Sundar Pichai, Google CEO
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The big annual Google I/O developer conference is now completely canceled, Google said on Friday. On March 3, the company moved the in-person event to an online-only affair over growing concerns about the spread of coronavirus COVID-19. But, now those sessions are also being canceled.
Facebook, Microsoft and Apple have all moved their similar events for developers to online-only status but Google is the first to cancel it entirely.
“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,” Google said in a tweet. “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. Please know that we remain committed to sharing ongoing Android updates with you through our developer blogs and community forums.”
Google typically uses its I/O event to talk about updated software and sometimes also reveals new hardware products. Last year, Google talked about update to Android, Google Search and Google Search, among other things. It also announced the Nest Hub Max and Google Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL phones. Several thousand people were originally expected to attend.
Google was expected to announce successors to those phones, and likely could have used it to talk more in depth about new features coming to Android 11, which it launched to developers in beta in February. Google typically releases its big new version of Android for everyone in the fall, however, so it has lots of time to deliver smaller press conferences for product updates if it decides to do that instead of a splashy online event.