This year is turning out to be a not-so-friendly one for technology trade shows, with the COVID-19 coronavirus forcing cancellation after cancellation, even of the digital shows.
If you were hoping to hear all about Google’s big news for Android 11, search, and phones this year, among Google’s other products and platforms, it appears Google I/O won’t be the place it happens.
After cancelling the physical presence of the show in the past few weeks and eyeing a digital online version, Google has taken the extra step of killing off plans for the digital implementation of Google I/O 2020, as well.
Like pretty much every trade show cancellation, you can thank the COVID-19 coronavirus. It’s clearly a threat to people, travel, economies, and pretty much occupies most of the news circulating right now, and it is the reason Google has had to kill off its I/O plans for the year.
In fact, California has ordered its citizens to stay home to prevent the spread of the coronavirus infection, which will remain in place for the moment, and could affect other states in the USA.
Understandably, staying home may prevent Google from running I/O the way it likely had planned, which has forced Google’s hand and has decided not to hold the I/O conference in any capacity “out of concern for the health and safety of our developers, employees, and local communities”.
Moving forward, it may not be just Google that has to take this approach.
Google’s main headquarters is in California, and Apple lives there, too. If residents are forced to stay home for longer than a few weeks, it’s possible the digital incarnation of Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) could see cancellation, as well. The physical version of WWDC has already hit that point, but if by June this hasn’t been contained properly, we could see Apple do the same with WWDC, as well.
The most important thing throughout this is for people to remain safe and healthy, and so while it’s never good news to hear that a tech show has been cancelled, it’s not the be-all or end-all. If technology announcements are made, they can still be made online without the major fanfare of a big tech event, such as what we saw this week with the iPad Pro and MacBook Air announcements.
Ultimately, if you have to stay indoors and at home to stay safe, then do that, and when this is all over, the tech sector can come out to play and return to its regularly scheduled program.