When info regarding the spread of covid-19 began circulating, Google decided to reformat its annual developer conference—Google I/O—into an online-only event. But now, due to the increased severity of covid-19 and resulting government guidelines, Google has decided to cancel Google I/O entirely.
In a recent tweet, Google said that “Out of concern for the health and safety of our developers, employees, and local communities — and in line with ‘shelter in place’ requirements by the local Bay Area government — we sadly will not be holding an I/O event in any capacity this year.”
While Google’s decision is certainly a prudent one given the recent rise in covid-19 cases in the U.S., this development will still come as a disappointment for developers and Android enthusiasts who may have been looking forward to Google’s traditional keynote presentation about upcoming software and devices. And unlike other recent events that have been cancelled due to covid-19 like Coachcella and GDC, it doesn’t appear Google will attempt to reschedule Google I/O for sometime later this year.
That said, just because Google I/O isn’t happening, that doesn’t mean there won’t be any news. Just this week, Apple saw fit to announce a number of new devices including a new iPad Pro, MacBook Air, and more. The big question now when it comes to upcoming tech events is if Apple will still host WWDC as an online-only event in June, or if Apple will follow Google and be forced to cancel WWDC 2020 as well.
Last year, Google surprised attendees when it announced the Pixel 3a at Google I/O, and with leaks and rumours indicating that Google was planning to do something similar for the Pixel 4a, here’s hoping Google’s next mid-range phone doesn’t face any major delays.
That said, Google’s recent change in plans serves to highlight the impact that covid-19 is having both on the U.S. and the rest of the world. So while it’s a bummer that Google I/O has been cancelled, safety and preventing the spread of the virus as much as possible remains the number one priority.