Google IO 2021 live blog: Android 12, Google Pixel 5a and everything else as it happens


Google IO 2021 is happening this week, and today is the big keynote, which is hopefully where the company unveils a host of new gadgets including the Google Pixel 5a, Pixel Buds A and Pixel Watch. Plus, we should get our first look at Android 12.

None of this is guaranteed, but we do know the company is kicking off its annual developer conference on May 18 at 10am PT / 1pm ET / 6pm BST, or 3am AET on May 19.

Google IO 2020 was canceled owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, so the company has gone entirely virtual for the 2021 event. You can join in on a variety of developer conferences throughout the week, but the biggest show will be this keynote on May 18.

We have a guide on how to watch along with Google IO 2021, and we’ll be talking you through everything that happens at the initial keynote event in this live blog. Ahead of the big show, we’ll also talk you through what you can expect and any last-minute leaks we spot.

Google IO 2021 live blog

All times are in Pacific Standard Time (PST)

05:15 – Will we see the Google Pixel 6 at today’s big launch? It’s very, very unlikely as often the company unveils its next-gen flagship phone later in the year. That said, we’ve seen a variety of leaks around the upcoming phone in recent weeks so we’re not ruling out the fact we may hear a teaser or something of a hint at the next-gen phone.

04:17 – Olivia Tambini, Audio and Music Editor for TechRadar, says “We’ve been hearing a lot of rumors that the next Google Pixel Buds will launch at today’s event – and we’re hoping that Google has made some substantial improvements to its wireless earbuds. 

“While we liked the cute, rounded design of the earbuds, the audio quality and battery life left a lot to be desired, and that means the original Pixel Buds couldn’t hold their own against the likes of the Apple AirPods. They were pretty pricey, too.

“As the next-gen earbuds are rumored to be called the Google Pixel Buds A, we’re thinking that they could be cheaper than their predecessors – Google has previously offered more budget-friendly variants of its Pixel phones with the Pixel 3a and Pixel 4a. If Google can offer better audio, a longer battery life, and a cheaper price, it could really be onto a winner.”

03:02 – Expecting to tune into the event as it happens later today? If you want to, you can watch along through Google’s own livestream on YouTube using the link below. We’d recommend following along on this live blog while you do so though.

02:00 – Welcome to TechRadar’s Google IO 2021 live blog, where we’ll be talking you through everything happening at today’s big tech launch as it happens.

We’ve heard leaks and rumors around a variety of tech announcements, so we may be seeing new hardware from Google today. We’re expecting the Google Pixel 5a, Pixel Buds A and maybe even the long-rumored Google Pixel Watch as well.

Google IO is where the company unveils new software, so it’s very likely we’ll be hearing about all the new features you can expect in the Android 12 update, and there may be improvements for its Wear OS platform as well.

Stick with this live blog when the event starts, and we’ll talk you through everything as it happens on stage.


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