Google IO 2022, the search giant's annual tech event, wrapped up its keynote on May 11, with the company announcing loads of products including the Google Pixel 6a, Pixel 7, Pixel Watch, Pixel Tablet, Android 13, and a return for Glasses once again.
Google IO is first and foremost a developers' event for people who make apps for the company's many operating systems like Android, Chrome OS and Wear OS, but it's worth paying attention to even if you're not a developer, as we usually see the debut of new hardware and software, which happened at the event.
While we've got a rundown of what was announced at the keynote, there's plenty to unpack as to what was showcased for two hours.
After Google canceled its 2020 event due to the pandemic, Google IO 2021 was online-only, but with this year's event having hosted an online and offline audience, it looks as though the attendees will be trying out almost everything that was announced at the keynote.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? Google's yearly developer conference
- When was it? May 11-12, 2022
- How can I catch up with the event? With our Google IO 2022 round-up
What were the Google IO 2022 dates?
Google IO 2022 took place from Wednesday, May 11 through to Thursday, May 12.
The opening Google IO keynote kicked off at 10am PDT, 1pm EDT, 6pm GMT on May 11 for two hours.
How Google IO 2022 worked
Most casual Google users associate Google IO with the keynote address, which streams online where anyone can watch it. But in previous years you could also buy a pass to attend Google developer sessions, new product demos, labs to learn about new code, and other events for professionals or hobbyists.
This year, those events were virtual and free, with fans able to apply for tickets to sit in the audience, as Google CEO Sundar Pichai led the keynote.
What was announced at Google IO 2022?
Based on Google's annual product and software calendar, plus all the leaks and rumors we've heard about, here's a quick roundup of what Sundar Pichai and the Google execs discussed during the Google IO 2022 keynote:
The latest Android OS is already in the public beta stage on Pixel 6 phones and lower, but Google made sure to highlight that Android 13 was full of refinements, from Material You improvements, to the return of Google Wallet.
With Apple almost certainly introducing iOS 16 at WWDC in June, Google made some pot-shots of wanting to make RCS, a messaging standard, accessible to all devices, not just on its own products. While we're doubtful of this appearing in Apple's devices this year, there could be other features that may overshadow this year's muted set of software announcements from Google.
Pixel Watch with Fitbit integration
Ever since Google bought Fitbit despite antitrust concerns, we've been curious how the search giant will put its personal spin on the best Fitbits of the future.
Since Google IO 2021, we've seen a bigger focus from the company on how Wear OS 'fits' in its product line, but we've yet to see another Google-branded smartwatch return, until Google IO 2022.
The Pixel Watch was announced, powered by Wear OS 3 which offers a rounder design compared to the Apple Watch. Google confirmed that it would be arriving alongside the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro, which were both teased at the keynote.
Pixel Buds Pro
Everyone knows about the noise-canceling AirPods Pro - they're one of the most popular true wireless earbuds around, and it's not a surprise to see other companies mimic Apple's success.
The Pixel Buds Pro were confirmed during the Google IO 2022 keynote, making them toe-to-toe in features compared to the AirPods Pro. From noise-canceling features to spatial audio support, these could be the Android earphones to beat.
Google Pixel 6a
Google brought a bunch of hardware announcements at IO in 2022, with the first being the Pixel 6a, meant to rival the iPhone SE 3, released in March 2022.
It features a 12MP main camera, with a 12MP ultra-wide lens, but no word as to what specs the front camera has.
The phone costs $449 - which converts to around £360 / AU$650, with pre-orders starting on July 21.
Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro
This was the most surprising announcement for Google IO 2022, with a sneak preview of Pixel 7 and 7 Pro being showcased with an updated, stainless-steel design, and an updated look to the back cameras.
The Google Pixel 7 Pro will have three lenses, while the Pixel 7 will just get two, mirroring the same amount from the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro back in 2021.
Did you catch that pop of color?#Pixel7 will come in:⚫ Obsidian⚪ Snow🟡 LemongrassAnd #Pixel7 Pro comes in:⚫ Obsidian⚪ Snow🟢 Hazel#GoogleIO pic.twitter.com/cnV7OVCJ6TMay 11, 2022
The colors for each model have already been confirmed, with a unique color for each Pixel 7 model, alongside the standard gray and silver colors.
After Google exited the tablet race in 2019, it's surprising to see a Pixel Tablet be announced for 2023, alongside a focus on more than 20 apps being optimized for tablets by the time Android 13 arrives.
While it was confirmed to be powered by Google's Tenor chip, the same used in its Pixel 6 devices and above, there was nothing about the specs for the camera, or how much it would be when it's eventually released.
But it does highlight some real competition to Apple's iPad Air, and iPadOS in what it can do for its users.
This was a 'One More Thing' announcement at Google IO 2022, confirming that AR Glasses were on their way.
While there was nothing in the way of specs, prices, or availability, a demo showcasing live translation during a conversation was impressive.
However, while we may be a few years away from owning a pair ourselves, it gave viewers an idea of how AR glasses could fit into our daily lives.