Google I/O 2024 preview: Everything we expect to be announced

Google CEO Sundar Pichai
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Update: Today is Google I/O. Follow our Google I/O 2024 live blog for all the big news as it happens. 

Google I/O 2024 seemingly lost a big headliner last week when Google announced the Pixel 8a a week ahead of its annual developer show. Recent Pixel A Series phones had debuted during past I/O get-togethers, and it was widely assumed that the Pixel 8a would follow suit at this year's event.

Of course, there's another way to interpet the Pixel 8a's seemingly early launch ahead of Google I/O 2024, which gets underway with a keynote at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT this Tuesday (May 14). Maybe Google pre-announced its new phone because it wants the focus of Google I/O to be on something else. And that something else is most likely the company's efforts in AI.

Unless you've spent the last year avoiding all tech news, you'll know that artificial intelligence is having its moment in the sun. Not a day goes by, seemingly, where someone's not announcing an algorithm that can generate images from just a few prompts or rewrite your texts in a different tone. Naturally, some of the bigger players in the tech industry have launched their own AI efforts, with Google chief among them.

Gemini on the agenda

Google Gemini logo

(Image credit: Google)

Easily Google's most recognizable project has been Gemini, an AI model released last December that's been trained on images, video, audio, code, and text. Gemini is also the name of the chatbot that Google developed — it used to be known as Bard — with plans to integrate the feaature into all sorts of products. It's replacing the Google Assistant on Android devices.

In fact, there's talk that aa next-generation version of the Assistant — apparently dubbed "Pixie" — could get a showcase at Google I/O, with the more powerful assistant making its on-device debut later this fall with the Pixel 9. For that reason, Google I/O may not be totally hardware-free, even after the Pixel 8a announcement. Google's used the I/O stage before to preview phones that weren't arriving until the fall and history could repeat itself on Tuesday.

But this week's Google I/O keynote is likely to feature other instances of AI, particularly how it can aid the company's still-important search business. Think features like Circle to Search, which Google developed with Samsung to make search easier on mobile phones, only applied to other devices and platforms.

So we head into Google I/O knowing some of the "what" Google is planning on showing off — AI capabilities and plenty of them — but less about the "how." To that end, expect demos of current Google products and services like Maps, Gmail and Chrome that include new AI-powered capabilities.

Android 15 and other possible announcements

The Android 15 logo from the Android developer website, displayed on a Pixel 8 Pro

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

If you want a break from what figures to be an onslaught of AI, there's always Android 15, which will likely get some sort of on-stage preview during the Google I/O keynote. An Android 15 beta is already available so Google may not spend a lot of time rehashing what's already known about the software update, but expect some demos of major features and maybe even some newly announced capabilities.

We've mentioned a Pixel 9 sneak peek as a possible if unlikely appearance of hardware at Google I/O. Google recently announced that its Android and Pixel teams were merging in part to speed up the integration of AI into devices. (There's that topic again.) As a result, it wouldn't be a shock for Google to spend some time talking about the merged team and what it could mean for future devices.

Still, the best part of any Google I/O keynote is the demo or announcement you didn't see coming. For example, the 2018 I/O keynote featured a demo of Google's Duplex technology in which the Google Assistant called up a restaurant to make reservations on a user's behalf — an early demo of some of the technologies now included in the Call Assist features on Pixel phones.

It's demos like this — unannounced, unexpected and thoroughly impressive — that make I/O such a memorable event every year. And what this year's memorable moment is will become clear this Tuesday.

Want to see Google I/O for yourself? Follow our guide to watch the Google I/O 2024 live stream.

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Philip Michaels

Philip Michaels is a Managing Editor at Tom's Guide. He's been covering personal technology since 1999 and was in the building when Steve Jobs showed off the iPhone for the first time. He's been evaluating smartphones since that first iPhone debuted in 2007, and he's been following phone carriers and smartphone plans since 2015. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics, old movies and proper butchery techniques. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.