It’s an exciting time of the year if you’re looking forward to new software, new phones, and everything in between. Google is kicking things off with its own Developer Conference. Google I/O 2022 is home to many different announcements, and this year, Google is going all out. Not only are we getting new versions of Android, but there is also a lot going on from a hardware perspective. Today, we’re looking at everything announced at Google I/O 2022 that you should care about.
Google I/O 2022: Hardware
- Google Pixel 6a arrives late in July, powered by the same Tensor flagship processor found in the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro. It’s priced at just $449 and offers practically the same experience as the Pixel 6 at a lower price.
- Google Pixel Buds Pro is the company’s first earbuds to be released featuring Active Noise Cancellation. These retain a similar design to previous iterations and come alongside the Pixel 6a for $199.
- Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro: As was the case with last year’s Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, Google took the time on stage to give everyone a glimpse of its future flagship handsets. Not much is known just yet, other than what the phones look like and that they are both using the next-generation Tensor processor.
- Pixel Watch: Following years of rumors and leaks, the Pixel Watch was finally unveiled. It is running a different version of Wear OS 3 and is set to launch this fall alongside the Pixel 7 series. And for the first time, Google is making it possible to control your smart home devices right from your smartwatch.
- Google Pixel Tablet: Keeping with the trend of upcoming devices, Google shows that it hasn’t forgotten about tablet hardware. The Pixel Tablet is coming sometime in 2023. It will take advantage of all of the significant changes coming to tablets with Android 13.
Google I/O 2022: Android and Chrome OS
- Android 13 Beta 2 is now available to download for select Pixel devices. Google also opened its Android 13 Developer Preview for select phone makers, including OnePlus, Xiaomi, Oppo, etc.
- Google is taking tablets and foldable phones more seriously with Android 13. In addition to redesigning more than 20 of its own apps, Google is also working with third-party developers to create a better overall experience.
- Chromebooks and Chrome OS devices will see a few new features come to Phone Hub. When linking your Android phone and Chromebook, a new section appears, allowing you to instantly download images from your phone to your Chromebook. This comes as part of Google’s “Better Together” initiative. It attempts to create a more cohesive experience across all of your Android and Chrome OS-powered devices.
- Android phones and tablets will also see improvements in this department, as Nearby Share is being updated to work faster between devices.
- Google Wallet has been re-introduced as it aims to replace your physical wallet. Google is working with government agencies to bring ID support and save hotel keys and office badges to your phone. This extends to Wear OS as a new Wallet app is in the works.
- Fast Pair support is improving, making it easier to pair your various devices than previously possible.
Google I/O 2022: Wear OS
- Samsung and Google announced that Google Assistant is “coming soon” to the Galaxy Watch 4 and Watch 4 Classic.
- Google is also working with select developers to provide an improved Wear OS app experience matching what other apps already offer. Some of these apps include Spotify, Adidas Running, and more.
- Emergency SOS is an upcoming feature that will immediately send alerts to trusted contacts or emergency services if you are in need.
Google I/O 2022: Smart Home
- Support for Matter on Android is being built right into Android 13. This will make setting up your Matter-enabled intelligent home devices more accessible right from your Android phone.
- “Works with Hey Google” is being rebranded to “Works with Google Home.”
- A new Google Home website makes it easy to explore what’s possible with various smart home devices and Google Assistant.
- Nest Hub Max owners can enjoy Google’s new “Look and Talk” feature. This allows you to continue conversations with Assistant without continuing to repeat the hot word or key phrase.
Google I/O 2022: Android Auto
- Android Auto now supports more than 150 million cars across “nearly every card brand.”
- Later this year, Google is rolling out a new update that provides a new interface that makes it easier to pull up directions and control media.
- With just a tap, a new split-screen mode puts all of your most-used features and apps. It also adapts to different screen sizes, making for a better experience regardless of the installed type of radio.
- Google Assistant for Android Auto is getting revamped with improvements to suggested replies, the ability to share arrival times, and more.
- When parked, you will soon be able to cast content from your phone to the Android Auto display.
What Is Your Favorite Google I/O Announcement?
The truth is that this list is a bit shorter than you might have expected. Well, that’s for a good reason, as Google I/O 2022 takes place over multiple days. In addition to the keynote, there are hundreds of developer-focused sessions that we are still taking in. On the bright side, these sessions are pre-recorded, giving us plenty of time to dissect them. But in the meantime, we want to know what your favorite announcements have been. Drop them in the comments below!