Thursday, May 30, 2024

The 6 biggest announcements we expect from Google I/O 2024

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Google I/O 2019Riley Young / Digital Trends

Google will hold its annual developer conference, Google I/O 2024, on May 14 in Mountain View, California. The event is about a month away, and we’re expecting a few big announcements.

Contents

  • Android 15
  • Google Gemini updates
  • Google Pixel 8a
  • Google Pixel Fold 2
  • Google Pixel 9
  • Google Pixel Watch 3Show 1 more item

As with any Google I/O event, this year’s conference will start with a big opening keynote presentation from CEO Sundar Pichai. But what actual announcements are we looking forward to? Here are a few of the biggest things that we are likely to see at Google I/O 2024.

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Android 15

Joe Maring / Digital Trends

As this is a developer conference, software is all but guaranteed. Android 15, which entered the developer preview stage in mid-February, will take center stage.

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Though the current previews of Android 15 are lacking in major new features, Google could reveal some new additions onstage at Google I/O. Once Android 15 is officially revealed, we should also see a public beta go live so that more users can try it out for themselves.

So far, we know that Android 15 focuses on three main areas: privacy/security, more support for creators and developers, and optimizing app performance. On the security front, Google has made some changes under the hood that “improve user privacy and enable effective, personalized advertising experiences for mobile apps.”

Other new features that are more noticeable on the surface are partial screen sharing (it’s now a specific part of an app instead of the entire screen), more fitness and nutrition data types on the Google Health Connect platform, and even more increased security measures for files to better protect users from malware and unwanted modifications.

Android 15 also has some camera changes that will improve lowlight photos by allowing developers access to boost the brightness of the camera preview. There is also a more precise control for the flash.

These are just a few of the bigger changes we know of so far from the Android 15 Developer Preview. Hopefully, Google will use I/O to dive into other things that we will see in Android 15.

Google Gemini updates

Nadeem Sarwar / Digital Trends

AI is all the rage these days, and Google is no stranger to the space. What originally started off as Bard has now evolved into Google Gemini, and we should expect some updates on Gemini at Google I/O 2024.

In short, Google Gemini is basically an AI chatbot that generates text for you and can answer questions, making it similar to ChatGPT. But Google Gemini is particularly powerful since it uses multimodal capabilities that allow it to perform tasks like generating text, images, video, audio, and even code within the same platform. It also supports several large language model (LLM) options for different tier levels: Gemini Nano, Gemini Pro, Gemini Ultra, and Gemini Advanced.

Gemini Nano is already being used on the current Google Pixel 8 Pro and the Samsung Galaxy S24 series. As Gemini continues to evolve, it’s an important step in creating a new Google Assistant that is conversational, multimodal, and actually helpful.

On a smartphone, Gemini can be summoned the same way you’d pull up Google Assistant. It can also be aware of on-screen content and do a lot of the tasks that you’d already expect. And iOS users can access Gemini through the Google app, and you can also use Gemini features on Android phones through a standalone Gemini app.

Gemini continues to evolve rapidly, so we should definitely get some updates on what’s coming next during Google I/O.

Google Pixel 8a

Smart Prix

Though Google I/O is a developer conference with a focus on software, there is also some hardware news that comes out of it too. In past years, we’ve seen Google launch the Pixel A-series phone, and this year, we expect to see the Google Pixel 8a.

Thanks to some recent leaks, we may already know what the Pixel 8a will look like, as well as what its specs are. The Pixel 8a has a design that’s reminiscent of the Pixel 8 series, from the rounded corners and classic camera bar module on the rear to the 6.1-inch size that is the same as the Pixel 7a. To differentiate the Pixel 8a from the regular Pixel 8, you can expect thicker bezels around the display.

On the inside, the Pixel 8a should have the Google Tensor G3 chip, though it may be underclocked compared to the more expensive Pixel 8 models. The display may see a bump up to a 120Hz refresh rate, which is an improvement over the 90Hz of the Pixel 7a. Google may also offer up to 256GB of storage this time around.

Battery-wise, the Pixel 8a will last slightly longer than its predecessor. It will reportedly have a 4,500mAh battery and support 27-watt charging — an upgrade over the 18W speeds of its predecessor.

The cameras are expected to stay the same, with a 64MP main camera, a 13MP ultrawide camera, and a 13MP selfie camera. But with software updates and a more capable processor, you may see better photos overall. Google is expected to deliver all of this for the same $499 starting price, which, if true, should make the Pixel 8a a pretty enticing package.

Google Pixel Fold 2

OnLeaks / SmartPrix

Last year, we got Google’s very first foldable with the Google Pixel Fold. It was announced during Google I/O 2023, but it did not launch until over a month later. We should see a similar pattern for the Google Pixel Fold 2 — assuming Google is releasing one this year.

Rumors suggest that a second-generation Google Pixel Fold will see a big design change. Leaks have shown what appears to be a flat hinge and edges, and the camera bar module is gone. Instead, it looks like a rectangular module with two rows of pill-shaped black outlines for the camera lenses and sensors. This harks back to the Pixel 4 and Pixel 5 days.

The displays may also see some modifications. There have been two sets of rumors so far about the display size changes for the cover and inner displays, and we are not certain which one is more likely. But both indicate that the external and inner displays will be larger than on the original Pixel Fold.

Though the first Google Pixel Fold launched a month after it was announced, there have been whispers that the Pixel Fold 2 may arrive even later this year. It could launch in late summer or even during the fall with the Pixel 9 series. That’s because there may be a chance the Pixel Fold 2 will launch with the Tensor G4 chip for a boost in AI performance.

Regardless of when the Pixel Fold 2 is actually coming out, we do expect Google to at least tease it during Google I/O 2024.

Google Pixel 9

OnLeaks / 91Mobiles

While it’s almost certain that we will see the Google Pixel 9 series this year, it’s not clear if Google will show it off at all during Google I/O — but there’s a chance it could happen.

Typically, the flagship Pixel series is shown off in the fall, but Google did tease the Pixel 7 during Google I/O 2022. However, the Pixel 8 line was not shown off during I/O 2023. As such, it’s up in the air as to whether Google reveals the Pixel 9 at Google I/O 2024 or not. Regardless of what happens, we do know a few things about the Pixel 9 already.

Like the Pixel Fold 2, the Pixel 9 series is due for a design refresh. We may get flat edges, similar to the iPhone 15 and Samsung Galaxy S24, and a revamped camera visor that doesn’t extend all the way into the edges of the frame.

Another big potential shake-up isthat the Pixel 9 series could include three phones: the Pixel 9, Pixel 9 Pro, and Pixel 9 Pro XL. This would mark the return of the XL size after five years. The Pixel 9 is expected to have a 6.03-inch display, the Pixel 9 Pro will be 6.1 inches, and the Pixel 9 Pro XL should have a 6.5-inch screen. All of these phones would get the Tensor G4 processor.

It’s unknown if we will see the Pixel 9 reveal/tease next month, but we certainly hope we do.

Google Pixel Watch 3

Joe Maring / Digital Trends

In a similar fashion, we may or may not see the Pixel Watch 3 during Google I/O. Google teased the original Pixel Watch during Google I/O 2022, but did not give us a teaser for the Pixel Watch 2 last year. Whether it is shown at I/O 2024 or not, we do know a little bit about the Pixel Watch 3, though it’s still pretty early in the rumor cycle.

There’s a high chance that the Pixel Watch 3 will come in two sizes for the very first time. Currently, the Pixel Watch only comes in a 41mm size. If a second size is coming, it will be 45mm, according to rumors.

It’s unclear what chip the Pixel Watch 3 will be getting, but reports suggest that it will get a new ultra-wideband (UWB) chip, enabling precise location tracking and short-range communication.

Again, we don’t know if a preview of the Pixel Watch 3 will be shown at Google I/O 2024, but it’s certainly possible. Whether or not Google teases the smartwatch at I/O, don’t expect a full release until later this fall.

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