What to expect from Google I/O 2019


Google I/O 2019 kicks off next week and we’ve already been treated with an insight into what the company has in store for us. Typically, I/O tends to be a software-orientated conference and a chance for developers to get a glimpse of Google’s latest apps and services, but this year the company will launch the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL. The schedule for the conference shows that Google could have some more announcements up its sleeve, so here’s what we can expect from the conference.

Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL

Starting off with the obvious appearance at Google I/O is the company’s entrance into the mid-range market with the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL. At this point, the devices have leaked to a level where we know almost everything about them. The devices will officially launch at the conference and thanks to a series of leaks, the Pixel 3a, and Pixel 3a XL is expected to be priced starting at $399.

The devices will feature a mid-range Snapdragon 670 processor for the Pixel 3a and Snapdragon 710 for the Pixel 3a XL in an attempt to offer consumers a cheaper alternative to the Pixel 3. We’ve had mixed opinions here at Phandroid as to if the Pixel 3a series will be a hit or not, so be sure to check out the opinions below.

Google Stadia

Google announced its game streaming service at GDC which got everyone very excited. To date, Google has kept quiet on the details and features around the service to explain exactly how it will work and the requirements around it. We can expect Google to touch on Stadia during the conference with a “What’s New in Gaming at Google” and “Stadia Streaming Tech: A Deep Dive” event scheduled for May 7.

Android Q

The latest version of Android Q has been in early beta release to give an early look at the software but Google typically holds back a number of features until I/O to demo. We can expect Google to issue the first public beta release at I/O that could see a fair few new features announced for Android Q.

At last year’s I/O, we also saw the beta opened up to a number of non-Pixel devices for the best time. Devices such as OnePlus, Xiaomi, Nokia, and Sony were among the first OEM’s to run the first Android Pie beta release so hopefully Google has expanded this list for Android Q.

Android Apps and Services

The schedule is jam-packed with developer sessions focusing on the UI with Material Design guidance, as well as exploring what is new in ARCore, and exploring App Architecture. Google also tends to release new features to its core apps at I/O, so we could see some new features introduced to the likes of Maps, Google Assistant, and Google Photos as some of the apps that have been focused on previously. As Google I/O is a developer conference, the new features will typically be demoed and explained to allow developers to explore them rather than instantly be available in the public-facing versions of the apps.

We can also expect Google to touch on Duplex and possibly announce new features around the technology as well as Call Screening, given its wider rollout.

Nest Hub Max

We know Google is working on a Nest-branded version of its Home Hub smart display thanks to a premature revealing of the device. It features a 10-inch display but that’s currently all we know but Google will no doubt use the opportunity to talk about the Nest brand and perhaps some deeper integration with Google Assistant.

Wear OS and Google Chrome

While the conference is developer-focused, Google decided to announce its Wear OS news before I/O this year as we saw the introduction of widgets called Tiles. Given that, we don’t expect any Wear OS news at I/O.

Google may touch on the Linux support for Chrome OS but the topic doesn’t appear to have much airtime in the schedule other than a few sessions, one called “Building Apps for the Chrome OS Ecosystem”, which suggests the focus won’t be on new features but expanding the app ecosystem for the platform.

Maybe More?

This is what we are likely to see at Google I/O based on what we’ve seen in previous years and discovered in leaks thus far. Google may have more up its sleeve because, well, it’s Google. We’ll be on the floor at Google I/O to catch all the things coming out of the conference, so be sure to stay tuned to the site next week.

What are you most excited about seeing at Google I/O? Let us know in the comments below.

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