The coronavirus outbreak means Google IO 2020 won’t be happening at all now – Google had previously announced that there would be no physical event, but it has now confirmed that there won’t be a livestream or any digital event either.
“Out of concern for the health and safety of our developers, employees, and local communities – and in line with recent ‘shelter in place’ orders by the local Bay Area counties – we sadly will not be holding I/O in any capacity this year,” reads the message on the Google IO site.
“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.”
The event had been due to take place on May 12-14 this year, but the global battle against COVID-19 has claimed numerous tech events over the last few months. Google has also just launched an official online coronavirus hub to provide a trustworthy source of information about the pandemic.
Android 11 and the Pixel 4a
Google IO is traditionally the event that Google uses to announce all the changes coming in the next version of Android – Android 11 this year – and it’s not yet clear exactly what the cancelation of the event means in that regard.
It doesn’t seem that the coronavirus situation is going to seriously delay the rollout of Android 11 in the coming months, even with Google engineers working at home. The developer preview is already available.
At Google IO 2019 we had news of Android 10 as well as the launch of the Pixel 3a phones, and this year we were expecting to see the Pixel 4a arrive. That mid-range phone may well now be unveiled with a blog post and a press release.
We will of course bring you all the Android 11 and Pixel 4a news as Google announces it, even if Google IO isn’t going ahead. It looks as though it’s going to be several months before we get another major tech event that we can actually attend in person.