Each year Google runs a number of large events, usually somewhere near its home-base in Silicon Valley, where it brings together different groups that are interested in the various parts Google's product and services roadmap. In a little less than 24 hours, Google will be running their annual Google I/O event. Here's everything you need to know about the event.
What is Google I/O?
This year's Google I/O event will be held on May 7-9 at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California. It brings together developers for talks, hands-on learning with Google experts and a look at Google’s latest developer products.
To give you some idea of what the event is about, you can take a look at this somewhat cheesy summary of last year's event.
Who is Google I/O for?
If you develop software of any kind that works or uses a Google platform Google I/O will have something for you.
The sorts of people who might want to either attend Google I/O or follow it online might be engaged in some of the following:
- creating Android apps
- writing programs for Chrome OS
- working as a web developer leveraging Google's cloud services
- experimenting with software to use in cars
- creating apps for wearables
- making software that runs on TVs
- gaming with the new Google Stadia platform
The event gets into plenty of technical detail through the over 200 sessions being run over the three days so there's something for almost everyone.
For example, there are sessions on Teaching a Car to Drive Itself by Imitation and Imagination, Stadia Streaming Tech: A Deep Dive and Rendering on the Web: Performance Implications of Application Architecture.
There are also some high level sessions such as a look at What's New in Android, various discussions on best practice use of different Google tools and improving digital well-being.
So, even if can't get there this year, you can share this with the less technical people in your team and perhaps make the business case for a couple of people to go - perhaps a developer and a manager.
What can we expect from Google I/O 2019?
Each year, Google releases a number of major updates to its software and services portfolio. Here are some the big announcements and product demonstrations we can expect.
Google's foray into the automotive world has been quite subdued by its standards. While Android Auto has been around for a while, many car makers have used it as a platform upon which they've developed their own user interface. That's changing.
Volvo announced that it will be deploying 'vanilla' Android Auto in cars, signalling a change in Google's strategy.
We can expect the next iteration of Google's mobile platform for smartphones and tablet, Android Q to be shown off - most likely during the opening keynote.
Google has created an interesting challenge for Android TV. Chromecast does a great job of letting people connect their computers, tablets and phones to TVs to stream content easily. But that's meant the case for putting a lot of effort into Android TV has been diminished. But with Netflix pulling the pin on AirPlay support Google may prepare for a future when its streaming platform is no longer supported.
Google recently updated Wear OS with new swipe gestures which is a good sign - it means the platform isn't being culled. But I doubt the software will get a big mention given a significant enhancement was released so recently.
Although Google I/O is a software conference, it is possible the company will announce some new hardware.
It's been strongly rumoured that Google will be releasing a new version of the Google Pixel smartphone. The Pixel 3a looks like it will slide in as a budget handset at under $1000. Given the company will have the interest of the world's media and will be competing for attention with Microsoft's Build event, an announcement wouldn't be a complete shock.
A less likely option is a new smartwatch that shows off the full capabilities of the Wear OS platform.
How can you watch from here?
The Google IO 2019 will be live-streamed on 7 May 2019 from the Shoreline Amphitheatre. It starts at 10am PDT. That translates to Wednesday, 8 May 2019 at 3:00AM on the Australian east coast.
The event will be live-streamed via YouTube. It will also be broadcast in 360-degree video so you can get your VR headset out and try that if you're keen. Many sessions are also streamed or you can catch them later on YouTube.