After canceling entirely last year, Google today announced that I/O 2021 will be virtual and free to attend. This developer conference is the company’s biggest event of the year and will run from May 18-20.

Google I/O 2021 will feature Consumer and Developer Keynotes — focused on “company and product news” — followed by Technical Sessions for “product announcements and how to adopt new features.” These will be scheduled throughout the three-day event and available on demand. The full lineup will be made available in late April.

Users will have to register for Workshops that are instructor-led and feature Q&A, while Ask Me Anything (AMA) sessions will be an “opportunity to ask Google product experts questions.” Meetups — “casual, open, facilitated forums hosted by Google that enable attendees to connect with each other” — will also require registration and reservation. There will also be:

  • Interactive Sandboxes are available in I/O Adventure, enabling developers to try Google’s new products and features through a hands-on experience.
  • Codelabs and Learning Pathways are always-on, self-guided learning experiences that help you adopt Google technology.

Registration is now open and provides access to live Q&A during Sessions, Workshops, Ask Me Anything (AMA) sessions, personalized content, badges, and chat in I/O Adventure.

Update: Our Kyle Bradshaw and Ben Schoon solved the puzzle to reveal that I/O 2021 will take place from May 18-20.

Google I/O 2021 announced

In going virtual, I/O is following Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC, June 7-11) and Microsoft Build (May 25-27). It’s usually held at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View right across the Googleplex headquarters. The concert venue’s main stage is used for the keynote and other big talks, while the parking lot is covered in tents for sessions.

Google last year took the unprecedented step of not hosting an event whatsoever in light of COVID-19 and surrounding restrictions. The Android team did hold a multi-week event later on in the summer, and other teams hosted smaller events.

How to solve Google I/O 2021 puzzle

In announcing the existence of I/O 2021, Google — like in past years — is shielding the actual dates behind a puzzle. This year’s “punch card” is available here, and the solution is below:

  1. “Sophie Germain”
  2. Spell out “Hello World” using a punch card
  3. “Ada Lovelace”
  4. Complete the punch card
  5. Complete
  6. Complete
  7. “Grace Hopper”
  8. Arrange cards back-to-front: blue, red, orange, green
  9. “Christine Darden”
  10. Tap “sort” button, rearrange functions from 1-6, use arrow keys to navigate to column 79, click “sort” again, repeat until column 70 while making sure functions/comments are arranged from top to bottom, and then “submit”

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Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: