Google I/O 2024: Android 15, Pixel 8a and everything else we expect to see

Google I/O is the company’s biggest developer conference that happens every year, much like Apple’s WWDC event or Microsoft Build. This is where Google talks about what it’s been working on, and the announcements typically cover both software and hardware. 

This year, we’re expecting Android 15, the Pixel 8a, and AI to be the stars of the show, but it’s possible there could be an announcement or two sprinkled in about an upcoming wearable, tablet, or VR/AR headset.

Google’s annual developer conference kicks off in a few short weeks, but if you’re like us and can’t wait until then to find out what will be announced, read on for everything we know so far about Google I/O 2024.

Google I/O 2024: Latest newsWhen is Google I/O 2024?

For the past few years, Google I/O has taken place in May — and this year is no different. Google I/O 2024 will take place May 14 and 15, and the main keynote speech is set to begin at 10 a.m. PST (1 p.m. EST). 

How to watch Google I/O 2024

Just like last year, you can watch the I/O 2024 keynote speech and special sessions live via Google’s YouTube channel or the official Google I/O site. Or, if you can’t catch the livestream, the content will typically be available as standalone videos shortly after.

Google I/O 2024: Android 15

Based on Google’s vague timeline for Android 15 (codenamed “Vanilla Ice Cream”), it likely won’t be released until October 2024 alongside the company’s new Pixel phones at a Made by Google event. However, we expect to see some exciting features-to-be debut at I/O 2024 for Android 15.

(Image credit: Google)

Thanks to the Android 15 Developer Preview 2 Build and the Android 15 public beta, we have a good idea of what features Google has in store for the forthcoming update to its mobile OS. Of course, a feature showing up in Android 15 beta doesn’t guarantee that it’ll make it to the final version — and there are definitely secret features Google’s keeping under wraps — but here’s what we know so far.

A new Private Space feature will allow you to hide certain apps, files, or folders on your phone and hide notifications from those apps while you’re phone is locked. For the apps you don’t want to hide, you can utilize the App Pairs feature that lets you save groups of apps you frequently want to use together in split-screen.

(Image credit: Laptop Mag / Rael Hornby / Google)

There’s a Notification Cooldown feature that will lower the volume of successive notifications, saving you stress when you’re being bombarded with group chat messages. Then, Sensitive Notifications will prevent showing notifications with private user information.

It’s also possible that Android 15 might bring lock screen widgets back, especially after seeing how successful Apple’s new StandBy mode is in iOS 17.

The first phones to receive Android 15 will be Google’s own Pixel phones, but the OS will likely arrive to Samsung Galaxy S24 devices shortly after, as well as newer devices from OnePlus, Nokia, Sony, Motorola, Asus, Fairphone, and Nothing. Check out the full list of phones expected to get the Android 15 update for more specifics.

Google I/O 2024: Pixel 8a

Historically, Google loves to announce its budget-friendly Pixel A-series phone at I/O 2024. This year, that’s the Pixel 8a.

Based on the leaks we’ve seen, Google’s Pixel 8a won’t stray too far from the classic Pixel design with the iconic camera bar, unlike the Pixel 9. Housed in the camera bar is likely a 64MP main lens and a 13MP ultrawide sensor, similar to the Pixel 7a.

(Image credit: SmartPrix / OnLeaks)

According to a leak on X, the Pixel 8a will sport a Tensor G3 chipset to match the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro. It’ll also supposedly feature a 6.1-inch FHD+ OLED 120Hz display, 128GB and 256GB options for storage, 8GB of RAM, and a 4,500 mAh battery.

Based on a few different rumors, we’re expecting the Pixel 8a to start at $550 — that’s $51 more than the Pixel 7a. For more details about Google’s upcoming budget phone, check out the latest Pixel 8a rumors we’ve rounded up.

Google I/O 2024: Pixel Fold 2

The original Pixel Fold was announced at Google I/O 2023, so it’s possible we could see the Pixel Fold 2 debut this year, but it’s not likely.

(Image credit: @OnLeaks and @Smartprix)

Recent rumors suggest Google’s next foldable might go by a new name: the Pixel 9 Pro Fold. And with how much this upcoming foldable has in common with Pixel 9 devices, we’re inclined to believe the rumored name change is true.

The Pixel Fold 2 — or Pixel 9 Pro Fold — will reportedly come with the next-gen Tensor G4 chipset that’s expected in other Pixel 9 series devices. It’s also supposed to receive a RAM upgrade to 16GB, improved storage speeds, and extra AI capabilities.

If Google’s next foldable is indeed part of the Pixel 9 series, then it’ll probably be announced at the company’s fall event rather than I/O 2024.

Stay up to date with everything you need to know about the Pixel Fold 2 here.

Google I/O 2024: New AI features

Over the past year — and especially the past few months — Google has been dropping new AI features left and right. Even for those who use Google products and services regularly, all these new AI tools and features releasing so close together has been a little confusing.

Google I/O 2024 would be the perfect time to highlight the most useful AI features currently on compatible devices and lay out a roadmap for new AI tools, as well as how to access and use them. 

(Image credit: Google)

Recently, Google announced a rebrand for its AI tool Bard to Gemini, along with a short guide to what Gemini can help you do: plan events, write thank you notes, answer complex questions, and more. While Gemini is optional right now, the plan is for Gemini to eventually replace Google Assistant.

Earlier this year, Google also announced a set of generative AI features planned for Chrome, including smart tab grouping, generative themes, and AI-assisted writing. While these features are available to Chrome users on any OS, it’s possible that Google might have more advanced AI features planned for its ChromeOS users that require on-device AI.

We don’t know exactly which new AI features Google might debut at I/O 2024, but with how much buzz the term “generative AI” is producing right now, we’re pretty confident that the company will show off what it’s been working on in the AI space.

Google I/O 2024: VR and AR possibilities

No rumors have directly suggested that Google might debut the mixed reality headset it’s been working on with Qualcomm and Samsung, but I/O 2024 would be the perfect time and place to announce it or even tease it a little. 

Apple’s Vision Pro headset just released in February and it’s created a lot of buzz in the VR/AR world. With Google’s questionable history with AR devices, I/O 2024 might be a good time to remind the world that the company’s not out of the VR/AR race just yet (and that it’s working with Samsung and Qualcomm this time around to create something that can truly compete with the Vision Pro.)

Google I/O 2024: Wearables and tablets

Google probably won’t launch any new wearables at I/O 2024, but we may see a teaser for the Pixel Watch 3, rumored to arrive in October 2024, or a new Fitbit device.

For the upcoming Pixel Tablet 2, however, we might see more than a teaser. The rumor mill is currently pointing to a mid-2024 release for Google’s next tablet, in either May or June. With this timeline, I/O 2024 would be the perfect time to announce the Pixel Tablet 2 and show off its features in preparation for a June launch.

Bottom line

For hardware, the shining star of Google I/O 2024 will probably be the company’s budget-friendly Pixel 8a phone. The Pixel 8a is expected to have a slightly higher price than the Pixel 7a, but for an extra $51, it’ll sport a hefty set of specs.

On the software side, we’re expecting Google to debut a comprehensive overview of Android 15, outlining its best new features and possibly giving us a release date. We also hope to see Google present its existing AI features in an easy-to-understand way and talk about new AI features to come to Android devices and other Google products and services.

If you can’t or don’t want to tune in on May 14 and 15 for Google I/O 2024, check back in with us to catch the highlights.


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