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What to expect at Google I / O 2021

New for Android 12

If there’s one thing you can count on this year, it’s that Google will have a lot to say about its upcoming Android 12 update. It’s especially not surprising when you consider how much the company has already said about it. . After all, at the time of publication, Google has released it three previews of Android 12 developers, and has already started talking about features like audio-coupled haptics, enhanced photo-in-photo for videos, support for AVIF image format, and even more.

Beyond that, it also looks like Android will receive a facelift this year, though it’s hard to say exactly how it will be at this point. A series of filtered images obtained by XDA features a remarkable overhaul, with a redesigned notification panel, fewer quick settings panels, and new “conversation” widgets for the home screen that highlight messages and calls missed by contacts. Meanwhile, if you had the urge to dig deep into the developer’s settings, there’s also an option that allows for a new, more compact design for the Settings app that should make it a little easier to navigate in the big menus. phones.

There’s probably a lot more on Android 12 that we’re not familiar with yet, and Google’s main I / O sessions and developer sessions should go a long way to explaining the company’s vision. If Google adheres to its pre-pandemic plans, you can expect to see an initial public beta version of Android 12 soon enough after the end of the keynote, with a full launch around August or September.

Assistant and smart home improvements

As usual, we expect to hear a lot about Google Assistant, although we haven’t heard many specifics yet. For what it’s worth, Google has noticed on his own developer blog that we’ll see “new product announcements” and “feature updates” for the Wizard, and if what we’ve seen in previous years is an indication, these could be the ads that steal the show.

On a similar note, Google also says that we can also expect announcements of Smart Home products, even if it hasn’t stopped short of saying it would reveal new hardware. We’ll just see how it all unfolds.


Big changes for Wear OS?

We’re also starting to get the sense that something is happening with Wear OS this year. Think about it: Over the last week, Google has finally updated its portable software to support Gboard to type easier on a small touchscreen, and started soliciting feedback from Wear OS users in a survey that encouraged some people to participate in a research study to inform future development. Maybe we’re reading a little too much into the timing here, but with I / O just around the corner and Google’s acquisition of Fitbit in the rearview mirror, it’s starting to feel like the company is preparing to engage in wearability in a great way.

While a group of leakers confirm Google is working on a potentially branded Pixel smartwatch, it’s still unclear if the company plans to introduce it in I / O. we will hear nothing about new smartwatches.

Persistent rumors suggest that Samsung – a company that once experimented with Android Wear before investing heavily in its Tizen operating system – will return to the fold. with a new Watch Wear OS watch. This would be Google’s first portability from Samsung to Gear Live of 2014, and if we’re lucky, it could help pave the way for a new era of progress, polish and popularity for Wear OS smartwatches.

Google Pixel Buds

Billy Steele / Engadget

Pixel Buds Series A.

We expect I / O 2021 to be relatively light on the new hardware, but Google may still have some announcements ready to go. In a marketing email that Google released in April, the company showed a set of green Pixel Buds that don’t correspond to any model we’ve seen on sale so far. Next, Google by accident has leaked the existence of his new series A Pixel Buds in a tweet from the official Android account.

While the accidental tweet didn’t reveal much, Google’s use of its “A” brand strongly suggests that these new wireless headphones cost less than the standard, $ 179 Pixel Buds. Maybe the tweet and email were pretty awkward, and maybe Google has no intention of talking about their new wireless headphones anytime soon. Still, we wouldn’t be surprised if these things have some time in the spotlight next week.

Google Pixel 5 review

Chris Velazco / Engadget

And longshots

As always, there are a few things that we don’t really expect Google to talk about on stage, but we can’t help but hope for anyway. For one, there’s the Pixel 5a 5G, a more affordable version of the Pixel 5. Last year would usually be the time of year when Google showed off a new affordable Pixel smartphone, but the late release of the last year’s Pixel 4a could have been thrown out of Google’s program. When the company confirmed in early April that the Pixel 5a it was not canceled after all, a spokesman noted that the new phone would be revealed “in line with when the phone was introduced last year’s series” If we take that to face value, it means we probably won’t get our first glances at the Google’s new Pixel good until the end of the summer, but who knows – I have my fingers crossed for an I / O announcement anyway.

And as we talk about Pixels, it will be sure to be Google officially pulled the tent over Whitechapel, a homemade mobile processor that we expect to debut in the Pixel 6. We could definitely see Google holding on to an announcement for a while, especially since the company hasn’t even said anything about the Pixel 6, but now would be a smart time to start putting developers on board.

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