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The 5 biggest announcements we expect from Google I/O 2023

Google I/O 2023 is right around the corner. Can you believe it? Google’s annual developer conference acts as a showcase for the biggest and most interesting things the company is working on — including new Google Search tools, Android updates, and even upcoming hardware products.

Each year, Google I/O comes with more announcements than you can easily keep track of, and I/O 2023, which is scheduled for May 10, likely won’t be any different. But what news from this year’s conference are we most looking forward to? Here are a few of the biggest and most exciting things we expect to see at Google I/O 2023.

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Android 14

The Android 14 logo.

If you care at all about Android, looming news around Android 14 should be reason enough for you to care about Google I/O 2023. Google’s already technically announced and released Android 14, albeit in a very early form. The first developer preview was released in early February, with the second developer preview launching a month later on March 8.

But these first two Android 14 previews have been exactly that — developer previews. They give developers a chance to start playing with the new software and get their apps ready for it. However, there have been very few user-facing changes that offer any reason to get truly excited about Android 14. That should change at Google I/O 2023.

Per Google’s own release timeline for Android 14, we should get the first public beta release of Android 14 in April, followed by a second beta update in May (likely during I/O). This is the time when we should get a much better idea of Android 14’s biggest changes and updates. Google I/O 2021 is where Google first introduced Material You for Android 12 — which ended up being one of the biggest visual overhauls Android has ever seen.

While we aren’t expecting anything as drastic with Android 14, that’s not to say Google won’t have anything exciting to share about its next Android version. We already know the update introduces new security and password features, better support for tablets and foldables, new battery-saving tools, and more. We should get a much better look at all of these things at I/O 2023, plus a few things we don’t know about quite yet.

Google Pixel 7a

Front and rear profile of Pixel 7a in leaked images.
Pixel 7a render OnLeaks / SmartPrix

The Google Pixel 7a is expected to be Google’s next budget-conscious Pixel smartphone, and if past I/O events are anything to go by, we’ll almost certainly see the 7a at I/O 2023.

According to the rumor mill, the Pixel 7a will see an updated design compared to its Pixel 6a predecessor. We’re expecting a 6.1-inch display, a centered hole-punch cutout for the selfie camera, and the now iconic camera bar on the back — this time featuring a different color to make the camera sensors stand out more, similar to the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro.

We should also get some exciting spec upgrades. Rumor has it that the Pixel 7a will ditch the aging 60Hz display refresh rate of its predecessors and instead use a more fluid 90Hz refresh rate. There’s also talk of wireless charging support, Google’s latest Tensor G2 chipset, and a possible upgrade to 8GB of RAM.

If Google delivers on those things with the same $449 price of the Pixel 6a, we should be in for something special. Expect the Pixel 7a to be fully announced at Google I/O 2023, with preorders and regular sales following at a later date.

Google Pixel Tablet

The Google Pixel Table and the Speaker Dock.

The Pixel 7a isn’t the only piece of Pixel hardware we expect to see at Google I/O 2023. Another device we should see make an appearance is the Pixel Tablet. Google first teased the Pixel Tablet at Google I/O 2022 and previewed it again at its Pixel 7 launch event in October of  last year.

Now that it’s been about a year since we first saw the Pixel Tablet — and it’s set to launch at some point in 2023 — Google likely has something to say about it during I/O 2023. Whether it’s a closer look at the tablet’s design, confirmation of its specs, or more information about the speaker dock that turns it into a Nest Hub, there’s a lot Google still hasn’t shared about the Pixel Tablet.

Will the tablet actually be released for purchase at Google I/O 2023? It’s possible, but Google may also wait until the fall to make that final step. Regardless, if you’ve been itching to know more about the Pixel Tablet and what it can do, I/O 2023 should be where that finally happens.

Google Pixel Fold

Alleged render of Google Pixel Fold

If we’re lucky, Google could also use Google I/O 2023 to show off its long-awaited folding smartphone for the first time. Currently referred to as the Pixel Fold, we’ve already seen mock-up renders and dummy models of the device — along with plenty of leaked specs.

The Pixel Fold is rumored to have a design not unlike the Oppo Find N2, including a 5.79-inch front display that’s shorter and wider than the Galaxy Z Fold 4. The inner screen is expected to measure 7.69 inches and have a 120Hz refresh rate, Google’s Tensor G2 chip is likely the processor, and we’re almost certainly getting a triple-camera setup on the back that’s said to be a “Pixel flagship camera” system.

It seems a bit unlikely that Google will launch the Pixel Fold at Google I/O 2023, but there’s a strong possibility that Google at least teases the phone, as it did with the Pixel 7 and Pixel Watch at Google I/O 2022.

Google Bard

Google Bard AI providing a roadtrip plan.

Last but not least, Google I/O 2023 is bound to give us plenty of updates around Google Bard — Google’s answer to ChatGPT. In short, it’s an AI-powered chatbot that you’ll be able to ask any question that comes to mind in a more natural way than you can currently interact with Google Search.

Google first showcased Bard on February 6, though the service is currently only available to a small group of beta testers. Google did confirm that it’s expanding Bard to more people over the coming weeks and months, and with Google I/O happening in early May, it’s all but guaranteed that we’ll see more examples about what Bard can do — and learn when more people will be able to use it.

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