Google I/O 2024: What to Expect, From AI Updates to Android 15 Google I/O 2024: What to Expect, From AI Updates to Android 15
Google I/O — the tech giant’s annual developers conference — is finally here, and we’ll likely get a peek at Android 15, some AI updates... Google I/O 2024: What to Expect, From AI Updates to Android 15

Google I/O — the tech giant’s annual developers conference — is finally here, and we’ll likely get a peek at Android 15, some AI updates and hear more about the company’s upcoming Pixel 8A.

It’s not yet clear what exactly Google could unveil during the keynote, which takes place today, May 14, at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California. (Following the keynote, there will be developer breakout sessions on May 14 and 15.) Last year, the company debuted the Pixel Fold and Pixel 7A, as well as features like Magic Editor in Photos and Immersive View for Maps. With that in mind, it’s possible we’ll get a good mix of hardware and software updates at this year’s conference, too.

Based on rumors and speculation, as well as what Google has announced so far, here’s what we’re expecting the company to showcase at this year’s I/O.

When is Google I/O?

The keynote takes place at 10 a.m. PT/1 p.m. ET on Tuesday, May 14. Google will livestream the session, and you can find out how to watch it here. 

Google's Pixel 7A phone Google's Pixel 7A phone

The Google Pixel 8A.

James Martin/CNET

Pixel 8A

Google will launch the next generation of its affordable Pixel A series, the Pixel 8A, on the same day as I/O. It’ll cost $500.

These lower-priced devices share many of the same features as flagship Pixel phones. The 8A, for instance, houses the same processor as the Pixel 8 and comes with the same memory and storage options. It also includes AI tools like Best Take and Magic Editor and will come with seven years of OS and security updates. The company will likely highlight the 8A during its keynote and tout the premium features it’s packed into a more budget-friendly device.

We’ve put together this spec comparison of the Pixel 8A versus the Pixel 8, so you can see how each phone’s features stack up. 

Android 15 logo shown on a OnePlus phone Android 15 logo shown on a OnePlus phone

James Martin/CNET

Android 15

Google I/O usually offers a peek at upcoming software features, so it’s safe to assume we’ll learn more about the next version of its mobile device software, Android 15, and its eventual public release at this year’s keynote. Android 15 is currently available in beta and includes new features and improvements focused on productivity, privacy and security. For instance, there’s support for app archiving and unarchiving so you can easily free up space on your phone, as well as end-to-end encryption for contact keys and extended support for satellite connectivity. 

AI updates

If there was one key phrase at last year’s I/O, it was: AI. That’s likely to be the case again this year, as Google and other companies continue to leverage the rapidly developing technology. 

AI Atlas art badge tag AI Atlas art badge tag

It’s possible we’ll get updates about the rollout of Gemini, Google’s ChatGPT competitor. The search giant has said Gemini will become the primary assistant on Android phones for anyone who downloads the app and opts in, replacing Google Assistant. There’s been talk that Apple could equip its upcoming iPhones with Gemini AI models, but it’s likely we won’t know more about that until Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in June. 

On top of that, there could be improvements to AI features like Circle to Search, or entirely new ones for mobile devices that Google might tease at I/O. 

(For a rated review of Gemini as well as other AI products including ChatGPT, Firefly and the Rabbit R1 device, along with AI news, tips and explainers, see our new AI Atlas hub.)

Watch this: How Google Tests the Cameras in Its Pixel Phones

Other updates

It’s not clear if Google will unveil the second generation of its Pixel Fold at I/O again this year, although rumors suggest that launch could happen later this year. There’s speculation the company could work the device into its flagship Pixel lineup and dub it the Pixel 9 Pro Fold, instead of just the Pixel Fold 2, according to Android Police.

Read more: 4 Months Later, the Pixel Fold Shows Google Needs to Do More

In addition, Google’s been pretty quiet about its Wear OS smartwatch software since announcing its partnership with Samsung to co-develop the operating system at I/O years ago. We expect other improvements and new tricks coming to Google’s suite of products, including Search, Maps, Drive and more.

Otherwise, we’ll see if Google has any surprises up its sleeve. As always, CNET will be on the ground and sharing real-time updates once May 14 rolls around.

Editors’ note: CNET used an AI engine to help create several dozen stories, which are labeled accordingly. The note you’re reading is attached to articles that deal substantively with the topic of AI but are created entirely by our expert editors and writers. For more, see our AI policy.

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