The keynote was great, the demos are cool and there’s free food and drink for everyone there — but don’t kid yourself, Google I/O 2016 is the conference version of hell.
Lines that span 90+ minutes, attendees being turned away at the door after waiting in said lines, and 93 degree heat with no discernible way of cooling off — aside from grabbing an Uber and bailing — are the talking points (at least amongst attendees) of I/O, not tech.
— Isaac Sachs (@IsaacSachs) May 18, 2016
Those damn lines that force you to skip half of the talks… Grrrr #io16
— Djava7 (@Djava7) May 18, 2016
— Anil Ali (@anilali) May 18, 2016
It’s a shame.
We did witness some really cool announcements (Daydream, Allo, Duo, Android Instant Apps, Google Assistant) and some long-awaited updates (Android N, Android Wear 2.0), but all were eagerly overlooked while overheated journalists hurried to file their stories and get the hell out of there.
#IO16 insane lines and 93 degree heat… It's basically hell. ???
— Bryan Clark (@bryanclark) May 18, 2016
Granted, Google can’t control the weather, but with over 7,000 attendees and a weather report that detailed dangerous heat, it could have done a little more.
Cooling stations would have been a nice start, but I think most of us would have settled for bigger venues for the side sessions, and an inkling of just how big a problem it is when journalists descend on Mountain View from all over the world to attend I/O, and then get turned away at the door for panels they’ve had lined up for over a month.
In a word, it was hell, but we’ll be back tomorrow for day two.