Google I/O 2019: What to expect and how to watch

New software and hardware look to be on tap for this year's Google I/O.

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Google I/O is here, and despite kicking off in just a few hours, we still don't really know a whole lot about what Google has up its sleeve. We do know that Android Q will take some stage time, we expect to hear more about the company's new gaming service, and it's clear the Pixel 3A and 3A XL are ready for release -- but outside of random product updates, Google I/O is somewhat of a mystery.

That said, we have a few guesses about what Google has in store.

Google I/O 2019: When and where is it?

Google I/O will once again be Mountain View, Calif., at the Shoreline Amphitheater. The outdoor event space will host Googlers and I/O attendees from May 7 to May 9. The opening keynote will take place on Tuesday, May 7 at 10am PST, with sessions and presentations taking place over the rest of the event.

Watch the keynote

Google typically livestreams the opening keynote on YouTube and the official Google I/O website. You can bookmark the I/O site, or use the YouTube stream above. 

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Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

Android Q

Google released the first Android Q beta to Pixel phone users in March and followed that up with a second beta in April. According to Google's release schedule, we should expect to see another beta in early May, or right around the time of Google I/O.

We expect to learn more about Android Q features, both currently available in Android Q, as well as unannounced features that will make an appearance at some point during the beta program.

In 2018, Google released the first Android P (now know as Android Pie) public beta build, while at the same time allowing its hardware partners to take part in the beta process.

With the launch of the Android Q beta program limited to Pixel phones at launch, expanding the beta program to more devices wouldn't be too surprising.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai announcing Stadia platform at GDC 2019

Image: Livestream screengrab

Stadia

Google's gaming service that relies on real-time streaming of gameplay to a phone, computer, or TV was officially announced in March, with the promise of more details promised in the future.

Stadia shows up on the Google I/O schedule a few times, so it makes sense that Google will share more details about the novel approach to bring high-end gaming to more devices.

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Image: 91mobiles

New hardware

It's going to happen. Google is close to releasing two mid-range Pixel phones, the Pixel 3A and Pixel 3A XL, as well as Nest-branded Google Assistant hubs.

Google is currently teasing a new addition to the "Pixel universe" on May 7, going along nicely with the recent Pixel 3A leak.

We almost certainly will see new hardware during the keynote. 

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More product updates

Google Assistant, Duplex, Chrome, and Chrome OS will likely have some stage time, as well.

Google has used Google I/O to announce new Google Assistant features in the past or to announce new initiatives like Google Duplex, which powers the restaurant reservation feature that recently launched for all Google Assistant users.

Chrome OS and its support for Linux apps has been slowly progressing, and there's also a session on the Google I/O schedule dedicated to Linux on Chrome OS and secure development.