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Google I / O 2021: Android 12, Pixel Buds and other things to expect


James Martin / CNET

Google I / O will begin next week and even though it̵

7;s a developer conference. But it’s likely we’ll be seeing some major product announcements, including more details about Android 12 and Pixel hardware.The company skipped I / O last year due to the outbreak, so there’s a lot to keep up with.

How to view Google I / O

Google I / O is totally virtual this year and is free to everyone, starting May 18th to 20th, keynote kicks off at 10:00 AM PT / 1:00 PM ET on May 18 Google. It has also published an official schedule for keynotes and conferences. To apply for Google I / O, you simply log into your Google account and register for the event.

Here’s everything we can expect to see in Google I / O.

Android 12 update

Android 12 is the biggest operating system change in years. A leaked screenshot earlier this year shows the interface, widgets and privacy features.

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Our first look at Android 12.


While the first developer beta released in February had a lot of changes under the hood. But there are a few hints in the Settings app that point to a completely redesign in the meantime, called “Material NEXT”. In a leak from XDA Developers, we may see a change in the lock screen, notification panel, and so on. New theme system

It is likely that Google will announce the public beta of Android 12 at Google I / O, so we got the first official look at the new Android paint job too.The I / O timing is also in line with Google’s schedule shown below. For Android 12 beta

Read more: Something else we can expect in Android 12..


This is Google’s own schedule for the Android 12 beta release.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani / CNET

Pixel Watch, Pixel Buds A-Series, WearOS

We’ve been hearing rumors about the Pixel Watch for years now.Can Google I / O finally be Google’s first brand wearable show? An April leak from Jon Prosser suggests that the round watch is likely to be powered by a newer version of WearOS.The display will show a bezel-less watch around the screen, no physical buttons, replaceable watchbands and watch indicators. There will be a heart rate sensor.

This is Google’s first major event since acquiring Fitbit.It seems unlikely that we’ll see new hardware as the Fitbit Luxe just announced, but Google could announce Fitbit integration in the broader Google ecosystem, or even. In WearOS itself

Another WearOS rumor from Korean news agency MT points to the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Watch 4, which uses Google’s operating system instead of Samsung’s Tizen, which we may hear more during I / O.


Android (Twitter account)

Google may have accidentally leaked the latest Pixel Buds in an email to Nest users in April, followed by an accidental tweet from Google’s Android account in May. As with the “A series” Pixel phones, the Pixel Buds A may cost less than the original Buds sold for $ 180.The leak also reveals the new mint green color, and the tweet says the earbuds will support it. New Fast Pair feature for quick pairing of Bluetooth devices on Android.

It seems highly unlikely that we will see the Pixel 5a announced at Google I / O as there is currently a global shortage of chips and the company has also released an official statement that the phone will be available later in the year. The Pixel 4a was released in August 2020, so by then Google should save the 5a announcement until next year.

The other wildcard could be Google’s rumored mobile processor, codenamed Whitechapel, which could be co-developed with Samsung and once again released on the upcoming Pixel 6. That phone was announced in the I / O, but the chip announcement could help developers find out.

Google Assistant and smart home products

Google I / O used to have demos that have stopped showing in the past, such as when Google Duplex AI had a phone conversation with a real person to appoint me. While we don’t have any leaks pointing to the exact capabilities coming to Google Assistant, perhaps we can hear the news of the new Assistant coming to other Android devices, not just Pixel phones.

The official blog post also says that new features and new product announcements are expected in the smart home.Google recently released the $ 99 Nest Audio in late 2020, so maybe it will get some new features or we may see it. New version of Nest Hub Max.

There is also speculation about Chromecast updated with an FCC filing that appeared in March.

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