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Hidden clues uncover date and location of Google’s I/O 2018 conference

Google I/O ARG
Image used with permission by copyright holder
Google’s annual I/O Conference will run from May 8-10, and will be held in the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, California.

That announcement didn’t come easy, though. In Google’s usual, eclectic fashion, the location and date were only unearthed after a series of clues, laid out breadcrumb-style, led intrepid adventurers to the correct location.

It all began with a tweet from the Google Developers Twitter account, which posted a mysterious image. Amateur-detectives were quick to identify the image as binary code, and were able to translate the code into a URL for Google’s I/O website.

Plans are coming along for

— Google Developers (@googledevs) January 24, 2018

The website takes users into street view for what is most likely a Google Developers office, and into an escape room-style puzzle that needs to be solved before the next door can be opened. By all accounts, it was a fun puzzle, and The Verge is taking credit for cracking it first, working alongside a Discord server of other adventurers.

The full solution isn’t something that we’re going to spoil here, since although the final outcome is known, there’s nothing stopping you from tackling the puzzles yourself for fun. Among the hints and clues that The Verge came across, perhaps the most tantalizing is this image of an upside-down pineapple cake.

For those who aren’t immediately struck by the significance of the image, remember that Google tends to add a letter to each of the major new versions of Android. Android 8.0 Oreo has been out for a while, which means the letter “P” is highly likely to be the next significant version of Android — Android 9.0 P.

Whether or not Android P will be named “Pineapple” remains to be seen. Our very own Julian Chokkattu was handed a peppermint cookie by Google at CES, and “Peppermint” would also be a viable name for the next Android version. Could the cake — dare we say it– be a lie?

I just got a peppermint cookie from @Google and I'm convinced it's a teaser. Android Peppermint? #DTCES #CES2018

— Julian Chokkattu (@JulianChokkattu) January 10, 2018

Regardless of the naming convention, it’s highly likely that Google will use its I/O conference to discuss the future of Android, and maybe even reveal the new version right there. With the emphasis on Google Assistant at CES 2018, we would also expect to see much more from Google on that very subject. Past Google I/O conferences have been packed with new innovations, and we’re expecting this year’s to be exactly the same.

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