A Google storm is coming: on 10 May the search giant's annual event, known as Google I/O, will kick off in California's Bay Area – and I think it's going to be a bumper showcase for Google's 2023 products, from Pixel phones and foldables, to tablets and beyond.
Google I/O is probably my favourite event in the annual tech calendar; it's sorta-kinda like Google's answer to Apple's WWDC showcase (which is happening later, in early June), just obviously entirely Android-focused. And I'm so here for that.
But it's not just a developer conference – it's so much more, especially given how much of a big deal Google is in the hardware game. The Google Pixel 7 Pro, for example, was my personal favourite Android phone of 2022 (arguably it's still the best phone of 2023, for now).
But as the year trudges on, we're getting privy to new and exciting kit, which is where I reckon Google will step in big time come 10 May. So here are five products I'd like to see announced at Google I/O 2023...
1. Google Pixel 7a
I think this one is a given: just like the Pixel 6a being announced at Google I/O 2022, the Pixel 7a is a shoo-in for revealing at Google I/O 2023. There are already bundles of rumours about the supposed incoming handset, which already sounds like one of the best affordable phones of the year.
With Google's Android 14 operating system beta already running, the Pixel 7a would also be a great talking point to show-off some of Google's latest software smarts. Not only that, I think the more affordable Google handset will follow closer in the steps of the Pixel 7 then its predecessor. It'll be a great hardware kick-off for the show.
2. Google Pixel Fold
Talk about hot-footing: from one Google Pixel to another, I also think Google I/O will be the platform to talk all things Google Fold, the company's first foldable phone.
After all, it's no secret it's going to be a product, as Google dropped hints back in the middle of last year, it's more a case of just how good it'll be – and whether it'll be an obvious contender for the best foldable phone on the planet.
Revealing the Pixel Fold at Google I/O 2023 would be another perfect tie-in in my view, as that'll be Google's opportunity to show-off what it's doing with updated Android features. After all, as people have said for years now, large-screen Android products, such as the best tablets, still just don't quite cut it. That'll have to be solved for a foldable device, right?
Exactly what else the Pixel Fold will offer is still up in the air, though, with most rumours currently dwelling on just how much money a Fold is likely to cost. It won't be cheap, no, but that's a given for any device in this market. It'll be great to see Google bring the fight to Samsung's Galaxy Z Fold 4 though.
3. Google Pixel Tablet
So far it's small Pixel, medium Pixel, so how about a large Pixel? Well, that's where I think the Google Pixel Tablet will come in. This one's got to be a certainty for Google I/O 2023, especially as loads of pieces of info have leaked already – principally the addition of a Google Dock to make the Pixel Tablet like a Google Nest Hub replacement.
The story of Android continues pretty easily here too: if Google reveals a Pixel Fold with large screen and software features then there has to be the same kind of feature set for a larger-still screen size too. These kind of additions will be of great interest to consumers but also the developers present at the Google I/O event itself.
I'll be interested to see the reception of the Pixel Tablet: personally I don't want a 'home hub' replacement, I want the best Android tablet possible, something I can hold and move about with and want to use as a brilliant alternative to my Pixel phone. No other maker has made me want to do that as yet, so here's hoping the Pixel Tablet will be the product to change my mind.
4. Google Pixel 8
I think the Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro are an inevitability in 2023. But I don't think they'll show face at Google I/O 2023. They'd be too much of a distraction in my view. And Google is going to want to focus on its latest and greatest kit, i.e. the three much more likely products I've discussed up page.
Don't get me wrong though: Google acts different to other tech companies overall, especially if you look back to Google I/O 2022 and the way it rolled out really advanced previews of the Pixel Tablet and Pixel Fold even then. Products that still don't have official specs or a timeline for release. Now that's forward thinking.
Pixel 8 series-wise, though, I think we'll be eyeing up another October launch timescale. Expect upgraded cameras and, most likely, an uprated Google silicon inside too, likely Tensor G3. We'll just have to wait some months to know more for sure, I suspect.
5. Google 'Nest Audio Max'
Ok, so this is firmly on the 'wishlist' rather than any kind of 'likely list'. But isn't it about time that Google put a further push behind its audio products? With Google Nest Audio now almost two years old, and the Google Hub Max large-scale speaker being discontinued back in 2020, I'm totally here for an updated, beefy-sounding smart speaker.
Basically a Google competitor to the Sonos Era 300. Or an Android beatdown of the second-gen Apple HomePod. Just one with more integrated Google Assistant smarts. Oh, and given Google's work with Bard (its Artificial Intelligence system) it's the kind of product that could only get more and more intelligent and, importantly, useful for day-to-day tasks and ease of living.
So while I'd love to see such a Google product, don't actually expect it to happen at Google I/O 2023. But there's no harm in wishing, eh? You never know...