As we’ve said in a previous post that outlines some of the hardware we may or may not see at Google I/O this week, this is a developer conference first and foremost. That means the focus is way more on things like Chrome, ChromeOS, Android, and Flutter than on the hardware that will inevitably utilize those platforms. That’s not to say hardware is unimportant to Google: it’s just way less important at an event like Google I/O.
Most years, Google takes the time to put their programming technologies on display in some way, shape or form in the lead-up to Google I/O, and this year is no different. For 2022, we now have I/O Pinball, an open-source, web-based pinball game that was built with Flutter, is delivered in Chrome, and uses Firebase to track high scores from users across the globe. (Shout out to 9to5 Google for getting this out to the public.)
Four characters are at your disposal, representing Android, Chrome, Flutter and Firebase, and the one you choose follows your high score. Choose wisely. Well, not really. The characters don’t matter at all and only serve to change the accent colors on the background and shapes on the carpet. It’s a nice touch and you see all four characters represented in the actual game, too.
After a rousing round, you can choose to share your results on Twitter to challenge your friends or coworkers, and that’s honestly the most rewarding part. There’s a top 10 leaderboard as well that you’ll need some time to even attempt to get into. For the time being, it looks like Kyle Bradshaw from 9to5 Google is up there with a score of 258,240,000, so he’s proving to me that there are some real people on that leaderboard.
The whole thing is just fun and kind of addicting. My lame score of 23,000,000 pales in comparison to the bigger numbers on the leaderboard, but that’s OK. It’s a fun time-waster that I could see a few offices getting a bit competitive with, and that’s really the point. Google is showcasing what is possible right on the web with technologies they will be discussing in depth all this week, and things like I/O Pinball just put flesh and bones on the technical things that will be discussed. It’s a fun lead up to the event tomorrow, and we continue to be excited for all Google will discuss.