Google will not be holding Google I/O this year whatsoever. In early March, Google indicated the in-person portion of Google I/O would be cancelled over coronavirus concerns, and it was still exploring other ways to connect with developers. But that’s no longer the case.
“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. “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.”
The company said it remains “committed to finding other ways to share platform updates” through developer blogs and community forums.
Google’s annual conference for developers is typically held in May at the Shoreline Amphitheatre. Last year, it drew more than 7,000 attendees. Media and developers alike go to the show to get a first-hand account of what’s new and to interact with Google experts. Executives usually use the keynote speech to walkthrough new features to Android, YouTube, and other products.
The company originally announced I/O 2020 in January, and in February, it started the process for ticket applications and the ticket draw.
However, on 3 March, Google said in an email that it will refund those who bought tickets to Google I/O, and it confirmed it banned international employee travel. It is one of several tech companies that have recently cancelled conferences or stopped employee trave due to the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. Facebook, for instance, cancelled its annual developer conference, too.
Apple is one of the few companies still planning to hold its developer conference this year, although it’ll be a virtual-only affair. For a full list of major tech conferences that have been cancelled, in an attempt to prevent the spread of COVID-19, see our round-up here.
Currently, according to real-time data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, the deadly virus has popped up in more than 50 countries around the globe, with roughly 258,400 cases and at least 11,250 deaths at this time of writing.