Update 3: It’s not clear who is getting these or why, but some smart developers who solved the puzzle early do indeed seem to be receiving free tickets to I/O (via Twitter DM from @GoogleDevs).


Update 2: The puzzle has been solved. No free tickets to be had. 😦

Update: Google’s I/O website has been updated for I/O 2017, although no details have been provided yet.

The Google Developers Twitter account tweeted out a cryptic message (with a link to a cryptic website) this afternoon, which means that Android and Google developers might have a chance to win something important — although we have no idea what that might be yet. The use of the ‘#savethedate’ hashtag, however, suggests that this might be related to Google I/O 2017.

It’s about the right time of year for Google to announce the dates for its annual developer conference, although that usually happens through Google’s official blogs or via a tweet from Google CEO Sundar Pichai himself. Google has traditionally provided various programming challenges and puzzles to give experienced developers the first shot at tickets, although recent years have seen a more traditional lottery system.

If you want to take a crack at figuring out exactly what’s going on here, you can head over to savethedate.foo, where Google says (we found a GiHub project related to this little scavenger hunt) you must “Enter all answers at savethedate.foo.” It seems there are five puzzles to be solved, and they each get a bit progressively harder as they are figured out.

5 puzzles. Each gets more difficult.

5 clues. Take notes. Each puzzle is gone after it’s solved.

5 places. Think numbers.

Enter all answers at savethedate.foo.

You must know where you’ve been to get where you’re going.

Maybe this marks the return of all the Google I/O whimsy and fun!

We’ve reached out to Google for clarification on this situation, as we would love to know ourselves exactly what “date” we’re supposed to be saving…