Google I/O 2022 Roundup: All the Important Announcements

Even if you aren’t a fan, Google’s annual developer conference called Google I/O usually packs several important hardware and software-related announcements. This year’s conference was no different.

Google I/O 2022 was a virtual conference for developers. The two-day event kicked off on May 11 with a keynote address. Although a limited live audience was allowed, the event was virtually held because of the risk of transmission of COVID-19. Some of the announcements made during this event are just as important for Apple fans as they are for Android users. Here’s a roundup of all the important announcements made during the Google I/O 2022 keynote address.

Pixel 6a Launched

At the event, Google unveiled the Pixel 6a, a successor to the Pixel 5a and the first budget-segment Pixel device to borrow its processor from the vanilla Pixel 6. The $449 Pixel 6a is powered by the Tensor chip and will be available starting July 28, although pre-orders open July 21. The company has promised three years of Android updates and five years of security patches. Although that’s a lot less than what Apple offers on its budget-oriented iPhone SE, it is better than several other Android OEMs.


The Pixel 6a will pack 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. However, the flagship specifications aside, Google cut corners to achieve the affordability that the Pixel 6a is expected to sell on. The phone has a 12MP dual-camera array on the back and a 60Hz OLED screen. However, it gets all the Pixel-exclusive features such as Magic Eraser, Real Tone, and Face Unblur. Interestingly, Google removed the headphone jack on the Pixel 6a just six months after ridiculing Apple for the move last August.

Google Pixel 6a

Pixel 7 Series Teased

At the event, Google also teased the upcoming Pixel 7 and the Pixel 7 Pro. The successor to the Pixel 6 series is expected to lock horns with the iPhone 14 when both phones launch around the same time later this year.

Interestingly, Google has replaced the black camera bar on the Pixel 7 Pro with a hole punch cutout alongside a pill-shaped cutout, just like the rumors suggest the front-facing cutouts on the iPhone 14 will be. The Pixel 7 could have a dual-camera setup on the rear since it lacks the hole-shaped cutout in the camera bar.

Pixel 7 Pixel 7 Pro

Google Pixel Watch Final Look Revealed

After several leaks, Google finally gave the conference viewers a look at the Pixel Watch. The first wearable to bear the Pixel branding is expected to rival the Apple Watch. It resembles the all-revealing leaks that emerged after a prototype was forgotten at a bar. The wearable has a round shape with rounded glass and a tactile digital crown seemingly inspired by the Apple Watch.

Pixel Watch 2

Additionally, the Pixel Watch uses a proprietary mechanism to detach and attach different straps. On the software front, the wearable is expected to get Fitbit integration so it could rival Apple Fitness+. Cellular (LTE) connectivity and NFC are also likely to be on the list of features, so you can make contactless payments using the Pixel Watch.

Pixel Watch

Pixel Buds Revealed

Google also took the opportunity to launch the Pixel Buds Pro. Needless to say, the Pro branding suggests they are the company’s answer to Apple’s AirPods Pro. The Pixel Buds Pro sport a rather steep $200 price tag. For the price, they offer Active Noise Cancellation (ANC), which Google calls “Silent Seal.” When Android 13 rolls out to Pixel phones later this year, the buds will also get Spatial Audio support.

The search engine giant claims it has “custom-built a six-core audio chip” for the new Pixel Buds Pro. Google advertises an impressive seven hours of music playback with ANC turned on and 11 hours of battery life without the feature. Other features resembling the AirPods Pro include support for location tracking through the Find My Device app, “Hey Google” voice assistant control, automatic switching between paired devices, and built-in pressure sensors to ensure the wearer stays comfortable.

The device will go up for sale alongside the Pixel 6a in June. The company will start accepting pre-orders on July 21, and retail availability is scheduled to begin on July 28. Unlike the AirPods Pro, which is only sold in white, the Pixel Buds Pro will be available in four colors: Coral, Lemongrass, Fog, and Charcoal.Pixel Buds Pro

Google Wallet Coming with Android 13

Pivoting to software-related announcements, Google announced that its payments app called Google Pay would be rebranded to Google Wallet. The app isn’t using a new name, but one it ditched in 2018 before the launch in the US.

Android 13 users will be able to use the Google Wallet app to process payments and also store boarding passes, tickets, driver’s licenses, ID cards, and COVID-19 vaccination certificates.

Another exciting feature in the Google Wallet app is virtual cards for shopping online. Instead of using your actual bank card number, you can use a virtual number to ensure the security of your bank cards is uncompromised.

Google Wallet

Google Maps Will Get New ‘Immersive View’ Later This Year

Following in Apple’s footsteps, one of the announcements Google executives made at the conference for developers was the new “Immersive Mode” for Google Maps. The new mode uses the power of artificial intelligence (AI) and 3D rendering to simulate real-world landmarks, traffic conditions, and weather data on the map.

“Thanks to advances in computer vision and AI that allow us to fuse together billions of Street View and aerial images to create a rich, digital model of the world — we’re introducing a whole new way to explore with Maps. With our new immersive view, you’ll be able to experience what a neighborhood, landmark, restaurant, or popular venue is like — and even feel like you’re right there before you ever set foot inside. So whether you’re traveling somewhere new or scoping out hidden local gems, the immersive view will help you make the most informed decisions before you go.”

Google claims Immersive View will work on any phone or device and will soon be available in Los Angeles, London, New York, San Francisco, and Tokyo. More cities will be added to the list later this year.

If you are in a rush, Google has helpfully summarized all the important announcements from the keynote into one 12-minute long video:

Do you think Google’s upcoming hardware launches and software improvements will be able to lock horns with equivalent offerings from Apple?

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