Google I/O, the company’s annual developer conference will be held from May 7 this year. Google CEO Sundar Pichai confirmed that the three-day event will take place at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, California. Typically, the biggest announcement at Google I/O is of the new Android OS version, which will be Android Q this year.
In addition to Android Q, the search giant is also speculated to unveil its mid-range Pixel 3a series smartphones as well. In the past, we have seen Google launch its new flagship Pixel smartphones in October time-frame every year, starting from Pixel, Pixel XL in 2016.
However, this is the first time that Google will use its annual developer conference platform to launch its Pixel smartphones. Google Pixel 3a, Pixel 3a XL, which will be stripped down and more affordable variants of Pixel 3 series launched last year, is expected to be unveiled on May 7.
More announcements expected at Google I/O 2019 could be around its Duplex feature, which was announced at Google I/O 2018 as well as its cloud-based gaming service Stadia. Here is a look at everything to expect at Google I/O 2019:
Google I/O 2019: Android Q
Android Q, the successor to Android 9.0 Pie will be unveiled at the event. It will be interesting to know the name of Android Q given it is hard to think of desserts that start with the letter ‘Q’. For those who are not aware, Google uses dessert names for its new Android operating each year. So, for instance, its was Pie last year, Oreo prior to that, Nougat before that, and so on.
Ahead of its official debut, several features of Android Q have leaked online including support for system-wide dark mode, improved privacy and permission controls, iPhone X-like navigation gestures, as well as Face ID-like feature. Of course, we will have to wait for an official announcement to know which features make it to the official build.
Google has also released two beta versions of Android Q so far, and the new OS will put the focus on additional privacy and security for its users. For instance, it will include greater control over location data, more control over apps and access to shared files, as well as app access limit to non-resettable device identifiers like device IMEI, serial number, etc.
Another interesting feature could be the support for foldable devices, given Samsung, Huawei and other players have already launched their foldable phones, while Motorola, LG, Xiaomi, and more phones are said to be working on such devices. Last year, with Android Pie, Google launched support for notch, which has become a common feature on smartphones these days.
Google I/O 2019: Pixel 3a, Pixel 3a XL
Google Pixel 3a, Pixel 3a XL smartphones, which are said to be more affordable versions of flagships Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL, are expected to launch on May 7. As the launch nears, we are seeing more leaks around the two devices. AndroidHeadlines shared what it claims to be official end product images of the two phones as well as full specifications.
Both Google Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL are expected to have prominent top and bottom bezels, single front camera, a 3.5mm headphone jack, front-facing speakers, Android 9.0 Pie, as well as plastic body design. The design language of the two phones will be similar to Pixel 3 series that come with a two-tone back cover.
The smaller Pixel 3a will sport a 5.6-inch full HD+ display, while the Pixel 3a XL will have a 6-inch Full HD+ display. Both phones will have 4GB RAM and 64GB storage space. The Pixel 3a will be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 670 processor, while the XL variant will run the Snapdragon 710 chipset.
Google I/O 2019: Update on Stadia
Google announced its cloud-based gaming service Stadia in March, though its availability and subscription details is yet to be made official. The service that allows users to play any Stadia games without having to buy a console or computer, is expected to be launched this year in several markets including the US, UK, Canada, and Central Europe. The pricing of Google’s subscription-based gaming service is speculated to be similar to that of GeForce Now and PlayStation Now, but we will have to wait for an official confirmation to know more.
Google I/O 2019: Update on Duplex
Google Duplex, a feature that the company showcased at its last year’s annual developer conference, generated a lot of interest and questions simply because of the robo-caller’s ability to talk to local businesses in a way that sounds perfectly human.
A Duplex demo was also given at 2018 event, and we expect Google to announce updates for the feature. During the demo, the Duplex was able to book hair salon appointment as well as call up a restaurant to book tables.
Google Duplex was initially available in a select number of cities in the US, and for Pixel devices. Earlier this month, Duplex started rolling out for non-Pixel devices as well in 43 states across the US.