Google and Apple to stage online Android and iOS summits in May, June

Google, too, is moving its developer conference online in light of the ongoing pandemic. — dpa

Silicon Valley is entering its second year of virtual events, and both Google and Apple are forging ahead with online summits for app developers amid the ongoing pandemic.

First up: Google's I/O conference, running from May 18 to 20, the internet giant has announced. Plans for the online event were made public just days after Apple announced it would hold its WWDC developer conference online from June 7 to 11.

Both summits are set to focus on the future of smartphone software, with Apple and Google expected to unveil new features for iOS and Android operating systems.

Last year, Google skipped the I/O conference altogether and limited itself to a handful of digital presentations.

The two conferences traditionally draw thousands of developers eager to see new products and features related to Android and iOS. The pandemic, however, has once again made real-world events impossible.

Apple's WWDC is expected to last several days as usual, however Facebook has shortened the online version of its F8 developer conference to one day this year. It's scheduled to take place on June 2.

The first major public event for the smartphone industry since the start of the pandemic is still the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, scheduled for the end of June.

Even as Europe battles with a third wave of coronavirus infections, the organisers are hoping more than 40,000 participants will attend to see the latest tech gadgets.

Various well-known exhibitors such as the network suppliers Ericsson and Nokia as well as Facebook and Google, among others, have already pulled out.

Although a WWDC ticket recently cost US$1,600 (RM6,616), developer interest in the Apple conference is usually so great that tickets are randomly issued. This year, like last year, the online version will be free and open to all developers. – dpa

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