Google I / O is home to many of the company's biggest announcements, including the news about Pixel 3A, Nest Hub Max, and Google Duplex. Due to the pandemic, Google canceled the event in 2020. Now, Google I / O is back – and this time it's free for everyone.

When is Google I / O 2021 and who can register?

Google I / O takes place May 18-20 and is free to anyone who wants to participate. You can now register through the Google I / O website. While traditionally a developer conference, the event usually features big news that consumers are also interested in.

So what can you expect? That question is big and the answer is: a lot. It's been two years since the last event, which (hopefully) means lots of headlines for Google fans.

What will Google I / O look like in 2021?

This year's Google I / O will be a fully virtual conference. While the exact format of the event is not clear, Google has already announced some key discussion points.

The consumer and developer keynotes focus on both business and product related news and can be viewed and re-viewed as needed. If you miss a keynote, don't worry – you can check it out later. The technical sessions focus on product announcements as well as how users can adopt new features. There is no set day for this; They are distributed over the entire I / O event.

There will also be workshops and Ask Me Anything sessions, all of which will be interactive. You need to reserve a time slot in order to participate. The workshops are led by a dedicated instructor, while the AMAs provide the opportunity to ask expert questions about various Google products. If you're interested in engaging with other attendees, Google hosts Meetups – as Google puts it, "casual, open, facilitated forums." Again, you need to be registered and make a reservation in order to participate.

A major attraction is the interactive sandboxes, part of the I / O adventure that allows developers to try out the latest Google products and features in a virtual hands-on experience. If you prefer a solo experience, Codelabs and Learning Paths are self-guided experiences to help you adopt new Google technologies.

What to expect from Google I / O 2021

There are few rumors about what Google I / O could hold in 2021, but there is a lot of speculation.

Android 12

While you probably shouldn't expect Android 12 to crash anytime soon, there is a greater than zero chance that Google will make an announcement regarding the operating system. After all, the last version was Android 8 on September 8, 2020 – and before that Android 10 on September 3, 2019.

It is certain that Google will release some details about the upcoming version of the Android operating system and that you can expect it to be sometime in September this year. After all, the developer preview is already available for testing and feedback.

Google Pixel Buds A.

As a major conference approaches, the rumor chambers start to turn. This is absolutely true for Google I / O 2021, especially with a new version of the Google Pixel Buds. In a marketing email, Google showed off a pair of Pixel Buds in an olive color that is currently unavailable.

This started a conversation and has led many people to believe that Google may have another pair of wireless earbuds in its lineup – possibly a cheaper option to target a different demographic than the current Pixel Buds.

Google Pixel 5a

Google has released a more budget-friendly version of its current flagship phone in the past, as seen in the Google Pixel 3a and Pixel 4a. The Pixel 5 currently dominates the Google product range, but there is no cheaper alternative.

Google I / O is the perfect time to announce the Pixel 5a and provide some information on its specs – possibly an updated camera or even 5G compatibility. The latter option, however, could push the price of the phone way above its predecessor's $ 350 price point.

Google app updates

App and software updates are the most likely announcements on Google I / O. Some announcements may contain details about new privacy features (especially about apps that are supported by Google in the App Store and Apple's new privacy policy).

For example, new updates for Google Translate may be available, e.g. B. new language compatibility or real-time translation functions. Updates to all major Google apps as well as a potential focus on Android Auto apps are possible.

Google Assistant updates

The Google Assistant may also see important updates on Google I / O. Users can expect news about the features of the assistant, as well as potentially more information about speech recognition, more device compatibility, and new ways to control your smart home.

Taylor Frint / Digital Trends

One possible announcement is the availability of the Google Assistant in more countries around the world. The smart assistant can already perform some tasks, but Google hasn't pulled the lead from Amazon yet.

New Google Assistant hardware?

Google is slow to release hardware updates for its smart devices. After all, it took the Nest Mini years to see an update of any kind. While a new smart device is unlikely to be announced this soon after Nest Audio launches, there is always the possibility that we will see something to diversify the lineup. With Google Home Max no longer part of the lineup, you may never know what the company is touting.

This is pure speculation, but there is a niche in the market that Google could hit with a Nest subwoofer. The Amazon Echo Sub meets these requirements on the Alexa side of the aisle, but Google doesn't have a comparable device. If the company wants to focus on fidelity, this is one way to improve.

Google I / O is just over a month away. The closer we get to the show, the more information will no doubt be available. So stay tuned. If you'd like to attend the event, sign up while you still can. With a bit of luck, Google I / O could be a personal event again next year – with broadcast events for anyone unable to attend.

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