Google I/O 2024: How to watch and what to expect

Google I/O logo
(Image credit: Michael Hicks / Android Central)

Google I/O, one of the most exciting tech events of the year for Android and Pixel fans, is just around the corner. As usual, the event takes place in mid-May, which is fast approaching. As usual, we expect many fun and interesting announcements from this year's Google I/O 2024 event, with a lot of software and hopefully some new hardware to show off.

Google will host a live keynote and a number of sessions and workshops that users can pop in and out of. The event will give us the best idea of what Google has in store for Android, Search, AI, Wear OS, and tons more. The schedule has already been shared, giving us a good look at what to expect, but we don't have all the details. Still, we can make a good guess about what some of the biggest announcements will be.

When is Google I/O 2024?

Google I/O 2024 begins on May 14, 2024, with the opening keynote starting at 10 a.m. PT. The event will be presented live from the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, California, but it will also be simultaneously livestreamed for anyone who can't be present at the event. To find out how to watch, check the next section.

How to register and watch the Google I/O 2024 keynote/sessions

To take part in the Google I/O developer conference, you must register on the website to create a developer profile. Doing so is free, and it will allow you to stay up-to-date with relevant news and content. You don't need to register to view the sessions or the keynote, but it's recommended if you want the full experience or want to create a developer profile for additional benefits.

For the keynote, check out the video linked above to set a reminder so that you don't miss out on the biggest announcements of Google I/O. The sessions will be available on the I/O website and may likely be posted on Google's YouTube channel following the event.

Android 15

Android 15 logo on Pixel 8

(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

After a brief developer preview phase, the next version of Android is currently being beta-tested on eligible Pixel smartphones. This gives us a good idea of what to expect in Android 15, but Google will likely go into detail on what features and changes we can expect when the stable update rolls out later this year.

Don't expect much in the way of visual upgrades, with the last major change introduced in Android 12 with Material You. Android 15 continues to build on that by further optimizing the software and refining/adding features.

One new feature we've spotted in the beta that has us very excited is Audio Sharing. This feature seems to be based on Auracast and allows users to broadcast their audio from their device to multiple others. Samsung phones have long featured Dual Audio, so this should be a fun evolution of that.

Other features include partial screen recordings that only show an individual app, taskbar and continuity updates for foldable phones, a handy notification cooldown function, a higher-quality webcam mode for Pixels, and more.


Google Pixel 8a all colors

(Image credit: Google)

Last year's Google I/O brought with it a few hardware announcements. The Pixel 7a impressed us with its improved display, Tensor G2, and incredible value. However, this year, Google decided not to wait for I/O and instead announced the Pixel 8a a week before the event. The phone brings an even better display, the latest Tensor chip, and support for Gemini, all at the same $499 price tag.

Google also had new Pixel Tablet news, although probably not what you were expecting. Instead of a Pixel Tablet 2, Google announced that it's now selling the original Pixel Tablet without the dock, bringing the price down to just $399. It's a small change, and we're still waiting for a first-party keyboard and stylus, but hopefully, we'll get more news at I/O and maybe even a glimpse of the next iteration.

We also got the Pixel Fold announcement at I/O 2023, so it's possible we could see the Fold 2 at I/O, although Google may wait to launch its next foldable later in the year alongside the Pixel 9.

Wear OS 5

Google Pixel Watch 2 hands-on

(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

One announcement we weren't expecting is Wear OS 5. While we knew it was likely we'd see an update to Wear OS, we didn't think it would be a full version jump, as we have previously been treated to partial jumps. It's a pretty big deal, even if we don't yet have the full details on what to expect from the update. Google says it will talk about the evolution of the Watch Face Format, but besides that, we're in the dark for now.

We expect the update will first roll out on Samsung's Galaxy Watch series before the Pixel Watch models get it later this year, and Samsung will likely add its own goodies into the mix. We'll also be curious to see what other devices will be eligible for the update, although it will likely be those powered by the Snapdragon W5 Gen 1 platform.

AI in everything, everywhere, all at once

The Gemini Era graphic from Google.

(Image credit: Google)

It seems like yesterday, ChatGPT was the big new thing. Now, generative AI is everywhere, and it seems like we can't go a day without hearing about it. Rest assured, Google will have a lot to say about it at I/O (in case you're looking to start a drinking game of some sort). The company will likely have plenty of new AI features coming to Search, Chrome, Maps, and its various other software services. 

Other Google I/O announcements we expect

Various VR and AR headsets with the Google logo in front

(Image credit: Nick Sutrich / Android Central)

The I/O schedule is quite expansive, so there will be plenty to get into during the conference. One of the things we expect to see or at least hear more about is Google's XR platform, which is expected to power an upcoming Samsung headset. It's unclear if this will actually be talked about during the event, but we feel like it's highly likely, especially in the wake of the Apple Vision Pro and the Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses.

Google is also said to have its own smart glasses in the works, and it showed off the Iris concept at I/O 2022, so maybe we'll see how that's evolved since then.

The new Google smart glasses teased at Google I/O 2022

(Image credit: Google)

We also hope to hear more about Google's plans for fitness. The company signaled the death of Google Fit when Fitbit was made the de-factor app on the Pixel Watch, and recently put another nail in its coffin with the announcement that it's moving away from the Google Fit API. Now, with Health Connect and the Android Health Platform, we're hoping Google can shed some light on how exactly it all comes together, especially as it relates to wearables.

Finally, we hope to learn about what Google is doing with smart home. We haven't had a new smart display in a while, and rumors indicate we could see a new Nest Hub Max and Nest Audio soon, which would help reinvigorate the company's smart home efforts in a way that the Pixel Tablet couldn't really do.

Android Central will be present at Google I/O for any firsthand content. We will also have a live blog during the keynote so that you can stay up to date on the latest announcements as they happen. Be sure to tune in on May 14 for our live coverage!

Derrek Lee
News Editor

Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.