a in August of 2020 and 2021, their delayed launch could be attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the supply chain for smartphone components. Google launched its first a-series Pixel phone, the Pixel 3a, during the Google I/O conference back in 2019. History could repeat itself this year. While most of the phone’s details have leaked through the rumor mill, it will be interesting to wait and watch if Google unveils the phone during the conference this year.

Which segment of Google I/O 2022 are you most excited about? Tell us in the comments section below!