Photo Credit: Google
Google I/O 2021 registrations are now open, and anyone who is interested in Google technology can tune in to get the information about product releases, insights from experts, and hands-on learning. Google skipped last year's annual conference entirely due to COVID-19, but this year, the free-for-all event is taking place virtually from May 18 to May 20. Google says that this year's event will offer attendees access to Workshops, Ask Me Anything Sessions (AMAs), personalised content, live Q&A during Sessions, and more.
Google I/O annual developers conference is usually about developer talk, but Google also showcases various consumer-facing features for its products and services on which it is working. For example, a few year ago, the company introduced Google Duplex experimental technology which lets an AI-powered bot make phone calls on your behalf.
One of the most important announcements of Google I/O 2021 could be related to the next iteration of the company's Android operating system. Multiple developer previews of Android 12 have been released, and as per a report by XDA Developers, the next OS update will bring improvements to Scrolling Screenshots, hold power button to call Google Assistant, Search bar in the widget picker, new emojis, and a few privacy features among others.
There is a lot of fuss about WearOS, Google's OS for wearables. Reports pouring in from various quarters hint that the company is developing a Google Pixel Watch smartwatch powered by WearOS. It is possible that Google may touch upon the features and functions of the wearable.
Google Assistant is arguably the most powerful virtual assistant that you can get. Google is expected to expand the use cases of the Assistant and may announce new capabilities. Google may also make an announcement about Assistant's integration in more products and services.
Speculations are rife that Google is working on an in-house SoC that will power the rumoured Pixel 6 handsets. Called “GS101” Whitechapel SoC, it may commercially be called something completely different. Google CEO Sundar Pichai had teased investments in hardware and promised a ‘terrific roadmap ahead' for 2021 during an earnings call in October 2020, implying hardware-related announcements for this year.
Why did LG give up on its smartphone business? We discussed this on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Later (starting at 22:00), we talk about the new co-op RPG shooter Outriders. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and wherever you get your podcasts.