- Google I/O, the company’s annual developer conference, was scheduled to begin on May 12th.
- On Friday, Google confirmed that the event has been canceled and will not be held “in any capacity.”
- Google typically shows off new versions of the Android OS and occasionally new hardware at the annual event, but it will have to find a different venue this year.
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Google announced on Friday that Google I/O 2020 has been fully canceled. The annual developer conference is the biggest event of the year for the company, similar to Apple’s WWDC (which has also been canceled), and is usually where Google shows off the latest version of the Android mobile operating system. Several hardware debuts have taken place at Google I/O as well, including the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL at last year’s event.
This announcement comes just weeks after Google said it would cancel the physical event at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California, but would “explore other ways to evolve Google I/O to best connect with our developer community.” In the days since, Google’s decision was made for it.
Here is Google’s full explanation of the cancellation, taken from the Google I/O website:
Out of concern for the health and safety of our developers, employees, and local communities — and in line with recent “shelter in place” orders by the local Bay Area counties — we sadly will not be holding I/O in any capacity this year.
Right now, the most important thing all of us can do is focus our attention on helping people with the new challenges we all face. Please know that we remain committed to finding other ways to share platform updates with you through our developer blogs and community forums.
Take care of yourselves. We’ll continue to do everything we can to help our communities stay safe, informed, and connected.
As Google alludes to in its message, California has been aggressive in its fight against COVID-19, and as such, there was simply no way to make Google I/O 2020 happen, even digitally, as everyone is being asked to stay in their homes until further notice. It will be interesting to see how Google handles Android releases going forward, as the previews of Android 11 have already begun to roll out. In fact, Developer Preview 2 dropped earlier this week.
This also calls into question whether or not Apple will be able to go through with WWDC 2020 “in any capacity.” The event also would have taken place in California, and although Apple has committed to an “online experience,” it is still unclear if the company will be able to put something together without any of the staff coordinating in person. Needless to say, the effects of COVID-19 on the tech industry are just beginning to become evident.