Google I/O returns May 11 and 12, with limited in-person attendance

Feel that? The weather’s warming up, it’s staying light outside later and there’s something [long, extended inhale] developery in the air. New clues from Google dropped this morning, in the lead up to Google’s annual developer conference. The company has since confirmed that the show will go on, May 11 and 12.

Traditionally held at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, California, Google skipped the show altogether in 2020, out of concern over the then still-new COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, it joined the rest of the tech world in going all digital. The company is returning to the concert venue, with a “limited live audience.” Once again, the show will feature a free virtual streaming element for everyone who can’t make it.

Like Apple’s WWDC, the show is developer-focused, while also front-loaded with consumer content during kick-off. Updates to Android, Wear OS and various Google services are a near-lock. Hardware has traditionally been a bit more of a crapshoot. Some years have seen no devices, while others have brought addition to the Nest and Pixel lines. The show has also contained its share of surprises, including the announcement — and subsequent first live demo — of the company’s AI booking service, Duplex.

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