In brief: Google’s I/O 2021 developer conference returns today after it was one of the many events canceled in 2020. As a safety precaution against Covid-19, this year will be the first time it is online-only, and you can watch the keynote livestream right here at 1pm ET / 10am PT.
While the event is more focused on developers than consumers, the biggest draw will likely be new information regarding Android 12. There have already been three developer preview releases of the OS, but we could learn a lot more about user features such as a revamped notification panel and conversation widgets, stacked widgets, improved privacy options, a new lock screen, and more. Additionally, a new iteration of the Material Design language should complement the update.
Elsewhere, Google Assistant is expected to get a major update that includes new voices along with features designed for smart homes. We can also expect to hear more news on Google Duplex and Wear OS, while the company’s Lens visual search tool could get some new tools.
While Google doesn’t usually make hardware announcements at I/O, rumors point to a new, more affordable Pixel Buds true wireless headphones model—possibly called the A-Series— being unveiled, and the company might reveal details of its rumored SoC for Pixel phones.
If you want the full I/O experience, it’s recommended that you use your Google account to register for access to AMA sessions, “personalized content,” workshops, and participation in live Q&A sessions.