Google I/O 2022 live blog: Pixel 6a, Pixel Watch, Android 13 and all the news as it happens

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TechDroider has a quick summary on Twitter of what to expect at Google I/O 2022 today, and it lines up with what we’ve heard. This includes the launch of the Pixel 6a phone and a possible tease of the Google Pixel Watch. So even though the watch may be shown today for the first time, it may not ship until the fall.

The tweet also says that we may see Android 13 Beta 2 rolling out and a build of Android 13 for non-Pixel devices. However, we would caution loading the beta on your primary phone.

Google Pixel 6a vs.  iPhone SE 2022

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide/91mobiles/OnLeaks)

If the Google Pixel 6a debuts today it will inevitably be compared to the new iPhone SE 2022. And that’s because both Google and Apple will be vying for having the best cheap phone on the market. Well, the best cheap phone under $500.

Our Pixel 6a vs iPhone SE 2022 preview shows you how these phones are stacking up so far based on rumors and our iPhone SE 2022 review. Apple’s phone is a pint-sized powerhouse, but the Pixel 6a should have a much larger display (6.2 vs 4.7 inches), an ultra-wide camera (the iPhone SE has just one) and a smoother 90Hz display.

Stay tuned for more info.

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What better way to pass the time between now and when the Google I/O 2022 keynote begins than a little pinball? The developer Flutter has teamed with Firebase to released #IOPinball† This Google I/O game is open to anyone to play, and it actually plays well on my MacBook Pro.

Fossil Gen 5 LTE review

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

With Google’s Wear OS 3 expected to get some stage time at Google I/O 2022 today, you may be wondering if your Android watch can run the software. Our Kate Kozuch has put together this handy Wear OS 3 smartwatch eligibility guide so you can check.

Google Pixel Watch leak

(Image credit: FrontPage Tech)

That prototype leak was just one of the many around the new Pixel Watch; keeping up with them has been almost a full-time job these past few months.

Fortunately, you don’t need to wade through hundreds of articles in order to know what to expect, because we’ve pulled together the 5 biggest Google Pixel Watch rumors so far in one handy primer.

Pixel Watch prototype

(Image credit: Android Central)

The Google Pixel Watch is a strong candidate to be revealed at I/O 2022 today, bringing to an end a lengthy wait for the company’s first wearable.

While we don’t know for sure what it will look like or what its specs will be, we have a pretty good idea due to a multitude of leaks over the past few months.

The biggest of these, a couple of weeks ago, came when a Pixel Watch prototype was reportedly left in a restaurant. Yes, really. Assuming the images are genuine, it looks to be an attractively curved smartwatch with a near-bezel-less design and a couple of hardware buttons on the side.

An Android phone running google maps - representing how to disable location tracking on Android

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

If you want a stealth candidate for a Google product to make news at I/O, look no further than Maps, one of the software giant’s more popular programs. Maps has made frequent appearances at I/O keynotes over the years, as the crowd seems to get fired up by a helpful app gaining even more features.

Off the top of my head, the past few I/O keynotes have seen Maps add Google Assistant, adapt an incognito mode and work AR-guided navigation into Live View. What could be on tap for 2022? Your guess is as good as mine, but I’d predict something that leverages all that data Google’s collected about people and places to fuel some new Maps capability.

There’s one hardware rumor that I don’t think will pan out for Google I/O 2022 and it involves the supposedly imminent launch of the Pixel Buds Pro

A few weeks back, leaker Jon Prosser said that the Pixel Buds Pro were set to debut soon, and even listed some colorways the wireless earbuds would appear in. Prosser didn’t specifically mention I/O in his tweet, but at the time, the developer conference seemed soon enough to fit the bill.

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There’s only one problem with that line of thinking — we haven’t heard many details about the earbuds themselves. And that’s usually as good a sign as any that a launch won’t happen any time soon. The more rumors you hear about a product, the closer you are to a launch, at least in my experience.

Then again, given my experience with tech predictions, don’t be surprised should Sundar Pichai stride to the Google I/O stage today sporting a pair of Pixel Buds Pro.

Google Pixel Event Tensor chip screenshot

(Image credit: Google)

As for potential Tensor powers, I tackled that topic a few weeks back when I wrote about the Pixel 6 features I hope to find in the Pixel 6a† Let’s just say that Magic Eraser — the tool for one-tap removals of unwanted objects and people from photos — had best make the grade.

galaxy a53 and pixel 5a in hand against brick background

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

To my way of thinking, there are two intriguing things about the Pixel 6a, which may or may not show up at Google I/O today. For starters, what will adding the Tensor chip to the Pixel 6a enable the budget phone to do? And how does the Pixel 6a stack up against the Samsung Galaxy A53

The answer to the first question probably helps supply the answer to Question No. 2. Should it arrive now, the Pixel 6a appears at a time when it’s the Samsung phone that can claim to be better value among Android handsets, at least if our Galaxy A53 vs. Pixel 5a face off is anything to go by. The Pixel 6a has its work cut out for it to topple the A53, and Google’s usual expertise with photography will only go so far.

pixel 6 pro vs iphone 13 pro max: both phones laying face down on a hardwood floor

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

My colleague Jordan Palmer has been spending a lot of time with Android 13, and he goes into today’s keynote hoping that Google addresses a thorny issue — just what exactly third-party apps can track about you on Android.

If you read Jordan’s Android 13 wish listyou’ll find that he thinks the solution to what ails Android lies in Apple’s approach to the same issue with its iPhones.

Android 13 logo on a smartphone

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

Google I/O is traditionally Android’s coming out party, with Google showing off its upcoming software update during the I/O keynote, and kicking off a beta process that culminates in a release of the next version of Android toward the end of summer.

Android 13 may well launch in the same time frame later this year, but you can already get the first beta of this software update, provided you have a Pixel phone. Nevertheless, we’d expect Android 13 to get a big showcase during today’s keynote, especially if Google wants to talk up any features that haven’t gotten much attention yet.

Good morning, and welcome to Tom’s Guide’s Google I/O 2022 live blog. We’ll keep you up to date on all the latest news from the conference as it happens — so bookmark this page and check back regularly.

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