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Google I/O 2022 will take place in mid-May, return to Shoreline Amphitheater

The Google I/O puzzle for 2022
(Image credit: Google Developers)

Edit: 5:30 ET, 3/16/22: Sundar Pichai has revealed the official Google I/O 2022 date.

What you need to know

  • Google I/O 2022 will take place on May 11-12 at the Shoreline Amphitheater, and will remain virtual-only.
  • Earlier today, Google teased the upcoming event with a mysterious string-based puzzle.
  • Previous puzzles have included arcade games, space-themed puzzles, and riddles.

For everyone stumped by Google Developers' inscrutable puzzle (opens in new tab), you can take off your thinking caps: Google CEO Sundar Pichai has confirmed the next Google I/O event will take place on May 11-12.

As with last year, Google will forego a physical event and conduct Google I/O 2022 virtually, starting with a livestream from the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California. Unlike previous in-person events, anyone can attend the two-day event and its developer-focused workshops for free. 

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As for what we hope to see at Google I/O 2022, some rumors have tied the Pixel 6a and the Google Pixel Watch to the event, but you shouldn't count on that. The same applies to new Wear OS features or Nest hardware.

It's much more likely the event will focus on software: Android 13 features, Chrome OS, new Google Tensor features, and AI advancements. 

Original story below

Another year, another bizarre puzzle for internet sleuths to solve. The Google Developers Twitter account revealed a series of string puzzles today that will presumably reveal the date of the upcoming Google I/O 2022 developer conference.

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The Google IO puzzle page (opens in new tab) shows four strings labeled A, B, C, and D and a convoluted UI that lets you increase or decrease the number of dots on each string. You can press buttons labeled "M" and "S" next to each letter, though we don't know what these do yet. 

You can press Play to watch the dots loop around each string puzzle. By changing the color of the dots, they make different sounds as they progress. It's possible that Google wants you to solve the puzzle by creating a specific audio sequence.

Puzzle A also has an expandable box that shows the number 31. Perhaps the number of dots is meant to match that number somehow, although you can't actually place 31 dots on one string.

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While we don't know yet what this puzzle is meant to reveal, the Twitter account has promised to provide more clues over time, which should help unravel this mystery. The latest clues suggest you need to build a "simple rhythm" and that "how you read is key for clues two and three."

Previous years' puzzles and games have included a game of Breakout counting down to I/O 2021, the "A Collaboration of the Cosmos" puzzle before the canceled Google I/O 2020, and a riddle teasing the 2019 event.

Last year, Google began teasing its May event in April, so hypothetically, this earlier puzzle timeline could suggest an earlier Google I/O 2022, possibly in April; but the 2020 puzzle appeared two months before the planned event date, so May remains an option. Until someone actually solves the puzzle, we can only speculate.

Michael L Hicks
Senior Editor, VR/AR and fitness

Michael spent years freelancing on every tech topic under the sun before settling down on the real exciting stuff: virtual reality, fitness wearables, gaming, and how tech intersects with our world. He's a semi-reformed Apple-to-Android user who loves running, D&D, and Star Wars. Find him on Twitter at @Michael_L_Hicks.