Google I/O 2021 live updates: The news from Google’s developers conference

Google I/O is going on now and we expect major product announcements, including more details on Android 12, Wear OS and watches and possibly Pixel phones. The company skipped I/O last year so there’s a lot to catch up on. The conference is entirely virtual this year and free for everyone, running from now through May 20. The opening keynote with Sundar Pichai has begun; watch our livestream below or on Google’s YouTube channel. You can also access an official schedule for keynotes and breakout sessions. You will need to sign in to a Google account and register for the event to watch.     

Smarter Maps

Via AR, in Live View you’ll see big virtual street signs, it will point towards key landmarks and hotels and provide indoor navigation (first to NY and Zurich). Maps will have more detailed info that’s, for instance, time and location sensitive. Area Busyness will show you how busy an area is before you set out and get trapped.

Is it true that?

We’ve seen a spike in searches starting “is it true that?” The company’s About this result context for search results will be rolling out worldwide.


Now loading: AR versions of athletes performing their tricks in your backyard.

Handling complexity

We received detailed updates on AI updates. For instance, Google Lens will be able to provide better info; the example we got was receiving learning resources in another language when you snap a photo of a science problem.

Privacy and security

New password tools include a password importer from other applications, deeper integration across Chrome and Android, password alerts for breaches and a quick-fix feature in Chrome which takes you to compromised accounts to change password.

You’ll find new privacy controls in apps, such as a quick way to delete recent search history, ability to quickly turn off location history in Maps and locked folders in Photos.

Google Chrome will offer to fix your hacked passwords

The Quantum AI campus

We got a walkthrough of Google’s futuristic Quantum computing facility from Michael Pena, the place where quantum computers live in the cold. Wrapped in a “Bob Ross blanket of love.” Error-corrected quantum computers are the next hurdle. The company hopes to have a real quantum computer by 2029 targeted at large-scale business calculations. 


Get Tensor

A new V4 TPU boasts 4,096 chips per pod and dozens of pods in a TPU, 10x interconnect bandwidth than currently available. 1 ExaFLOP! And Google claims at or near 90% carbon efficiency in its data centers.

Google will let you talk with planets

The new LaMDA AI platform applies its knowledge of subjects to deliver better contextual results, suggestions and answers, as well as more natural conversations. It’s just in beta now, since it can also be the place where conversation ends, but the infrastructure pervades all Google’s products.

Google Search

Better AI = Better search results from natural language queries. Yay!

Work from home

An update to Google Workspace dubbed “smart canvas” uses more AI for language suggestions, and idea sharing via Google Meet integration — it integrates into Docs, Sheets and Slides.

Google Meet is getting a companion mode later this year; it will also now use AI to automatically zoom camera views for best face display and provide custom views. 

And Google Meet will be available to everyone, not just enterprise users.

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Google debuts Smart Canvas


Google maps

New eco-friendly routes for the more fuel-efficient routes and safer routing based on road, weather and traffic conditions.

Covid info

The keynote started with info about how Google has worked to help make accurate information more available to all.

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