Google's next I/O developer conference is around the corner.
Google holds a multi-day event every year in order to get its developer community up to speed with any new hardware it is developing and all the software or updates it plans to push out to products. This gives developers a chance to get their own apps, services, integrations, and tie-ins ready before Google actually launches its stuff.
However, consumers love to watch the Google I/O show, too, as Google usually makes a few public announcements to get everyone excited. So, what does Google have in store for us in 2018 and beyond? Here's everything you need to know about Google I/O this year, including how to watch the keynote and what to expect.
When is Google I/O 2018?
This year’s Google I/O developer conference will be held from 8 May to 10 May 2018 at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California. Google posted a binary code in order to reveal the google.com/io website. From there, it made people work through an online puzzle to pinpoint the date and location of Google I/O 2018.
Go to the Google I/O website to experience Google's Street View-style puzzle. You're able to roam around Google Building 1300 in Mountain View, but you'll quickly run into a locked door and need to answer a riddle to unlock it. You'll also have to gather clues and unlock more doors. Here’s a Discord group that's solving the puzzle.
Welp, the end of the Google I/O thing is just the date: May 8-10 pic.twitter.com/nHdem6fu3i— ⚡️ Owen (@ow) January 24, 2018
Last year's keynote was set for 10am PST (6pm BST). We'll let you know when we know the time for this year's.
What is the theme at Google I/O 2018?
- How to use Google's art app to find your face in famous artworks
- How to capture and view Google's VR photo and video format
- Google Home Max review: Turning smart-home sound quality up to 11
There are several clues scattered around Google's online puzzle that suggest a theme of sisters: There's a calendar at the reception set to 5 August (National Sister’s Day); the book on the coffee table is called Sister Carrie; the landscape photo on the TV looks like the Three Sisters peaks; and a painting of the Brontë sisters is on the wall.
How to watch the Google I/O 2018
Google always live-streams its keynote. We will embed it when it becomes available. In the meantime, check out last year's keynote below. Also, keep in mind the Google's I/O webpage should eventually update with the conference's agenda, session schedules, and more. So keep checking that for more information.
What to expect at Google I/O 2018
Here's what Google may or may not announce:
- How to get Android O on your phone right now
- What is Android Go and why does it matter?
- Android Go is Google's latest attempt at optimising budget Android phones
Google seems to have teased its next version of Android in its online puzzle. We saw a picture of a Pineapple upside-down cake. Mind you, Google is looking for a P-related name to follow Android Oreo. This could be an early revelation of the next Android version’s name. Either way, we expect to learn more about Android P at I/O.
Google just launched the first Android P developer preview in March, and we expect the public beta to show up at I/O 2018.
Last year, Google released the first developer preview of Android O in March, and then, it released the public beta of Android O, along with its new Android Go, a version of the operating system meant to power low-end devices in emerging markets, during I/O 2017. It also did demos of picture-in-picture, Notification Dots, etc.
- Google Home can now make hands-free phone calls like Amazon Echo
- Google Home can now give you visual responses on phones and Chromecast
Google Home, which is Google's smart speaker loaded with Google Assistant, was updated at last year's Google I/O with a bunch of new features, including "proactive assistance", also known as push notifications, hands-free free calling, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Deezer integrations, and more.
Also, more recently, Google launched two more Google Home speakers: Home Max and Home Mini. We expect the company to address its Google Home line and maybe even announce new features for them.
- Move over, Siri: Google Assistant is officially coming to iPhone
- Google Lens brings super powers to your phone camera
Google's competitor to Alexa is only a year older but is growing more useful every day. For instance, last year, it added support for Whirlpool and GE appliances, availability on iOS as a standalone app, a developer's kit so it could come to more devices, and several more improvements thanks to Google's machine learning progress.
We expect the company to further enhance what Google Assistant can do and announce these updates at I/O.
- Google Photos gets better at sharing, creates actual photo books
- Google Lens brings super powers to your phone camera
Last year, Google added Suggested Sharing to its Google Photos service. It also added Shared Libraries and Photo Books and Google Lens. That last bit will help identify places and serve up information about them. Google doesn't always announce updates to Photos at Google I/O conferences, but it might do that this year. Ya never know.
VR and AR
- Google Daydream: What does it do and what devices support it?
- Standalone Daydream VR is now a reality, HTC and Lenovo onboard
- Google Daydream: Google's Android VR platform explained
Google announced its Daydream View platform at I/O in 2016, and then, last year, it announced new phone partners and a reference design for Daydream-compatible headset that doesn't need a phone because it has built-in positional tracking. HTC was expected to sell a commercial version - but that appears to have been cancelled.
Anyway, let's not forget that Google itself has a new Daydream View headset, which debuted last autumn, and at CES 2018, Google offered up V180. It's a "half format" if you will. The hemispherical format captures a 180-degree view in either still or video form - almost like a living photograph that you can view through a VR headset.
A new breed of dual-lens cameras - like Lenovo Mirage Camera - makes snapping a V180 image or video simple. We might hear more about this format and cameras, plus the Daydream platform, at I/O 2018.
Is that it?
There were several other announcements at Google I/O 2017, including: the ability to stream live and prerecorded YouTube 360 videos via the YouTube app on smart TVs; Gmail got a smart reply feature that was available in Inbox; a Google.ai division for learning systems, research tools, and applied AI.
In other words, Google may have plenty of other smaller announcements in store for this year's show too.