Google I/O 2022 is inching ever closer, and now, the company has finally published the schedule. Like always, the developer conference is filled to the brim with deep dives into app development, Google’s latest guidelines when it comes to user experience, but there are also going to be the usual overarching announcements that are relevant for everyone, whether you’re an Android device owner or a developer. We’ve dug through the program so you don’t have to, and here are our seven top panels you don’t want to miss.
The Google I/O 2022 keynote
The Google I/O keynote is the event that kicks off the developer conference, and like every year, it takes place in the morning of the first day of the assembly. If you don’t have too much time to follow all the other Google I/O activities, this is definitely the one event you don’t want to miss. Google will give a broad overview of everything it’s going to be diving into during the I/O, and there will likely be tons of announcements. We will almost definitely hear more about Android 13, and we could be seeing the ominous Pixel Watch, and the Pixel 6a might also be in store.
This time, the keynote takes place on May 11 at 10:00 am PT (13:00 pm ET). Be sure to tune in if you want a broad overview of what Google has planned for the near future.
While you may think that the company will only talk about the unsexy technical details in the developer keynote, it has historically proven to be a pretty accessible talk, with the company sometimes even dropping a few lingering bigger announcements that it hadn’t been able to include in the regular keynote.
The event will start right after the regular keynote, so if you have a few more hours to spare on the first day of the conference, be sure to give it a watch.
What’s new in Android
Once the first two keynotes are over, Google will dive deeper into what’s new in Android. Since Android 13 is the latest beta release of its OS, and it’s likely its second beta will drop during I/O, we will almost certainly hear a lot more about what Google has hidden from our view so far.
This is also the first year that Google is running two beta programs concurrently, with Android 12’s June feature drop also available as beta under the QPR beta moniker (Quarterly Platform Release). Since the stable launch of this new feature drop isn’t too far out, we wouldn’t expect the company to talk too much about it during the I/O, but we were never in this dual-beta situation before, so who knows.
What’s new in Google Pay
We’re suspecting that Google has quite some news regarding Pay, given how a new “Wallet” branding has been making the rounds in leaks recently. While details are still lacking, imagery and app teardowns suggest that Google Pay could be in for yet another rebranding, with it being called Google Wallet. If that name seems familiar, it’s because it is—Google started its foray into payment processing with its Google Wallet debit cards roughly ten years ago, only to rebrand the service to Android Pay in 2015 and then to Google Pay in 2018. Either way, Google says that “Payments are constantly evolving and so is Google Pay,” which is interesting wording for sure.
While we’re certain that Google would announce its new branding during the I/O keynote, you might hear more details about whatever the company has in store following the developer keynote.
What’s new in Chrome OS
It seems like Google is puring tons of resources into Chrome OS lately, building it out as a platform that supports almost all use cases you could imagine on desktops and tablets. The company only recently revealed that it’s adding Steam support, and there are a lot of other upcoming features that were already teased during CES 2022, like deeper integration with Android phones such as the capability to interact with your mobile device’s screen right on your Chromebook.
Like the Android and Google Pay keynotes, this one will take place right after the developer conference, so you need to pick what you’re most interested in.
What’s new in Google Home
Google is constantly expanding its smart home efforts, and one of the more interesting upcoming devices might be a Nest Hub with a detachable display running Android. Google promises that it will help you “Discover a new era for Google Home” in this panel, which are pretty big words, leading us to believe that it has quite some interesting things to share. Of course, the company could also focus on interoperability with other smart home platforms, as it’s one of the key proponents of Matter, an industry-wide smart home standard that’s supposed to make things much easier going forward.
The Google Home session is another one that starts right after the developer conference, so you see, it’s really about choosing what you’re most interested in at the date.
Building the Privacy Sandbox
The Privacy Sandbox is Google’s latest attempt at introducing a replacement for third-party cookies after failing with its initial FLoC initiative. The new privacy-minded ad-targeting technology just went live as a preview for developers on Android, so it’s going to be interesting to see how Google is going to combine two intrinsically different concepts—privacy and ad-targeting. The team behind the sandbox is going to be answering a few questions on the technology affecting both Android and Chrome.
The Privacy Sandbox panel is taking place on the second day of the Google I/O (May 12) at 9:00 am PT (12:00 pm ET).
Back to the basics of System Back
As spotted by Mishaal Rahman, it seems like the schedule is spilling some beans on a new Android 13 feature. The new OS version is supposed to get a predictive back navigation system, as suggested by this panel: “Discover how the future of Android will help you create predictive back navigation along with satisfying animations.” Mishaal admits that he doesn’t have all the pieces of the puzzle together himself just yet and doesn’t quite have a grasp on the “predictive” part, but he can shine some light into the “animations.” When navigating back will make you exit to the home screen, you will see an animation similar to swiping up to go home instead of the regular arrow drag, helping you understand more clearly where your back navigation will lead you.
Either way, we’re going to have to stay tuned for this event to understand all the details. It will take place on the second day (May 12) at 9:00 am PT (12:00 pm ET).
Some of these events take place at the same time, but don’t worry. Google will record all of these and offer them for later consumption, so if you need to pick one over the other, you can just catch up with what you missed later. We will also have your back, covering all of the most interesting features and announcements coming out of this year’s Google I/O—stay tuned!
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