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Everything Google didn’t announce at Google I/O 2021

A lot of predictions were made about Google I/O 2021, and a lot of those missed the mark. There’s still room for these announcements to be made later in the year, even if they weren’t made official at the huge keynote speech. Here is everything Google didn’t announce at I/O that everyone hoped to hear more about.

Google Pixel 6

Jon Prosser

Fans waited with held breath for news about the Google Pixel 6, but not a word was mentioned about the new phone. The new flagship model from Google is one of the most anticipated phones so far, but nothing has been said officially.

That’s not to say there is no news at all about the phone, though. A few days ago, details leaked about the Pixel 6 that showed a total redesign of the look of the device. There is also a chance the Pixel 6 will release with its own silicone in it if the rumors about Google’s Whitechapel are to be believed.

Google Pixel 5a

In addition to the flagship model of the Pixel 6, many people expect a more budget-friendly model of the Pixel 5 to launch. The timeline for the Pixel 5a loosely aligns with Google I/O, so it wouldn’t be particularly surprising to hear news about it — alas, that was not the case.

A leak from Google states that the Pixel 5a is coming later this year, despite rumors that said it might be canceled. The reason little has been said, apparently, is due to the global chip shortage currently affecting a number of different electronic industries.

New Pixel Buds

Dark green Google Pixel Buds seen next to Black Pixel Buds
9to5google / Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

The Google Pixel Buds are Google’s answer to Apple’s AirPods. There was talk that a new version of the Pixel Buds might be launched this year with an announcement at Google I/O. The keynote passed without news, much to the disappointment of fans of the earbuds.

The Pixel Buds 2 have been out for a year now, so there is a gap in the market a new version could fill. On the other hand, a year isn’t that long between releases of physical hardware like this, so perhaps it’s no great surprise.

Nest hardware

Today would have been the perfect time for Google to announce new Nest hardware, perhaps in the form of a security camera, since the aging Google Nest IQ Indoor and Nest IQ Outdoor have been out of stock for a while now on the Google Store. Rumors swirled that the search engine giant might tease the launch of a new piece of hardware. No news or word has been given on any new devices.

Even if it wasn’t strictly a Google Assistant device, the market is poised for a new smart thermostat or other Nest product.

New Chromecast

Another rumored announcement today would be a new Chromecast, perhaps one capable of handling Stadia streaming. This wasn’t the case, not that it comes as much of a surprise — the current lineup of Chromecast devices on the market can already handle 4K streaming.

Until 8K becomes prominent (which is not for years to come), there isn’t much need for a new Chromecast for content streaming purposes. As cloud gaming and streaming become more popular, though, there is space for Chromecast to improve and become more compatible with that platform.


There have been rumors for quite a while now that Google is working on its own chip to free itself from the Qualcomm market. Google made no announcement related to that, although the Google I/O keynote did focus heavily on a new chip used at Google’s server farms to provide better processing for search engines.

If the rumors about Whitechapel are true, it could open the door for a lot more processing power in Android devices and smart devices. The Whitechapel chip would be optimized specifically for Google devices, rather than adapted from existing chips.

Google I/O 2021 served as the home for a slew of announcements, including projects no leak had ever hinted at. Take Project Starline, for instance — it creates an incredibly immersive experience for video conferencing. All of these projects point toward a bright future with Google’s new technologies, but the door is still open for a lot more products to be announced over the year to come.

Most of Google’s new phones launch around September, so only a few months remain for news to release regarding them. Unless the global chip shortage causes a delay in the launch of phones, more word will come out in the months ahead regarding the Pixel and other products.

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Patrick Hearn
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Patrick Hearn writes about smart home technology like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, smart light bulbs, and more. If it's a…
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