Google I/O 2023: What to Expect

Google’s annual summer developer conference, I/O, is set to kick off on Monday, May 10. This year, Google I/O is expected to have an AI-centric keynote, but there should be plenty of hardware announcements as well.

Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google’s parent company Alphabet, said the following about the upcoming event during an earnings call earlier this week:

We’ll share updates at Google I/O about how we are using Al across our products, including our Pixel devices, and share some exciting new developments for Android.

Google I/O 2023 will take place with a “limited live audience,” but it will also be available to stream online (and for free) for everyone. Here’s what you can expect from Google I/O this year:

Pixel 7a

Google’s next budget Pixel device, the Pixel 7a, is arguably the safest bet for an I/O announcement. The company has historically unveiled its a-series Pixel devices at its annual May event, and this year should be no different.

What’s more, the Pixel 7a has already been leaked in extensive detail. The upcoming Pixel device leaked in three new colours earlier this month, and we even got an in-depth video showing off an engineering validation test (EVT) unit before that.

Pixel Fold

Like the Pixel 7a, we’ve also been seeing plenty of leaks for Google’s much-rumoured first foldable phone heading into this year’s I/O. The Pixel Fold was originally expected to launch last year, alongside the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro, but it was pushed back due to development setbacks.

In all likelihood, Google will announce the Pixel Fold at I/O. According to a report from earlier this month, the foldable phone will feature a durable hinge, a 7.6-inch tablet-sized screen on the inside, water resistance, and a hefty sticker price of $1,700 USD (~$2,300 CAD).

Pixel Tablet

Google originally teased the Pixel tablet at last year’s I/O, so it would be fitting for the tech giant to unveil it at this year’s event. The Pixel Tablet is expected to be powered by a Google Tensor G2 SoC — the same custom silicon as last year’s flagship Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro phones.

Google’s Pixel Tablet will also be accompanied by a new Charging Speaker Dock that the tablet will magnetically dock to. The device will also have a dedicated “docked mode,” and Google will position it as a smart home control hub with extensive Google Home integration.

Pixel 8 and 8 Pro Previews

At I/O 2022, Google previewed the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro, which launched later in the year. The company could follow the same pattern this year, giving us a sneak peek at this year’s Pixel 8 lineup during its May 10 keynote.

Android 14

Google will likely introduce us to the next iteration of its mobile Operating System at I/O 2023. The first Android 14 beta has been out for a while, but it doesn’t point to any major changes. From the looks of the first beta, Android 14 is going to be an iterative update over Android 13 that builds on Material You.

That said, we should learn more about Android 14 at the event and from the second beta that’s expected to roll out soon after.

AI and Other Software Developments

I/O 2023 will almost certainly have an AI-heavy keynote. Google recently announced its ChatGPT rival, Bard, and a slew of AI features for Gmail, Docs, and other Google Cloud and Google Workspace products.

The company will likely expand on these announcements at I/O 2023, showcasing even more AI-powered features and/or bringing existing ones to a wider audience (such as non-Workspace users).

In addition to AI updates, Google could also announce updates (AI-based or otherwise) to Search, Chrome, Google Assistant, and Wear OS. The tech giant might even talk about Android XR, an upcoming mixed-reality operating system teased by Samsung back in February.

Stay tuned for our detailed coverage of the Google I/O keynote on May 10.

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