Google IO 2018: what we want to see

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Google IO 2018 is just a handful of months away, with the event happening in May, and it's sure to be used to unveil a bunch of Android software goodies and potentially even some new hardware.

We don't know much about IO 2018 yet, but Google has begun teasing the event, giving us a few clues as to what we might see – and when.

We've also come up with a wish list for what we want from Google's annual developer conference, which you'll find at the bottom of this page.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? Google's annual developer conference
  • When is it? May 8-10

Google IO 2018 news and rumors

Google recently took to Twitter to tease IO 2018, and that tweet led users to the google.com/io website, where a series of puzzles reveals that the event will take place on May 8-10 at the Shoreline Amphitheater in California (where the last couple of IO's have been held).

That's not particularly surprising, as Google IO is usually held in May, but this would be slightly earlier in the month than usual.

The site also features a picture of a pineapple upside-down cake, which is an obvious hint that the next version of Android could borrow that name, though it could just as easily be a red herring.

Android Pineapple Upside-down Cake is a bit of a mouthful, but Android Pineapple? That could work, although it doesn't follow the sweet treat theme Google has used to date.

And let's not forget, Android Ice Cream Sandwich wasn't exactly succinct. 

What we want to see

Google IO is sure to include some tasty Android news, but that's not all we want from it. Here are some of our main wishes.

1. An Android P beta

We may learn some things about Android P before Google IO 2018, but there's likely to be a lot of additional information at that event and hopefully also a beta, so that anyone brave enough to deal with the bugs can try it out for themselves.

There's a good chance we'll get this too, since Android Oreo entered beta during Google IO 2017.

2. Android P's name

Could this be an obvious hint at Android P's name? Credit: Google/The Verge

As well as information and a beta, we'd love to find out what Android P will actually be called. Our only clue so far is a picture of a pineapple upside-down cake, found by The Verge on Google's IO website, and we suspect that might be a red herring.

But we probably won't find out, as Google tends to reveal this information later in the year, so it could be anyone’s guess for a long time yet.

3. Android Wear 3.0

Could we get Android Wear 3.0 at Google IO 2018? It's certainly possible, since Android Wear 2.0 will be over a year old by that point.

There's no real evidence of it, but Google has shown off Android Wear at IO before, and the event has even been used to announce smartwatches such as the LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live.

So we hope to see the next version of Google's smartwatch operating system at this year's IO, and if some new wearables land alongside it then all the better.

4. A VR push

We probably won't get another Daydream View at IO, but you never know

Google got more heavily into VR with Daydream, announced back at IO 2016, and we'd like to see another big VR push at this year's event.

That could mean the announcement of new VR games and experiences or even some new VR hardware – though we wouldn't count on that, as a new version of the Google Daydream View landed in late 2017.

5. Assistant improvements

Google Assistant is arguably the best AI assistant around, but there's still room for improvement and hopefully a new and better version of it will be announced at Google IO 2018.

There's a lot that we'd like from it, but perhaps most importantly we want it to get even better at hearing and understanding what we're saying – and being able to usefully respond to our requests.

6. Google Home software updates

There's room to improve in Google Home's software

Google Home in its various forms is a decent smart speaker, and we wouldn't particularly expect to see any new Home hardware at Google IO 2018 (though news that the Home Max is coming to more countries would be appreciated), but what we might get is improvements to the software.

Whether that's a more responsive app, compatibility with more devices and services, or something else entirely, we want it.

7. Surprises

One thing we always like at events like these is surprises, and with so little known about Google IO 2018 so far, we might even get some. That's if everything isn't leaked in the months before it kicks off.