What to Expect When You’re Expecting Google I/O 2024

In the tech world, developer conferences are like birthdays. These mega-events happen annually and remind us of the cadence of life and that time is a neverending circle. Google I/O 2024 will be no different.

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This year, we expect to hear a great deal about Google’s foray into AI and where Gemini will venture next. We anticipate that Google will offer a glimpse at upcoming Pixel hardware, including the hotly anticipated Pixel 8a (who knew society was clamoring for a mid-tier, affordable smartphone?) and what’s new in Android 15. We’ll also find out if Google plans anything in Meta’s realm of “extended reality.”

How to tune in to Google I/O 2024

Please don’t make a drinking game out of the Google I/O 2024 keynote—especially not out of how often Google’s CEO, Sundar Pichai, utters the word “AI.” The start time on May 14, 2024, is 10:00 A.M. PT / 1.:00 P.M. ET. You can watch it live on Google’s website or YouTube. You don’t need to register for the conference to watch anything.

If you do end up making a drinking game out of what will likely be a two-hour keynote, I suggest you enjoy a green smoothie or kombucha instead.

Expect so much Gemini AI

Google’s always been keen on artificial intelligence. The company has spent the last decade lauding the point of its Machine Learning algorithms and how they improve the products you interact with daily. This year’s Google I/O will likely take it a step further since the company has majorly shifted its resources to concentrate on what AI, like Gemini, can do to all the existing consumer-facing products.

Over two dozen sessions are available for Google I/O’s developer attendees, including ones focused on Gemma. I’m especially curious about this workshop on automating tasks in Google Workspace—this is what I’d expect Gemini to be used for in the first place.

Expect Pixel hardware

Google’s annual developer conference isn’t typically an event where hardware gets trotted out—or at least, it wasn’t in the earlier days. For the last few years, Google has used the conference as a venue to either tease what’s next or launch its next-gen “cheap” phone. Last year’s Google I/O 2023 gave us the Pixel 7a, Pixel Tablet, and Pixel Fold.

Most Android faithful expect to see the Pixel 8a hit the shelves after the keynote ends. The smartphone is expected to reprise the Pixel 8 but with a smaller price tag. We might hear about another Pixel Tablet without the dock. It would also be nice for Google to tell us if it plans to release the Google Pixel Fold 2 at the same time as the Pixel 9 later this year. We shall see.

Extended reality?

There’s been chatter about whether Google will make fanfare for its “extended reality” platform, a.k.a. Android XR. Meta opened up Horizon OS to third parties this week, which should make for an interesting race if and when the two “immersive” platforms take off. But so far, all my colleague Kyle Barr and I can decipher from the session list is that Google Maps will have updates to share and won’t be related to Android XR. Once again, we shall see.

How to follow along with Google I/O

You can check out the sessions streamed live at the Google I/O website beginning May 14. You can also point your browser here, on Gizmodo, where we’ll cover all that’s coming out of Google’s annual developer soiree.

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Florence Ion