Google has announced it will no longer host attendees at its annual Google I/O developer conference, due to fears over the coronavirus.
The company says the physical events at the Shoreline Amphitheater at its Mountain View HQ will no longer take place, and all sessions will now be broadcast online.
The event was scheduled to kick-off with the traditional keynote address on May 12, where we were expected to see Google reveal the Android 11 operating system in full.
That will presumably still take place, but in the calmer environment of an online stream and without the usual whoops and hollers that accompany new features.
Related: Android 11 features
Here’s what Google had to say about the matter in a statement: “Due to concerns around the coronavirus (COVID-19), and in accordance with health guidance from the CDC, WHO, and other health authorities, we have decided to cancel the physical Google I/O event at Shoreline Amphitheatre.”
Those who’d purchased tickets to the event will get a full refund, and hopefully the cancellation comes early enough for those planning to attend to amend their travel plans without too much concern.
The cancellation is a shame, because I/O has become a staple in recent years, with Google usually revealing the latest for its vast suite of software and apps, as well as its smart home empire.
The tech calendar continues to be decimated by the threat of the coronavirus, since Mobile World Congress cancelled last month. Since then Facebook F8 has been canned, the Game Developer’s Conference has been postponed until the summer and the Adobe Summit has been cancelled as an in-person event.
Whether the likes of Microsoft Build, Apple WWDC and E3 will take place as we head towards the summer now appears to be in serious doubt, as tech firms prioritise the safety of their employees.
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