Google I/O, the Mountain View giant’s biggest tech event of the year, has been canceled due to the spread of the Coronavirus, the company announced on the official I/O 2020 website last night.
According to Google the decision to cancel Google I/O 2020 was taken “due to concerns around the coronavirus (COVID-19), and in accordance with health guidance from the CDC, WHO, and other health authorities.”
Developers and visitors who had purchased tickets to the event will be given a full refund, which the company states should reflect in their accounts by March 13, 2020. The company has also mentioned that people who had registered for I/O 2020 will not be required to enter next year’s drawing of tickets and will instead be directly eligible to purchase tickets to the event.
Google I/O is important for a whole variety of reasons including the in-person developer focused events that the company holds for Android developers. The event is also where we usually learn more about features the Mountain View giant is working on for the next big release of Android — Android 11 this year.
It remains to be seen how Google decides to unveil those features to developers and Android enthusiasts this year, but it’s highly possible that the company decides to hold an online event to reveal more about Android 11 and the APIs that come with it.
It’s noteworthy that Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai tweeted recently that the company is rolling out free-access to the advanced Hangouts Meet video-conferencing capabilities starting this week and through July 1, 2020. Maybe, just maybe, the company is thinking of using its video-conferencing platform to host Google I/O related meet-ups virtually.
We want to help businesses and schools impacted by COVID-19 stay connected: starting this week, we'll roll out free access to our advanced Hangouts Meet video-conferencing capabilities through July 1, 2020 to all G Suite customers globally. https://t.co/OWWF7s5jjR
— Sundar Pichai (@sundarpichai) March 3, 2020
We’re waiting on more information from Google regarding how the company plans to move ahead with Google I/O online (if at all), and we will update this post as and when more information becomes available so stay tuned.