What you need to know
- Google I/O has announced it will have a "limited audience" this year.
- Most attendees, including press and developers, will be virtual again.
- Google's move casts doubt on an in-person WWDC for this year.
Earlier today, Google (and Alphabet) CEO Sundar Pichai announced that Google I/O, the company's annual developer conference, will occur from May 11th to the 12th this year. His announcement led many to believe that the event might be back to fully in-person this year since he said "we'll be back live from Shoreline Amphitheatre," the location where Google usually hosts the event in person.
We'll be back live from Shoreline Amphitheatre for this year's #GoogleIO! Join us online May 11-12 https://t.co/KgNKbaLeym pic.twitter.com/NUodJb7UCiWe'll be back live from Shoreline Amphitheatre for this year's #GoogleIO! Join us online May 11-12 https://t.co/KgNKbaLeym pic.twitter.com/NUodJb7UCi— Sundar Pichai (@sundarpichai) March 16, 2022March 16, 2022
Unfortunately, it appears that in-person attendance will be limited to Googlers and some partners. According to Ina Fried, Chief Technology Correspondent for Axios, press and regular attendees should still expect to attend this year's event virtually.
Deleted my earlier tweet about this being in-person because for most everyone it is online-only. From Google
To clarify: the "limited audience" here will primarily be Googlers as well as some partners. Press and others should plan to tune in online. https://t.co/xindVTDBDSDeleted my earlier tweet about this being in-person because for most everyone it is online-only. From Google
To clarify: the "limited audience" here will primarily be Googlers as well as some partners. Press and others should plan to tune in online. https://t.co/xindVTDBDS— Ina Fried (@inafried) March 16, 2022March 16, 2022
That lines up with the information contained on the Google I/O website, which does not mention any way to register for an in-person ticket to the event.
The announcement from Google calls into question if Apple will also continue to hold WWDC virtually this year. The company has held all of its events virtually since 2020 due to the pandemic and many have wondered when the first Apple Event will return to an in-person one. With the dramatic decline in cases and easing of local restrictions, it could be possible for Apple to bring WWDC triumphantly back to an in-person event if case trends continue.
However, it may be too far out for the company to commit to an in-person event as case counts could rise once again. While the company can be more dynamic with its stores and office an event is a much more complicated matter so, if Google I/O is an indicator, we may have some more waiting to do for an in-person WWDC.
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Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.