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Everything we didn't see at Google I/O

While there were announcements aplenty, a few expected bits failed to materialize.

Published onMay 19, 2021

Google Pixel logos
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

The Google I/O keynote has come and gone and was chock full of exciting news.

Among the announcements, we learned about a fresh design for Android 12, with upgrades to your privacy, and about Google’s new partnership with Samsung to revitalize Wear OS. We also saw how Google Photos would surface old memories and take better photos of people of color.

While there was plenty to love during the Google I/O keynote, there was also plenty left out of the presentation. Here’s a look at what Google didn’t show us — nor even talk about! — during its I/O keynote.


Google Stadia controller on table

Google didn’t mention its gaming service, Stadia, at all. The keynote would have been an opportune time for Google to reassure Stadia gamers and, more importantly, Stadia developers that things are still headed in the right direction. There were no such reassurances, leaving us to question Google’s commitment to gaming further.

Chrome and Chrome OS

Chrome logo on smartphone next to globe
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

The Chrome browser is one of Google’s core products, but the search giant didn’t provide any updates for its mega-popular browser.

Google also didn’t cover Chrome OS, other than to say that Chromebooks are now among the most popular computers in the market.

Google Pixel Buds A

Google Pixelbuds 2 with Nomad case in hand 1

Google itself recently leaked the Pixel Buds A, and they were expected to be among the few hardware announcements at the show this year. Instead, the Google Pixel Buds A were a complete no-show. This one really leaves us scratching our heads.

Google Pixel 5a

Google Pixel 4a 5G in hand back of phone
David Imel / Android Authority

Google has sometimes used Google I/O to debut new phone hardware, including the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL handsets. The Google Pixel 5a, following last fall’s Pixel 5, was potentially on deck for a Google I/O reveal. Alas, nothing. The company has gone on the record to say the phone exists, but its release is still shrouded in mystery.

Android tablets

Google recently provided a new feature to Android tablets — a form factor that feels long forgotten by the search giant. Android tablets now have a media-centric tool called Entertainment Space. Some predicted that Android tablets might gain more functionality at I/O. However, Google didn’t even mention Android tablets other than to note that the new Android 12 design should allow for better experiences on all Google-run devices.


Last, there was no word on Whitechapel, Google’s in-house processor intended for Pixel devices. The chip, also referred to as the GS101, has been in the works for over a year and is expected to power the Pixel 6 series devices, which are believed to be on deck for a fall reveal. It was possible Google might talk about the chip at I/O, but it did not. Instead, the company rattled on about its quantum computer design.

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