Google’s annual I/O developer conference doesn’t just include new software-related announcements, a new wave of Made by Google hardware products is also expected to launch. So we want to know what you’re most excited about.
Over the past few years, I/O has been fairly quiet on the product launch front. The ongoing pandemic has restricted the manufacturing and production capabilities of thousands of brands and companies — Google included. In 2020, we expected the Pixel 4a to be unveiled at the online-only developer-focused keynote, but it was instead pushed back to August.
Continuing that trend, the Pixel 5a was unveiled a year later in August 2021 but was limited to just the US and Japan. We’re expecting to hear some details on the follow-up Pixel 6a, but it’s unclear if it too will remain unscathed by global chip shortages and other factors out of Google’s control.
You may have seen the recent Pixel Watch leaks. A first-party Wear OS smartwatch is one of the most highly anticipated hardware releases for Google in its entire history at this point. We’re certainly hoping that the Pixel Watch will be a key product launch during the I/O 2022 keynote. We’re certainly hoping to learn more about any potential Fitbit and Wear OS integrations if the smartwatch is shown to the public for the first time officially.
There are also signs of a new lower-end HD Chromecast with Google TV that could fit into the gap left behind by the introduction of the “premium” 4K-capable Chromecast with Google TV. It might not be able to fully alleviate some of the issues that the 4K remote-powered option still suffers from, but it would offer a cheaper route into the new Google TV interface with a remote and AV1 codec support to boot.
Another home-focused hardware product that could launch at I/O 2022 is a Nest Hub with a detachable tablet. We’ve seen Google update and improve some of the navigation and UI elements of existing Nest Hub hardware, but this could very well be the first steps back into a tablet form factor — with all of the benefits of a smart speaker intact.
A recent rumor also claims that we may also see Pixel Buds Pro “soon,” but there has been little evidence to suggest that a premium follow-up to 2020s Pixel Buds are coming this week at I/O. That said, the persistent problems that some Pixel Buds owners faced and the fact that Google’s only wireless earbuds — the Pixel Buds A-series — are aimed at the affordable end of the spectrum poses some questions. We’re sure that, if they exist, Pixel Buds Pro would be a welcome launch product at I/O 2022 by many.
Of course, there are no guaranteed product launches that we can say will happen for certain. We’ll just have to wait until the keynote kicks off at 12 p.m. PDT on Wednesday 12 May. At least until then, what proposed hardware product launch are you most excited for at I/O 2022? Let us know using the survey belowm and give us some of your reasons down in the comments section too.
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