Google’s entering 2024 at a familiar position where the company’s hoping to keep the momentum going from its Pixel 8 launch last fall. But the wait won’t be long before we hear about what the tech giant is planning for the rest of the year, seeing that Google I/O 2024 is likely our next opportunity.
Google I/O 2024 should yield big things that the company is working on, riding off the release of the Pixel 8, Pixel 8 Pro, and Pixel Watch 2 last fall. While hardware continues to be an integral part of the focus, where Google has been receiving the most attention of late is around artificial intelligence.
We saw that first hand with Google AI assisted features such as Magic Editor and Best Take for the Pixel 8 series, but in a surprising turn of events, Google’s been tapped to power other AI experiences on rival devices — like the recent Galaxy S24 lineup. Circle to Search is one the more profound features on those phones brought together with Google’s help.
Even though we’ve yet to officially hear anything around Google I/O 2024, we’ll break down everything we know about the annual developers conference, what we could see and try to answer the most pressing questions about it.
Google I/O 2024: Potential dates
Chances are Google I/O 2024 will happen in May, perhaps mid-month at the latest. That’s a strong possibility given how Google historically held the event in that month, like how last year’s Google I/O 2023 conference was held on May 10, 2023.
The only exception was in 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic cancelled the event entirely. Additionally, Google has chosen Wednesday the last two times to kick off its conference — so the most likely dates for Google I/O 2024 would be May 8 or May 15.
In order to participate, registration is required ahead of time. We suspect it’ll happen in early March, which would line up with last year’s time frame of March 7. The conference is free and open to everyone, assuming they’ve registered ahead of time.
Google I/O 2024: How to watch
Similar to last year’s schedule, you should be able to watch the keynote and the subsequent on demand content directly from the official Google I/O site — along with Google’s official YouTube channel.
Google I/O 2024: Android 15
One certain topic that should be touched at the annual developers conference is Android 15, codenamed Vanilla Ice Cream. That’s the dessert name of choice for this upcoming version of the software, following Android 14’s Upside Down Cake.
The visual aesthetics of the mobile operating system hasn’t seen a substantial facelift over the past few generations, but at least we could see the return of lock screen widgets. Android did offer widgets in the lock screen previously between Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and Android 5 Lollipop, but has since abandoned them. Given how the iPhone recently got a boost with StandBy Mode in iOS 17, the reintroduction of widgets to the lock screen could pave the way for a similar feature.
Google I/O 2024: AI rumors
Google’s been able to define its gadgets by focusing heavily around artificial intelligence. After years of seeing it to a degree with services like how Google Assistant can make restaurant reservations on your behalf with Google Duplex, AI features became the integral component for the company’s Pixel 8 lineup.
We suspect that we’ll hear more about AI-assisted features for its entire product portfolio at Google I/O 2024, as well as potential partnerships to bring them to other devices. For example, Samsung partners with Google to bring Circle to Search to the Galaxy S24 lineup. Most of Google’s AI features are tailored for smartphones, but it would benefit to bring them to its laptops, Chromebooks, wearables, and more.
Meanwhile, we could learn more about the new and improved Google Assistant with Bard integration, which is reportedly coming in March but could launch at Google I/O instead. And Google has also announced that it will be rolling out a premium version of Bard Advanced powered by the company’s Gemini Ultra model.
Google I/O 2024: Pixel 8a
Google I/O is usually when we first hear about the company’s affordable Pixel; the A-series. We were first introduced to the Pixel 7a during Google I/O 2023, so we could presumably see its successor in the Pixel 8a at Google I/O 2024.
Leaks about the phone have been slow, but we’ve already seen renders that show minimal changes to the Pixel 8a’s design — along with what the retail packaging looks like. Between now and Google I/O 2024, we should get more concrete details about the phone apart from the leaks that hint to an underclocked version of the Tensor G3 and a slight change in display.
What’ll be interesting to know is what and how many AI-powered features will make their way to the affordable Pixel.
Google I/O 2024: Pixel Fold 2
After a solid try with its first foldable phone last year with the Pixel Fold, Google I/O 2024 could be the opportunity to at least tease us all with its successor. Details are just about non-existent at this point for the Pixel Fold 2, but considering how the segment saw increased competition in 2023, the Pixel Fold 2 would need to be a substantially more refined foldable.
While it was one of the first to feature a gap-less design, we criticized the large bezels around the main display in our Google Pixel Fold review. Hopefully it’s a sleeker, more polished design this time with the Pixel Fold 2, but we’re also eager to see how the experiences will be boosted. Even though it has its own multitasking features that lets users run apps side-by-side, we’d love to see an implementation similar to Open Canvas with the OnePlus Open.
Google I/O 2024: Wearables
Google saved its Pixel Watch 2 reveal for its fall event alongside its Pixel 8 phones, but we could perhaps see other wearables at Google I/O 2024 — whether they’re Pixel or Fitbit related. The most realistic prospect would be a Pixel Watch 3 teaser at best, especially how the previous two made their official debuts during Google’s fall hardware event.
Google I/O 2024: VR and AR
Apple’s making a ton of noise right now with the release of the Vision Pro. The ambitious mixed reality headset is already revolutionizing the way we work with spatial computing, so Google I/O 2024 could be just the perfect time for Google to respond. Google has confirmed that is collaborating with Samsung and Qualcomm to release a mixed reality headset, though it may be premature to announce at I/O.
For its part, Qualcomm has expressed excitement about how its Snapdragon XR2+ Gen 2 will “provide leading XR experiences.” Developers would have the necessary amount of time to create experiences and apps if Google ends up revealing plans about a virtual reality headset.
There’s very little time for Google to delay here, as this brand new market is ripe with opportunity.
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