Earlier this month, we reported Google had canceled the physical portion of its annual I/O conference over coronavirus-induced fears.
At the time, the company appeared to still be planning on some kind of streaming event, as it had said it would “explore other ways to evolve Google I/O.” But today, the company announced it wouldn’t be holding any kind of event at all.
In a statement posted to its I/O hub, the company now says:
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.
The Bay Area recently ordered residents to “shelter in place” over the next three weeks. Businesses that don’t provide essential services – such as grocery stores or pharmacies – are required to send their workers home.
While Google I/O wasn’t slated to happen until May, the logistics of preparing such an event – even just online streams – were likely no longer feasible.
Google traditionally announces some of its most important products and software updates during I/O. We were originally expecting to see the Pixel 4a at the event, for instance, as well as news on Android 11 and updates to the Google Assistant. We no longer know what the timeline looks like for these announcements; chances are Google will have to get creative over the coming months as it (and everyone else) figures out how to recover from the fallout of the coronavirus.