Google has completely canceled Google I/O 2020
Google has canceled all of its I/O 2020 activities, having previously suggested that it would make the annual developer conference an online-only event. I/O was due to take place in mid-May in Mountain View, California, but Google was forced to rethink its in-person event due to the ongoing spread of the novel coronavirus. The company announced on March 3rd that it canceled the physical I/O event, but now the whole thing is off.
At the time, Google said it would be canceling the physical event at the Shoreline Amphitheater. The decision came not long after Mobile World Congress was axed, and was followed by a number of tech and automotive events being postponed or wiped from the calendar completely in reaction to COVID-19.
“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,” Google said in a statement on the I/O website. “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.”
At I/O, which was set to take place from May 12th to 14th this year, Google typically shows off new features coming to Android and other Google services as well as announce new Google hardware. Now that the event is entirely canceled, it’s unclear if or when the company will share similar updates.
Many tech conferences have been canceled, changed, or delayed due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. Google announced on Tuesday that it would be indefinitely delaying its enterprise-focused Cloud Next conference, which had also already been changed from a physical event into a digital one. Apple said on March 13th that its 2020 Worldwide Developers Conference, typically a week-long in-person event, would be online-only. And Facebook and Microsoft have canceled the in-person portions of their spring developer conferences.
As increasing numbers of states shift to recommending all but the most essential businesses send employees to work from home, it’s likely we’ll see more decisions like this one. Google already said it would be refunding developers who bought I/O 2020 tickets by March 13, while those who had been allotted a ticket will automatically be granted the option of purchasing a ticket for Google I/O 2021.