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Google IO 2021 starts May 18: Android 12, Pixel 5a, Pixel Buds A-series, Wear OS, and everything we expect

Google IO 2021 is just a week away. We already know that Google has a lot to talk about at this year's event so without any further ado, let's jump straight into the article to find out everything expected at Google IO 2021.

UPDATED: May 12, 2021 12:57 IST

Google IO is primarily a developer conference, however, it has also been the home to many of the brand’s biggest announcements. This year’s event is expected to be jam-packed, with plenty of big announcements to be made. Also because the last Google IO was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Not just this, Google CEO Sundar Pichai last month hinted at “significant product updates and announcements” at IO 2021.

We have frequently seen leaks around the Pixel 5a, Pixel 6, Pixel Watch, Pixel Buds A, Android 12 and more in recent time. Google may likely go out and release some of these products in the upcoming event.

Google has also released the complete schedule of the Google IO 2021. This year’s event begins on May 18 with a two-hour-long keynote, followed by a developer-focused 45-minute keynote. Google should also talk about the developments in Android 12 in the “What’s new in Android” keynote.

Google will hold plenty more keynotes to talk about other developments. So sit back and read this article to find out everything expected at the Google IO 2021.

How to watch Google IO 2021

Like mentioned before, this year’s conference is taking place online from May 18 to May 20. You can register on the Google IO website to attend this three-day event for free. Google will be streaming this complete event on its official youtube channel. Don’t forget to tune in on May 18 at 10:30 PM IST, as this is when the biggest announcements will happen.

Everything expected at Google IO 2021

As mentioned before, Google will have a lot to show at the upcoming event including. Google is expected to talk about Android, Google Assistant, Google Duplex, Wear OS, Google lens and hardware products like Pixel 5a, Pixel Buds A and Chromecast. Here are the highlights.

Android 12

As per the schedule released by Google, Android 12 is heading towards the public beta version. We already know about plenty of upcoming features on Android 12. This new Android version is expected to bring a major UI overhaul and plenty of other functional features. From what we have seen, Android 12 will bring improvements to split-screen, notifications, lock screen, widgets, privacy, and a lot more.

Pixel 5a

The next big announcement expected is about Google’s upcoming mid-range device, the Pixel 5a. Plenty of leaks have appeared around this smartphone, some of which hint that Pixel 5a will make way at Google IO 2021. But we suggest you take this information with a pinch of salt as Google made an official statement that the Pixel 5a will be released “later this year”. This statement came soon after rumours around the cancellation of the upcoming Pixel 5a popped up.

Renders suggest that the Pixel 5a will look akin to the Pixel 4a 5G. Also, we know that the smartphone will be powered by Qualcomm’s midrange 5G chipset 765G. Google also revealed that the Pixel 5a would only be exclusive to the US and Japan.

Pixel Buds A

The next expected product is called the Pixel Buds A. Much like Google’s affordable Pixel A smartphone series, this is supposed to be a cheaper alternative to the Pixel Buds. Google already leaked the Pixel Buds A through which we know that it looks akin to the Pixel Buds with similar dimensions. It has also been found out that the Pixel Buds A will be made available in White and Green colour options.

Google is likely to cut down a few features to reduce the upcoming Pixel Buds A pricing. The last Pixel Buds were announced in the Made by Google event in 2019. However, they were later released in April 2020, which makes us assume that we could hear about the Pixel Buds during the Google IO 2021.

Wear OS

Leaks around the Pixel Watch have been making rounds for quite some time now. So it’s likely that the software developers at Google are working to fix the caveats in Wear OS. Recently Google introduced Gboard for Wear OS. Also, we have heard that Google will be pushing third-party developers to support Tiles.

Besides this, the Android 11 update for WearOS is due too, so we predict Google will talk about the features and improvements coming to Wear OS in the upcoming event.

Google Assistant

Google has been continuously working to bring improvements to its Assistant. In the past 12 months, Google Assistant has seen various updates such as light bar Phone UI, Snapshot feed, better settings, driving mode, Smart home features and more. While Google Assistant has come a long way, there’s still room for plenty of improvement in terms of complete voice control.

Google Lens and Google Duplex

Google Lens, as well as Google Duplex both, were introduced at Google IO in subsequent years. Google lens feature was made available to consumers in 2017, whereas Google Duplex in 2018. As far as the functionality is concerned, the Google lens allows users to search for information about visuals straight from the camera app, copy text from a picture and more. The feature was last updated in 2020, so we may see an update.

Talking about Google Duplex, this feature is embedded in Google Assistant that can attend calls for you, book movie tickets, salon appointments and more. So Google may update this feature to be more functional.

New Chromecast

A new FCC listing reveals that Google is working on a new Chromecast with a rechargeable battery. The upcoming Chromecast will likely bring support for Google Stadia. Additionally, it may have an in-built Ethernet port and better app streaming support.

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