I/O 2021: Our Definitive Guide to Design

Google’s developer conference is back, online, and free for everyone

Welcome back #GoogleIO! Our coverage starts with a rundown of all the design-related content to make participating easy from wherever you are. This year’s experience is fully virtual, global, and free for everyone. On top of a live schedule of keynotes and talks, you can now watch sessions on demand, join workshops and AMAs with Google designers, and connect with other attendees via online gatherings.

Quick Links: Schedule Community Lounge

News & Announcements

Actionable AI A new edition of the People + AI Guidebook makes it even easier to put human-centered AI into practice. Designers, developers, and data scientists contributed to this update: replete with 23 design patterns, a workshop kit, an evolving case studies series, and new field insights. Get a closer look with editor-in-chief Maysam Moussalem’s I/O workshop: Building trusted AI products.

Goodbye tofu, hello 🍞 🍗 🍔 🍕 🍳 🍲 🍱 🍘 OK, so this news item isn’t technically I/O-related, but we couldn’t help but share. ICYMI, this year we updated the EmojiCompat support library. This means that emoji are no longer tied to your operating system and update alongside AppCompat (used by most Android apps). Still confused? This prevents your phone from displaying missing emoji characters in the form of ☐ (also known as tofu)! So now you can send a hug (🫂) and express your feelings (🥲) with the same confidence as talking face to face.

Announcing Material You The vision for Material You puts Google’s years of UI engineering and design to use making digital experiences: personal for every style, accessible for every need, alive and adaptive for every screen. Coming first to Pixel with #Android12—learn more about the next stage for #MaterialDesign over on the Material blog. And explore Material Design's I/O content.


Tuesday, May 18

10:00 AM: Keynote

Wednesday, May 19

9:00—9:30 AM: What’s new in Machine Learning What’s available to developers when it comes to creating, understanding, and deploying models for a variety of different applications? From responsible AI to TensorFlow 2.5, mobile devices, microcontrollers, we cover new releases and tools. Speakers: Kemal El Moujahid, Sarah Sirajuddin, Craig Wiley

10:15—10:30 AM: What’s new in Material Design Learn about the latest design improvements to help you build personal dynamic experiences with Material Design. Then #AskMaterial anything at the team’s AMA session directly following the talk. Speakers: Bethany Fong, Christian Robertson

3:15—3:30 PM: New capabilities in ARCore From scaling compatible devices to tracking improvements and new features, ARCore’s Product Lead and Engineering Manager share the latest on Google’s augmented reality platform for devs. Speakers: Jared Finder, Rajat Paharia

Workshops & Ask Me Anything (AMA) Sessions

Talk directly with Google experts in these specially designed interactive sessions. Workshops are instructor-led with Q&A encouraged, while AMAs are your chance to pick up the mic.

Tuesday, May 18

2:30—3:30 PM: Create your first Tile in Wear | Workshop Learn how to create your own Tile with the latest Tiles API release. In this workshop, you’ll build a fully customized tile from scratch and cover timelines, resources, layouts, graphics, and much more. Speaker: Jeremy Walker

3:15—4:00 PM: Build user-adaptive interfaces with preference media queries | Workshop Transform and adapt a plain HTML form with CSS only, making it themeable, responsive, and animated. We'll use both device-based and user-based media queries, logical properties, and relative units to customize the interface to the context and preferences the user needs. Speaker: Adam Argyle

Wednesday, May 19

9:30—10:00 AM: On-device machine learning in mobile and web apps | AMA Learn directly from Google experts on how to get your ML models working on iOS, Android, or the Web.

1:00—1:15 PM: Building globally relevant products | Workshop A Product Strategist and UX Researcher from the Next Billion Users team share best practices for voice, visuals, and upboarding, so you can build for the new internet users who are changing the web landscape. Learn how best to leverage the Digital Confidence Toolkit. Speakers: Tracey Lindsay Chan, Neha Malhotra

1:00—2:00 PM: Hands on with Cloud AI | Workshop Get hands on and learn how Cloud AI can help Developers and Data Scientists with end-to-end ML workflows. We walk through how to experiment, train, deploy, and manage machine learning models at scale in this hands-on workshop. Speaker: Sara Robinson

1:00—1:30 PM: Understanding COGA, W3C's cognitive accessibility guidelines | AMA Tune in to this chat with the WCAG Cognitive Accessibility Task Force, the team behind a comprehensive resource of design patterns and guidelines for making content usable for individuals with cognitive and learning disabilities.

4:00—4:30 PM: Google Maps Platform | AMA Get the insider scoop from Google Maps Platform engineering, product, and Developer Relations teams.

Thursday, May 20

9:00—10:00 AM: Build trusted AI products with the PAIR Guidebook | Workshop AI unlocks exciting new product opportunities. As a predictive technology, it also brings new challenges for building trusted experiences. The editor-in-chief of the new edition of the People + AI Research Guidebook shares insights on building trustworthy, user-centered AI products. Speaker: Maysam Moussalem

On Demand Sessions

A new format to better meet the needs of our global audience. Watch any of the following sessions at your convenience. Popcorn optional.


Designing A11y with Material Design: How does Material Design integrate Accessibility directly into their design system, and how can you do the same? We show you how you can make your products more usable for everyone–especially those with disabilities.

Designing for accessibility in Android Studio and Jetpack Compose: Learn the latest in how your app can support users with disabilities. Take advantage of automated accessibility checks in Android Studio and accessibility support in Jetpack Compose.

Machine learning for accessibility: Explore three case studies covering Voice Access, Lookout, and Live Transcribe along with Sound Notifications. Google researchers and product managers examine the intersection between Google’s ML research and accessibility.


5 things you can do to prepare your app for large screens: From prioritizing design characteristics to implementation details, this session gives a look at how to get your app ready for large devices without a complete redesign.

Building a desktop design language with Flutter: Now that Flutter supports desktop applications, see how to build a custom widget set for desktop. Tune in to this walk through of the creation of retro-styled Spinner widget that works on Windows, Linux, and MacOS.

Build beautiful Material Design apps with Jetpack Compose: Jetpack Compose can help you build beautifully and easily with Material Design. Learn how you can take advantage of Material theming, components, and dark theme guidance—and how Jetpack Compose can help improve your workflow on Android.

Building platform adaptive apps: Best practices for making your application feel at home across mobile, desktop, and the web.

What's new in design tools: Check out the latest improvements on the Android Studio Design tools, as well as new features in ConstraintLayout and MotionLayout libraries. We also introduce new visual tools, focused on improving and speeding up app development.


Building with the Responsible AI Toolkit: In this session, product leads go over the collection of offerings in the Responsible AI Toolkit, a growing library of lessons learned and resources that anyone can apply to AI deployments.

Modern Keras design patterns: Keras is the preferred high level machine learning library for many ML practitioners, now fully integrated into TensorFlow. Using a simple variational autoencoder as an example, this session introduces you to standard Keras design patterns.

Spotting and solving everyday problems with machine learning: As a developer, when should you use machine learning and what’s the quickest way to integrate it into your app? Spot the most common ML use cases and how to quickly build them into your app.


Chrome DevTools for designers: Diagnose common design issues with Chrome DevTools and some helpful steps to debug them.

Immersive storytelling on the web: Explore how to create well-designed web stories, dive into new features.

The new responsive: Web design in a component-driven world: What it means to be responsive to the user, container, and form-factor, and how to implement some of these new axes of responsive design.


Casual, open, facilitated forums hosted by Google. Connect virtually with Googlers and other I/O attendees. Want to connect with more communities? Explore the full list of Meetups.

Build a tech career as a Black professional Network with Black tech professionals, discuss industry tips, and connect with Googlers. Early Career: May 18, 3:00 PM / Mid Career: May 19, 3:00 PM / Students: May 20, 3:00 PM

Women Techmakers community Learn about new Women Techmakers initiatives and make new friends during these virtual networking breakout sessions. Americas: May 18, 3:30 PM / EMEA/APAC: May 20, 8:00 AM (GMT)

Material Design Gather with the community and members of the Material Design team to chat and connect. Americas: May 20, 4:30 PM / EMEA: May 20, 2:30 PM (GMT)

Machine learning developers Share experiences and interests and find opportunities to collaborate with other ML developers around the world. Americas/APAC: May 19, 5:00 PM / EMEA/APAC: May 20, 7:00 AM (GMT)

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