Google cancels I/0 2020 over coronavirus
Google has called off its annual Google I/O developer conference for 2020 due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus. The cancellation is undoubtedly a blow for the search giant which uses the conference to launch the latest major Android release (Android 11 on this occasion) along with other software and machine learning breakthroughs. The company also uses the event to introduce new hardware with last year’s event featuring the launch of the Google Pixel 3a and 3a XL.
Google’s I/0 2020 website has been updated with the following message:
Due to concerns around the coronavirus (COVID-19), and in accordance with health guidance from the CDC, WHO, and other health authorities, we have decided to cancel the physical Google I/O event at Shoreline Amphitheatre.
All guests who have purchased tickets to I/O 2020 will receive a full refund by March 13, 2020. If you don’t see the credit on your statement by then, please reach out to io(at)google.com. Guests who have registered for I/O 2020 will not need to enter next year’s drawing and will be automatically granted the option of purchasing an I/O 2021 ticket.
Over the coming weeks, we will explore other ways to evolve Google I/O to best connect with our developer community.
There is the suggestion that Google will still hold an event, but it will be live streamed and may not feature an audience, which will significantly reduce the buzz and excitement around the event. It is also a missed opportunity for Android developers to meet with Google software engineers, at least in person. Workshops could still be live streamed as well, but may not feature the same level of audience participation and interaction.
Still, given concerns about the new corona virus spreading, it is probably a wise option minimize potential exposure of Google’s own employees to the contagion which would only cause more disruption and potentially delay software releases.