Google IO 2018 is less than two months away, with the event happening in early 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 took to Twitter in January to tease IO 2018, and that tweet led users to the google.com/io website, where a series of puzzles revealed that the event is to take place on May 8-10 at the Shoreline Amphitheater in California (where the last couple of IO conferences have been held).
Welp, the end of the Google I/O thing is just the date: May 8-10 pic.twitter.com/nHdem6fu3iJanuary 24, 2018
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 a beta update, so anyone brave enough to deal with the bugs can get deeper into the software.
Google has already released the first Android P Developer Preview, for the truly daring (but actually mostly for developers). But, there’s a good chance we’ll get more in May, since Android Oreo entered beta during Google IO 2017.
2. Android P’s name
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
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. When IO 2018 rolls around, Android Wear 2.0 will be over a year old, making it due for a serious update.
Google recently re-branded Android Wear to Wear OS, but we’re still hoping IO 2018 will bring more updates beyond the name change. We expect Wear 3.0 to introduce more apps, improve efficiency and support iOS better, among other things. If some new wearables land alongside it then all the better.
4. A VR push
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.
Heck, maybe Google will even push back into augmented reality after its rough patch with Google Glass. The Intel Vaunt has convincingly shown that AR glasses can be made without looking horrible, so it may be a good time for Google to jump back in.
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.
We already know that this year Google Assistant is becoming impressively multilingual, and the ability to respond to assigned names instead of “OK, Google” is a welcome change.
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
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.
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.