Google I/O 2022: what is it, will the Pixel 6a and Pixel Watch be announced - and how to watch it in the UK

This year's presentation could include several hardware announcements, according to rumours

Google's annual developer conference is being held remotely, with new product launches and Android OS updates expected.

I/O is Google's annual developer conference held in Mountain View, California. "I/O" stands for Input/Output, as well as the slogan "Innovation in the Open".

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The conference is aimed at helping developers get the most out of Google's tools and platforms, but it also includes hardware and software announcements for products coming out in the next year.

Some of the company's most significant hardware releases in recent memory are expected this year, but what can we expect from 2022’s conference?

Here is everything you need to know about it.

When is I/O 2022?

Google I/O 2022 is set to begin with an opening presentation on Wednesday 11 May at 6pm BST.

What could be announced?

Several hardware announcements could be made during the presentation this year, and rumours are swirling concerning Google's Pixel Watch, the company’s first wearable.

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Google producing its own smartwatch has been rumoured for a long time, but 2022 could be the year it finally happens, with the watch recently revealed thanks to a US Patent and Trademark Office filing.

(Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)(Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
(Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) | Getty Images

Also recently, a purported prototype of the wristwatch was discovered abandoned in a restaurant, prompting a torrent of photographs to be posted online.

The Pixel Watch looks to have a sleek rounded body, a rotating crown, and almost no bezels, similar to the design of the Apple Watch, but with a circular screen.

The smartwatch will also have easily interchangeable bands to allow you to personalise your style.

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A mid-range version of last year's Pixel 6 smartphone is also expected; Google has followed up each of its flagship Pixel smartphones with a cheaper version for the past three years.

Whereas previous affordable Pixels maintained high-end camera technology while employing lesser technical specs, Google may take the opposite approach with the 6a.

The 6.2-inch phone will apparently employ the same fast Tensor chip as the Pixel 6, but will instead use the 5a's 12-megapixel main back camera rather than the Pixel 6's more advanced 50MP sensor.

According to a recent rumour, Google is also working on a new pair of truly wireless earbuds named the Pixel Buds Pro.

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Although nothing is known about their specifications, the word "Pro" in a pair of earphones' name usually indicates that they offer active noise-cancellation, which would be a first for a pair of Google wireless earbuds.

In terms of software announcements, Google's operating systems like the much anticipated Android 13, expected to launch later this year, will likely headline the announcements.

Android 13 has already technically been launched in beta, giving us a peek into Google's ambitions for the update, and though there haven't been many hints as to what bigger changes may be afoot, Google has so far concentrated on minor interface tweaks and technology upgrades beneath the hood.

Last year's “Material You” customisable themes are likely to extend to cover more UI elements in the operating system, and Google is continuing to limit what features Android apps have access to by default.

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Other platforms, such as Wear OS or Android TV, could also get new features announced, and Google is expected to announce updates to its core services, including Google Maps, Google's search engine, YouTube, and Google Play.

How can I watch it?

The opening keynote presentation of Google I/O 2022 will take place at 6pm BST on Wednesday 11 May.

It’s easy to stream it in the UK: just head to YouTube to watch the broadcast.

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