Google I/O 2021 Kicks Off Virtually on May 18

Illustration for article titled Google I/O 2021 Kicks Off Virtually on May 18
Screenshot: Sam Rutherford

Following Apple’s WWDC announcement and Microsoft’s Build reveal, Google has announced a date for its own developers conference, Google I/O 2021, which will kick off virtually on May 18.

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Given the current state of the pandemic and ongoing vaccine distributions, the move to go online-only for Google I/O 2021 makes a lot of sense. Google initially teased I/O 2021 via an interactive game posted on its event site where users were asked to solve a series of 10 puzzles before revealing the official dates: May 18-20.

For those who don’t deal with the puzzles (I don’t blame you), here’s what it looks like when you complete all 10 steps.
For those who don’t deal with the puzzles (I don’t blame you), here’s what it looks like when you complete all 10 steps.
Screenshot: Sam Rutherford

While Google has yet to reveal much about what is has planned for the event, in addition to the usual lineup of dev talks and coding sessions that will be free to attend, Google may have a few hardware launches in store, t

Based on previous leaks and rumors, Google could announce a refreshed and cheaper version of last year’s Pixel Buds called the Pixel Buds A, with a rumored price tag of around $100.

According to leaker Jon Prosser (who has a mixed track record when it comes to accurate predictions), Google is also expected to release a new mid-range phone, the Pixel 5a, in June, which suggests that could Google could officially announce the device a few weeks earlier in May at Google I/O 2021.

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We’re also expecting to see at least one new security cam from Nest after stock for the Nest Cam IQ Indoor and Nest Cam IQ Outdoor dried up earlier this year and Google promised “a new lineup of security cameras for 2021.”

We also wouldn’t be surprised to see a new Pixelbook 2 or possibly a revamped Pixelbook Go, which was originally rumored to get announced at Google’s hardware showcase last fall but never ended up making an appearance.

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Either way, with Google having canceled Google I/O 2020 last year due to covid-19, it’s nice to see I/O make a comeback in 2021, even if it’s just an online-only event.

Senior reporter at Gizmodo, formerly Tom's Guide and Laptop Mag. Was an archery instructor and a penguin trainer before that.

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