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Google I/O 2024 announcements — all the big Gemini AI and Android 15 news

Get all the latest news from Google I/O

Sundar Pichai wide shot
(Image: © Google)

It's time for Google I/O once again, and this year Sundar Pichai and others from Google's leadership team announced all kinds of AI-powered goodies from the stage at Mountain View, Calif. With less fanfare, Google also detailed changes to upcoming versions of Android and Wear OS.

Not surprisingly, though, the focus on Tuesdy was almost entirely on software and AI, such as Google Gemini and its various applications, and what's coming to Android. Unlike previous Google I/O keynotes, this one didn't involve hardware announcements or teases of any kind. Previously, it was believed we could get an early look at the Pixel 9 series or the Pixel Fold 2, which some are calling the Pixel 9 Pro Fold, but none of it happened.

A couple of Tom's Guide reporters were at Google I/O in person for the first day of the developer conference to relay what they saw and heard, while the rest of us watched along with Google's live feed of the I/O keynote, which got underway at 1 p.m. ET / 10 a.m. PT / 6 p.m. BST. You can read our reaction to what was announced below as well as scroll back through our live blog timeline to catch up on every moment of the keynote as it happened.

Biggest Google I/O Announcements

  • Project Astra: Google just unveiled the AI assistant of the future with Project Astra, which uses video you capture with a phone and voice recognition to deliver contextual responses to your questions. One demo showed someone using Project Astra to help them solve a coding problem using a camera, while also tracking down where they left their glasses from earlier.
  • Google Workspace: Gemini is being rolled out to even more popular Google services, like Gmail, which can summarize emails that are part of a longer email chains. There's also a smart reply feature that will allow Gemini to deliver more contextualized replies after analyzing your email conversations.
  • More AI in Android: While Google didn't directly show off or mention features specifically about Android 15, the company did share how more AI features are coming to Android. For example, there will be a broader roll out of Circle to Search. There's also an AI feature called TalkBack for Android that's more of an accessibility tool to announce descriptions of photos for those who are blind or have limited eyesight.
  • Google Search: Searching with Google is getting a tremendous boost with new Gemini features such as faster answers with AI Overview, creating a travel itinerary, and the ability to use video to solve problems.
  • Google Veo: Using generative AI, Google Veo can create realistic, detailed 1080p videos based on your request. Meanwhile, Imagen 3 can generate images based on text prompts.
  • Android 15: The second Android 15 beta is out, and Google has highlighted some of the features coming to your phone later this year. Top additions include Private Space, an area for hiding sensitive apps; Theft Detection Lock, which taps into AI to determine if your phone has been swiped; the ability to added passes to Google Wallet with a photo; and AR content in Google Maps. Here's more on Android 15 beta 2, including how to get it on your Pixel phone.
  • Wear OS 5: The big story with Google's newly unveiled wearables software is improved efficiency. Google says that the new version will preserve 20% more battyer life when running a marathon than Wear OS 4 did. You'll also get new metrics such as Ground Contact Time, Stride Length, Vertical Oscillation, and Vertical Ratio.

Google I/O 2024 live stream

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Google Pixel 8a.

(Image credit: Future)

We expected to see the Pixel 8a debut at Google I/O today, but Google had other plans in mind. Instead, it announced the Pixel 8a last week — no doubt to clear the stage for all the AI talk we’re going to hear later today.

We may not have a Pixel 8a demo, but we’ve got the next best thing — a Pixel 8a review. And it sounds like this phone really impresses, thanks to its Tensor-powered AI features in a sub-$500 device along with Google’s extended software and security support.

android tracker deetction screenshots

(Image credit: Google)

Google had some news to announce in conjunction with Apple ahead of Google I/O. The two tech giants have teamed up to boost cross-platform protections against someone trying to monitor your location with a Bluetooth tracker. 

Should you be on the move with an unknown tracker along for the ride, you’re going to get an alert on your phone about that device, regardless of the platform its paired with. Previously, iPhone users would see alerts for Apple AirTags that were monitoring them without their knowledge, but not necessarily other trackers paired to Android devices.

The feature’s included on the just-released iOS 17.5 update for iPhones, while Google’s adding support for any Android device running Android 6 or later.

Google Pixel Fold shown in hand

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

At last year’s Google I/O, the Pixel Fold made its debut giving Google a foldable device that could take on the leading foldable from Samsung. Indeed, in our Pixel Fold review, we praised its thin, durable design and wide cover display. (A feature Samsung may adopt for the upcoming Galaxy Z Fold 6, incidentally.)

We don’t expect to see the Pixel Fold 2 previewed at this year’s Google I/O, and not just because Google appears to want to keep the focus on AI. Rather, it’s because of a rumor that the next Pixel Fold might get folded into the Pixel 9 lineup and rebranded as the Pixel 9 Pro Fold. If so, that means a fall launch for the foldable follow-up.

Maybe Google was always planning to tease some AI-powered feature ahead of Google I/O. Or maybe it was all those Open AI announcements 24 hours ahead of I/O that did the trick. But Google spent Monday afternoon showing off a new AI capability of the camera app on what appears to be a Pixel.

Using voice prompts, you would ask the camera what it sees in a conversational tone. And the AI can reply, describing what’s in its view finder with impressive accuracy. Watch the posted footage from Google to see for yourself.

GPT-40 closeup

(Image credit: OpenAI)

OpenAI clearly had its sights set on stealing some of the pre-Google I/O thunder by holding an event of its own Monday (May 13). And it’s easy to steer some of the attention away from Google when your announcements are as significant as what OpenAI had to say.

The highlights included:

The GPT-4o model is particularly significant in that it can analyze image, video and speech. It’s almost enough to make up for the fact that the event came and went without any sign of ChatGPT-5.

Google IO 2021

(Image credit: Google)

Google's Project Starline is a very fancy-looking video conferencing tool that the company's been demoing for some time. But it recently announced that it'll finally launch in 2025, with HP getting first dibs on the tech, so we expect it to be at least mentioned briefly today at I/O.

The basics of Starline are that it works just like a normal video call, but with a full 3D model of the person you're talking to that in theory allows for more natural conversation. The hardware required has gradually shrunk since Starline debuted, so hopefully it'll soon be small enough to fit in a dedicated camera or within another device, rather than requiring specialized multi-camera monitors or even dedicated rooms to use.

Google Gemini logo

(Image credit: Google)

Our AI expert Ryan Morrison had some predictions about what AI announcements Google will have later today.

He believes we'll see new features come to the Gemini large language model and chatbots, both the developer-only and public versions, Gemini-based features in familiar Google apps like YouTube Music and Google Docs, and perhaps a demo of some advanced tech to show it can keep up with OpenAI and GPT4o.

and image of the Google Chrome logo on a laptop

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Everyone's favorite browser Google Chrome may get some attention today. And we may already know one upcoming feature for it.

Circle to Search, currently available on only a select few Android phones, could be appearing on Chrome via a Google Lens update. This would allow far more users to try out this handy search method, although given it's seemingly not finished yet, maybe Google needs some more time before it starts rolling out.

Apple iPhone 15 review

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Circle to Search is not just a Galaxy S24, Pixel 8 and Pixel 8a feature. You can also use it on your iPhone (kinda).

With a new shortcut, it's possible to instantly take a screen shot and search it through the iOS Google app. It's likely as close as iPhone users will ever get to sampling Circle to Search, at least for the time being while Google's being very particular about who gets to use it.

Pixel 9 leaked image

(Image credit: @OnLeaks)

Google doesn't do it consistently, but we may see a teaser for the Pixel 9 series today, as a token gesture toward the company's hardware products among a keynote that's likely to be all about software.

The Pixel 9 series is believed to consist of three models this year, featuring a new smaller Pixel 9 Pro model alongside a Pro XL model and the standard version. All the phones should be running a new Tensor G4 chip, and will likely be packed with lots of new AI features to build on those added to the Pixel 8 series last year.

Google Pixel Fold 2

(Image credit: SmartPrix)

Google I/O 2023 was when we first got to see the Google Pixel Fold, the company's first ever f