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Google IO 2021 starts May 18: Android 12, Pixel 6, Pixel Watch expected, and how to watch live stream

Google IO is the company's annual developer conference where it announces new devices and various software updates for its existing apps and services.

Story highlights
  • Google could be releasing more details on Android 12, Pixel Watch, and Pixel 6 at Google IO 2021.
  • Google Pixel 5a with a 6.2 inch OLED display is like to be launched at the event.
  • The keynotes can be watched live on YouTube, while for other sessions, users will have to register through Google IO's official website.

Google IO 2021 is scheduled to take place from May 18-20 this year. The event is happening after a year's break since Google cancelled 2020's IO event due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The virtual event is all set to take place from Tuesday, May 18, through Friday, May 21. We are likely to see Sundar Pichai and other Google executives in the first part of the show as a keynote, usually when the major news pops up. It is primarily geared towards developers.

The event usually starts with a keynote from Google's CEO, where he makes some major product or feature announcements. As a part of the event, Google holds multiple consumer and developer sessions where it talks about various improvements to its products and highlights how it has improved its development tools to aid developers. It also holds AMA sessions with various teams inside Google, developer meet-ups, workshops, fireside chat sessions with key engineering teams, and more. The keynotes will be live-streamed for all to watch, but other sessions require prior registration before the event.

Google IO 2021: Everything we can expect


One of the hardware announcements that are expected to happen is the launch of the Pixel 5a. According to previous leaks, Google is prepping to announce the Pixel 4a successor at its Google IO 2021. The Pixel 5a looks identical to the Pixel 4a 5G. You are likely to get slim bezels on the op and slides, a noticeable chin, and a selfie camera hole-punch in the top-left corner.

Google Pixel 5a is likely to have a 6.2-inch OLED display with an FHD+ resolution. It is likely to have some sort of high refresh rate. The Pixel 5a is expected to include a 3.5mm headphone jack as well as stereo speakers.

We've been hearing rumours about a Pixel Watch for years. A leak from April showed a circular watch likely powered by a new version of WearOS. The renders show a watch without a bezel around the screen, no physical buttons, interchangeable watch straps, and indications the watch will have a heart rate sensor. Google could announce broader integration of Fitbit within the Google ecosystem or even in WearOS itself. Google could finally showcase the Pixel Watch at the event.

The company is also tipped to announce a cheaper variant of its Pixel Buds in the form of Pixel Buds A. It is very likely Google would launch these new earbuds at IO.

Google IO 2021: How to watch keynote live stream


Google will be live-streaming the opening keynote and all other sessions and events from Google IO 2021. You can watch the opening keynote on YouTube. You will find the live stream details on the Google I/O website before the event starts.

While all sessions at Google I/O 2021 will be live-streamed, you won't be able to access all of them. To attend workshops, AMAs, live Q&A, and some others, you need to register for Google IO through the official site.