In a bit of shocking news this afternoon, Google has moved to fully cancel this year’s Google I/O, the yearly developer conference that is the search giant’s largest gathering and stage for new software developments. Not long ago, the decision was made to shut down the physical event and replace it with a virtual version, but it seems the novel coronavirus has become too much of a threat for even that reality to happen.
A #GoogleIO update: 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. (1/3)— Google Developers (@googledevs) March 20, 2020
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. We’ll continue to do everything we can to help our communities stay safe, informed, and connected. (2/3)— Google Developers (@googledevs) March 20, 2020
Please know that we remain committed to sharing ongoing Android updates with you through our developer blogs and community forums. (3/3)— Google Developers (@googledevs) March 20, 2020
This move makes sense with the Bay Area officials requiring a ‘shelter in place’ order to try and stop the virus’ spread, but the news hurts if I’m being honest. I suppose up to this point, it felt like virtual events would still be unmarred by the crisis, but that no longer feels like the case. In the end, if Google feels it is against local policies to proceed and chooses to turn efforts, money, and resources towards those who need it most, we can’t blame them.
With the recent pause to development of Chrome and Chrome OS, it really is beginning to feel like everything is taking a back to COVID-19 at the moment. I am personally all for anything that helps curb the spread of this virus, so if Google’s choice to fully cancel I/O 2020 does that, they have my support for sure. With a new phone about to launch, a set of highly-anticipate earbuds on the edge of arrival, and new Chromebooks both showing up and readying for launch, we’re keeping an ear to the ground on all fronts to try and keep up with all the hardware and software changes on the way.
We expect many of the announcements that were slated at or around I/O to trickle out over the next month or two, so keep an eye out for that news as we find it and hear about it. Make sure and subscribe to our newsletter below so you don’t miss a thing.