Earlier this month, Google said it was canceling the physical I/O 2020 event due to coronavirus concerns, but it added that it was exploring its options to "evolve Google I/O" for developers. Now the entire thing has been canned.
Google says that it "will not be holding an I/O event in any capacity this year." It's taking this step out of concern for the health of developers, employees, and local communities and so that it stays in line with the local Bay Area government's "shelter in place" order.
"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," Google explains. "We'll continue to do everything we can to help our communities stay safe, informed, and connected."
I/O is normally a developer-focused event, but Google also typically teases some new features coming later in the year to its various products, including Android. Because of that, Google I/O is a hotly anticipated event each year. The ongoing coronavirus pandemic makes such an event difficult, though, and with many folks now working from home, it could be difficult for Google to put together a digital event or something similar to replace the physical gathering.
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)
— Google Developers (@googledevs) March 20, 2020