Google Officially Cancels I/O 2020 for Good

Posted on March 20, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Dev, Google, Android with 7 Comments

Less than three weeks after announcing that it was canceling its in-person I/O event this year, Google has canceled it for good. There won’t even be a virtual event.

“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,” the Google Developers account tweeted today. “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.”

Like companies throughout the tech community and elsewhere, Google originally canceled its in-person/physical Google I/O event and pledged at the time that it would “evolve” Google /IO to “best connect with [its] developer community.” The assumption, of course, was that Google would hold a virtual event, as Microsoft is doing with Build 2020 and Apple is doing with WWDC 2020. But that is no longer the case, if it ever was.

Google I/O is the online giant’s biggest annual conference and the firm was expected to launch an Android 11 Beta and Pixel 4a handset at the event. There’s no word on how or if the Pixel 4a will launch now, but Google says it “remains committed to sharing ongoing Android updates through our developer blogs and community forums.”

Google I/O was originally scheduled for May 12-14, 2020.

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Comments (7)

7 responses to “Google Officially Cancels I/O 2020 for Good”

  1. christian.hvid

    "Google has canceled it for good."

    That's a bit ominous... let's hope there's still going to be a 2021, shall we? :)

    I'm guessing that the California lockdown is stopping Google employees from getting to a studio to broadcast the event? If so, the same thing will likely happen to WWDC and Build.

    • Paul Thurrott

      It will happen to WWDC, but not Build. Microsoft has already recorded many videos for the virtual Build.
      • christian.hvid

        In reply to paul-thurrott:

        OK, good to know!

        I'm a little disappointed about Google I/O though - I had hoped they would announce something about Flutter, which inexplicably hasn't received a major update in over three months.

      • lvthunder

        In reply to paul-thurrott:

        Do you know that Apple hasn't done the same thing?

        • wright_is

          In reply to lvthunder:

          Apple is very secretive about such things. One would hope they are also doing such things, but they wouldn't release the information to the press until the event actually starts.

        • Paul Thurrott

          No. But Apple is unique in that it requires employees to be on campus for a lot of things, making remote work difficult. I hope they're able to continue with WWDC, but if Google can't pull it off because of CA restrictions, it's hard to imagine Apple doing so.
          • spullum

            In reply to paul-thurrott:

            I wonder if it’s more of a “put staff efforts into other things” message.

            I wouldn’t see why Apple (or Google) couldn’t have an entirely virtual conference with all the breakout sessions etc. like Microsoft. Zoom can do all of that (Hangouts probably could as well). Washington State is one of the ground zeroes as well as the Bay.

  2. will

    This is just a weird year

  3. datameister

    I would guess they might still release the same information throughout the year, it just won't be contained into a single "event" and things might be spread out over a few months.