Breaking: Google cancels I/O 2020 over coronavirus concerns

Google has decided to cancel the in-person portion of its annual developer conference, I/O, due to coronavirus concerns. The news is being emailed to ticket buyers who won a lottery to get a chance to attend the show.

This is the latest big tech event to be cancelled over coronavirus concerns. Last month, MWC 2020 was canned because of the virus and the risk of it spreading, while Facebook has also cancelled the in-person portion of its F8 developer conference and will host livestreams instead. Google and Microsoft also cancelled a couple of their smaller events ahead of the I/O news.

All ticket buyers will get a refund for their purchase and automatically have the opportunity to purchase a ticket for next year’s I/O without having to enter the lottery. Google says it’s now exploring new ways to carry on with I/O 2020, and that likely means a lot of livestreams and perhaps some press meetings here and there.

I/O 2020 is Google’s biggest event of the year. It’s where developers congregate to talk about the future of Android, and it’s Google’s biggest stage to show off what it wants to do with the platform for the next year. Now, though, all of those announcements and keynotes will be held online instead, making this one of the saddest cancellations so far.

That being said, we’re still expecting Google to announce what’s been rumored to be unveiled for months now, including more details on Android 11 and the mid-range Pixel 4a smartphone. We’ll also still likely catch glimpses at future Google Assistant updates as well as more tools developers will be able to take advantage of. Just know that when you hear about these features, nobody will hear about them in-person.