Google I/O 2023: What to Expect and How to Watch

To be in California this May is to bear witness to many spectacles. Our wildflower super blooms, our brag-worthy snowpack, our endless parade of developer conferences from all the big tech companies.

Typically, Google is the one to get developer conference season rolling. The company’s annual I/O conference kicks off this Wednesday morning with a keynote address. Like last year, the developer sessions will be held online instead of in person. But unlike last year, Google will deliver the keynote to a crowd of thousands—a mix of employees, partners, industry analysts, and media—at Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, California, just a short driverless car ride from the company’s headquarters. WIRED will have a few reporters in attendance; the rest of us will be watching on a livestream, and you can watch at home too.

I/O is technically an event where software programmers attend sessions and learn how to build apps for Google’s platforms. But the company also uses the first day’s keynote address to announce new hardware, software, and services to the public.

Lots of hardware news has already leaked—some of it by rumor-watchers, some of it by Google itself—so we have a decent idea of what’s going to be announced. As always, we should also prepare for a few surprises.

Google likes to debut the newest iteration of its Pixel phones at I/O. We know for sure that the company’s first folding handset, the Pixel Fold, will be fully unveiled on Wednesday. The device was teased by Google last week, and we’re eager to see both how the hardware works and what optimizations have been made to improve Android’s performance on the folding screen. We’re also expecting to see the more budget-conscious Pixel 7A; the low-priced Pixel models traditionally make their entrance during I/O keynotes. We are also anticipating the arrival of a Pixel tablet that shows off the newest ways Android has been optimized for larger screens.

The Matter standard, which promises interoperability between smart home devices, has launched recently, and we should get updates on how the ecosystem of compatible gadgets is growing. 

We can of course expect machine intelligence to play a starring role in this year’s I/O keynote. A large portion of the presentation is bound to be dedicated to Google’s LaMDA and Bard conversational and generative AI technologies, with some demonstrations of how the company has incorporated those elements into search, messaging, and other services. Also at I/O, we traditionally get an update on the latest version of Android and a preview of new features coming to Google apps like Photos, Maps, and Workspace.

How to Watch

The keynote event starts Wednesday, May 10 at 1 pm Eastern10 am Pacific. Expect the presentation to last about two hours. You can stream it right here on this page, or at the I/O website if you feel like Google’s just not getting enough web traffic these days. You can also watch live on Google’s YouTube page. (There’s a stream in American Sign Language too.) 

Check back on during and after the event for all sorts of nerdy analysis about what’s been announced and what it all means. We’ll be running a liveblog and rounding up all the news from the show.

If you want a peek into the I/O developer experience, you can sign up to attend the software sessions. Like last year, attendance is free, though you will need to make an account to gain access to the technical plenary. Wednesday’s main keynote will be immediately followed by a developer keynote.