Google I/O 2020 is now officially canceled beyond any chance of returning, according to a recently reported tweet from the company. The company took to Twitter via its "@googledevs" Google Developers handle to spread the word. Specifically, the company says it will not be "holding an I/O event in any capacity" now. That's not a delay either, although the decision is related to concerns about coronavirus.
Google says that won't be holding any kind of I/O conference at all "this year."
Google I/O 2020, as a hosted event at Google's headquarters, was already canceled earlier this month. But while attendees' ticket purchases were refunded, the search giant was expected to carry forward with a digital event. Now, Google says that its top priority is focusing attention on helping people with "new challenges we all face."
It also vows to continue doing whatever it can to keep no local communities where it is headquartered safe and informed as well as connected.
Google I/O 2020 is not the first event of the year to be canceled
While the event has been canceled, Google does indicate that news ordinarily shared at the gathering will be put out. For now, the sharing of ongoing Android updates, developer-specific changes to Google products and the web, AI, and other announcements will not be via stage-based announcements. Instead, the search giant will share those details via its developer blogs and community forums.
But coronavirus hasn't only impacted Google. And the Google I/O 2020 Developers Conference isn't the only major tech event to be canceled due to coronavirus either. Setting aside major changes to the Google Play Store, YouTube, and other Google products, Facebook and the tech world at large have been impacted.
Earlier in 2020, Mobile World Congress, Facebook's F8, and the Geneva Auto Show were canceled too. Each event plays a major role in technology, not just from the perspective of product announcements. But also in terms of companies networking and forming future partnerships.
Beyond events, several major companies such as Foxconn have reported steep drops in demand for products and sales. So the tech industry, like any other market segment, has suffered substantial losses due to the spread of the virus.
This comes back not just to coronavirus and guidelines in response to that
Google's decision earlier this year was to alleviate risks associated with coronavirus and COVID-19 by hosting a virtual event. That's as opposed to its usual gathering in Mountain View, which draws a select crowd from around the world. But the complete and total cancellation of Google I/O 2020 comes down to more localized matters.
Google points to "shelter in place" requirements put in place by the Bay Area government. The concept surrounding that requirement stems from how easily spread coronavirus is — in addition to its extended incubation period. Gatherings of large numbers of people present a unique risk. When those people are gathered from around the globe, that risk is compounded.
The "shelter in place" requirements effectively ask area residents to limit large gatherings and remain at home as much as feasibly possible.
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)Advertisement
— Google Developers (@googledevs) March 20, 2020