The dates are set for Google I/O 2020—Google’s biggest show of the year will take place on May 12-14. As usual, the show is at the Shoreline Amphitheater, an outdoor venue located right next to Google’s Mountain View headquarters. Google announced the date through a cryptic command-line-driven space game at events.google.com/io/mission/. There is also this tweet:
— Sundar Pichai (@sundarpichai) January 24, 2020
Last year’s Google I/O was one of the more eventful entries in recent memory, as it saw the return of the Google hardware launch. Google started targeting the midrange smartphone market by debuting the cheaper Pixel 3a at the show, and it launched a bigger smart display, the Google Nest Hub Max. Android saw the release of Android (10) Q Beta 3, a revamped gesture navigation system, and disclosure of the “Project Mainline” update system. Alongside the Nest Hub, there was also major upheaval in how Nest operates. Nest stopped being a standalone company and merged with Google in February 2018, but at Google I/O 2019, we started to see the reality of this change: Nest became a sub-brand of Google, and the “Works with Nest” smart home platform got a shutdown date.
For 2020, there’s a good chance we’ll see the launch of the Pixel 4a, which has already hit the rumor mill. The phone seems to throw out most of the oddities of the Pixel 4 in favor of a thin bezel. It would be a no-nonsense smartphone with a front hole punch display, a headphone jack, and a rear fingerprint reader. If Google sticks to the typical Android schedule, we should see the next beta version, Android 11 R, debut in March, with a second beta in April and a third beta in time for I/O. You might think a third beta would be uneventful, but last year Google withheld a lot of features to show off on the big stage at I/O.
If everything plays out like normal, tickets should be for sale (via lottery, for $1,000+) sometime in February. If you go, bring some sunscreen.