It’s almost time for Google’s biggest event of the year – the annual I/O developer conference. This year we’re getting at least two smartphone announcements with the Pixel 7a and Pixel Fold alongside the official introduction of Android 14 as well as details on the Pixel Tablet and possibly some Pixel 8 series info.
The big event is scheduled to begin at 10AM PT time (2PM UTC) on Wednesday, May 10 at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California and will be livestreamed on YouTube. As usual much of the intrigue surrounding the new devices has been lost thanks to the myriad of leaks but we’re still excited to see if there are any surprise announcements delivered on stage. Here’s a recap of what to expect at I/O 2023.
Google I/O is a developer conference at its core so it’s only right we start with the next iteration of Android. Android 14 will focus on refinements and improved security. Based on the information provided in the developer previews and two Beta releases, Android 14 will offer optimized resource management, improved support for tablets and foldable devices and more accessibility features. We can also expect more personalization options that build on the Material You design.
In terms of security, Android 14 will block installing/sideloading older Android apps developed prior to Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Google is also implementing system-level security enhancements including runtime receivers and read-only dynamic code loading to prevent any possibility of code injection. Credential Manager and Passkey support are also onboard for easier user authentication and password management.
Android 14 will introduce the option to share select photos and videos with apps as well as the option to completely decline to share such info. Users will also get a back arrow for easier navigation with a color and theme-matched look. Android 14’s direct share prompt will offer improved direct share targets that should be more useful to users.
Google will share even more of Android 14’s user-focused features on stage and based on the roadmap the consumer-ready version is set to arrive around August/September.
Google’s first foray into the world of foldable phones is set to finally see its big moment with the announcement of the Pixel Fold. Based on rumors, Pixel Fold will offer a design akin to the Oppo Find N and Find N2 with a landscape format inner screen measuring 7.6-inches. The main panel is expected to be a OLED with a 120Hz refresh rate and some noticeable bezels. The cover display will reportedly be 5.8 inches. Pixel Fold’s rumored dimensions are 158.7 x 139.7 x 5.7mm (8.3mm including rear camera bump).
We’re expecting Google’s Tensor G2 chipset at the helm alongside a two 12MP camera sensors on the back and two 8MP front facing modules for the main and cover screens. Pixel Fold will reportedly launch at $1,799 in the US and it’s expected to go on open sale from June 27.
Pixel 7a is one of the more leaked devices in recent memory so we have a pretty solid idea of what to expect. In essence Pixel 7a will be a slightly smaller version of the standard Pixel 7 with some cost-cutting applied to the cameras and device materials.
Rumors point to a 6.1-inch OLED display with FHD+ resolution and a 90Hz refresh rate. The phone is expected to bring the same Tensor G2 from the other two Pixel 7 phones alongside 8GB RAM and 128GB storage. The back of the Pixel 7a will house a dual camera system with a 64MP main cam and a 13MP ultrawide module. Expect a 13MP front-facing module upfront. We’ll likely see a 4,300 mAh battery with 18W wired charging and wireless charging which would be a first on the Pixel A-series.
Pixel 7a is expected to launch at $499 in the US and the phone is already confirmed to be available from May 11 in India and hopefully other regions too .
The Pixel Tablet was first showcased at last year’s Google I/O conference and then again at the Pixel 7 launch in October so we can finally expect it to go official this time around.
It’s expected to feature an 11-inch LCD screen with a 1600 x 2560px resolution, a premium design and the Tensor G2 chipset. Google wants the Pixel Tablet to have multiple use cases which is why it will also launch a Charging Speaker Dock which turns the slate into a smart speaker/Nest Hub device. We’ve also seen rumors that the Pixel tab will support stylus input and 18W wireless charging.
Wildcards: Pixel 8 preview, Pixel Watch 2, new Pixel Buds
As has been the case with past Google events we could see some first-hand info and teasers for the next-gen Pixel phones – the Pixel 8 series as well as info for the Pixel Watch 2 and new Pixel Buds. Outside of the smartphone world, we’re also expecting more AI announcements from Google with a formal introduction to Bard – it’s CharGPT rival.