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Google I/O returns this May — but as a virtual event

Google I/O returns this May — but as a virtual event


It’ll take place from May 18th–20th

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Illustration: Alex Castro / The Verge

Google’s I/O developer event is returning this year after being canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and like many other tech events that have taken place during the pandemic, it will be entirely virtual. The event will take place from May 18th–20th and will be free to attend, according to 9to5Google, which revealed the date after solving Google’s cryptic I/O puzzle.

The website for Google I/O 2021 is now live, where you can register for the event. The conference will have both consumer and developer-focused keynotes, technical sessions, workshops, AMAs, meetups, and more, according to an FAQ. The full schedule will be released late this month.

Typically, Google uses I/O to show off significant updates to its products, new hardware (in 2019, the company revealed the Pixel 3A and the Nest Hub Max smart display), and occasionally, big initiatives like the AI-powered reservation service Google Duplex. It seems likely that Google will show off more of Android 12 during this year’s conference, but beyond that, we’ll have to wait to see what’s in store.

As restrictions on gatherings remain in place because of the pandemic, other tech companies have also announced virtual events for this year. Microsoft has revealed that its Build conference will happen from May 25th–27th, and Apple has announced that its Worldwide Developers Conference will take place from June 7th–11th.

Update April 7th, 1:44PM ET: Added details from the Google I/O website and a tweet from CEO Sundar Pichai.