If you want to know what Google has planned for the rest of the year in terms of product launches and software updates, you should pay close attention to Google I/O 2017. This annual event is where Google teases its new Android features, as well as updates to the likes of Google Assistant and Google Home.
Here’s everything you need to know about Google I/O so you can keep up to speed on the latest software and hardware releases from the tech giant. From the keynote to the individual talks, this is what we’re expecting to see launched.
What is Google I/O?
Google I/O is a developers conference held every year around May. While this already sounds like a very geeky event that might not hold much interest for consumers, it’s actually very revealing and well worth following.
Google has started to use the event to show off or tease future software releases, like new versions of Android, as well as hardware like the next Android Wear watch. In other words, you’ll find out about new features coming to your existing devices as well as future Google tech.
Of course, Google I/O isn’t the tech company’s only event of the year. Check out our complete guide to Google and Android events for more info.
When is Google I/O 2017?
Google’s head honcho Sundar Pichai revealed that this year Google plans to hold its I/O event between May 17 and 19 at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California.
The main event will be Pichai’s keynote speech, where the most exciting reveals usually take place. For 2017, this keynote speech will take place on Wednesday May 17 at 6PM BST.
How to watch Google I/O 2017 live
Google uses its mighty server powers each year to live stream the Google I/O conference for anyone with an internet connection to watch. Since Google owns YouTube, the live stream will of course appear on this video service.
Google specifically uses the Google Developers YouTube channel for the live stream, so head there to check out the latest revelations.
What will Google launch at Google I/O 2017?
You can expect Google to pull back the curtain on lots of interesting new features and updates at the launch event. For instance, Google I/O usually gives us a glimpse of the latest version of Android, in this case Android O, as well as new features coming to the Android Wear OS found on smartwatches.
We’re also anticipating the announcement of new features for the Google Assistant AI and in turn the Google Home smart speaker. Likewise, Daydream VR is likely to get some time in the spotlight. We’ve heard very little about Google’s virtual reality platform since its launch, so now is a ripe time to remind everyone of its potential.
Here’s a run down of the funky stuff we’re hoping to see announced at Google I/O 2017.
Will we see the Pixel 2 phone launched at Google I/O 2017?
Highly unlikely. We’re looking forward to the official launch of the Pixel 2 mobile, as the first handset is still one of the best Android blowers out there. However, Google usually launches its devices at separate events, not at Google I/O. This conference is reserved for software updates and the like, rather than new consumer hardware.
One of the most major announcements and focuses any year at Google I/O is the latest installment of the Android operating system. This year we can look forward to hearing lots more about Android O. Yup, it’s so shiny and new we don’t even know its full name yet. Obviously expect it to be something sweet, like Opal Fruits…oh no, wait.
Despite its newness, Google has already released an alpha Developer Preview of the OS for people to download. This gave away a few treats early. In the developer pages we’ve learned that new icon groupings with adaptive, autofill and pic-in-pic are incoming. Have a gander at our run-down of the best Android O features for more info.
We should also hear more on Project Treble, which makes it easier for developers to test and push out updates. Sounds dull, but it means you’ll get new OS updates sooner, which is a Very Good Thing Indeed.
Fuchsia OS is another mystery that should be revealed at Google I/O. Fuchsia is allegedly a totally new operating system, separate to Android. This has been built from scratch by Google and is reported to list apps in a scrolling system, with the ability to drag and drop apps much like on a desktop system.
Chrome OS has not seen a lot of noise of late. There is a chance that this new Fuschia OS could be a merger software for desktop and phone platforms that sees Chrome replaced entirely. That said, with new Chromebooks expected, Chrome OS will likely live on perhaps with only slight updates.
Google Assistant and Google Home
The smart AI that is Google Assistant is already with us as an extension of Google Now. Google I/O should reveal how the Assistant will evolve in the coming year, with a focus on bringing this voice control AI to a wider body of apps and devices.
This prediction isn’t exactly a stretch. There’s a section of the event named “Bringing the Google Assistant to any device,” which suggests that lots more partners could be announced at I/O 2017. We already have Google Assistant powering the Google Home smart speaker – perhaps more device support will be announced at the launch event.
There are even rumours of an iOS version of the Google Assistant app, but we’re taking those with a pinch of salt as Apple is already heavily invested with Siri.
Check out our Google Home hub for all you need to know about the Assistant and Google’s smart home speaker.
Daydream VR and Project Tango
Google’s Daydream View VR headset could receive a big sibling soon, in the form of a more advanced virtual reality headset to compete with the likes of Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. That’s according to rumours circulating the web ahead of the I/O event.
Expect there to be more Daydream software announcements too.
Read next: Best Daydream VR games 2017
Project Tango, the augmented reality platform, should see new devices announced that take advantage of the depth sensing smarts.
While Google did unveil Android Wear 2.0 last year at I/O, plus some LG watches to go along with it, the rumour mill hasn’t been so active on that front this year. Not a shock, as we’ve already seen the latest Google/LG smartwatches launch and Android Wear 2.0 has just hit our devices. Perhaps we can expect a more incremental upgrade to the mobile OS in 2017.
It wouldn’t be a modern day Google I/O without some love given to the in-car operating system space, so expect Android Auto to get some attention.
Google’s partners Audi and Volvo have already been mentioned, with new cars expected to come with Android Auto built in. While you can use the app on your phone in any car, there should be more compatible infotainment systems and potentially even car partners announced at Google I/O 2017.