(Pocket-lint) - Google’s I/O developer conference is returning after being canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic.

This year's show will be entirely virtual - like most tech events are these days - and it will span two days in mid-May. If you want to watch Google I/O 2021 to see what Google has been working on lately, here's how you can watch. We have also included details about what to expect.

What is Google I/O?

Google I/O is Google's mostly annual developer conference, where it often introduces new software updates and hardware products.

The opening keynote will be the most exciting part, as that's when Google makes the big announcements. It's held on Day One. The conference will have both consumer and developer-focused keynotes, however, along with technical sessions, workshops, AMAs, and meetups. The official Google's I/O webpage will share the conference's agenda and session schedules in late April 2021. Keep checking there for more information.


When is Google I/O 2021?

The conference will take place from 18 May to 20 May, according to 9to5Google, which revealed the date after solving Google’s cryptic puzzle.

How to watch Google I/O 2021

Google will live-stream its I/O 2021 keynote via YouTube. We will embed the video above once it becomes available.

What to expect at Google I/O 2021

Google typically holds this conference every for developers, to get them up to speed with its latest innovations and to help them update their apps. But it also showcases new products or technologies for consumers, often even new hardware. For instance, at Google I/O 2019, it announced updates across Google News, Search, Lens, Duplex, Assistant, and Android Q, and it revealed the Nest Hub Max and Pixel 3a series. 

    Add it all up, and we suspect Google will again discuss some broad initiatives, including those concerning AI-powered services and projects. It will likely show off more of Android 12, as well. Perhaps we will even get some new hardware. The Pixel Buds A recently leaked, after all.


    Android 12

    Google usually uses the I/O developer conference to formally announce its next major update to Android and introduce the first public beta for consumers to test new features. The final, finished version of Android 12 likely won't get an official rollout to compatible handsets until September.

    Steve Hemmerstoffer (OnLeaks)

    Google Pixel 5a

    Google might only have announced the Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5 in October 2020, but there are already rumours circulating about the next Pixel smartphone, expected to be the Pixel 5a. It'll be a mid-range offering of the Pixel 5. It's been suggested the Pixel 5a will launch on 11 June 2021.

    There have also been a couple of suggestions that we might see the Pixel 5a at Google I/O.

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    Pixel Buds A

    According to 9to5Google, a new marketing email from Google to Nest users included an image of dark green Pixel Buds. The report suggested these are the yet-to-be-announced Pixel Buds A wireless earbuds. They aren’t part of the existing Pixel Buds lineup, which does include a Quite Mint colour. It's assumed the Pixel Buds A would sit below Google's second-generation Pixel Buds

    Keep in mind US Federal Communication Commission listings of a new Pixel Buds-like device recently surfaced. There have also been reports about Google working on a new pair of earbuds that will be very similar to the current $179 Pixel Buds. The main difference is that Pixel Buds A should be available in white and green. The green model will be much darker than the Quint Mint model.

    Writing by Maggie Tillman.