This May, Google is holding its annual I/O conference, where it invites thousands of developers to learn about the latest Google and web technologies. Last year, Google had its first (of many) “Oprah Moments” when it made the surprise announcement that everyone in attendance would be receiving a free Android phone. This year, it’s taking a slightly different approach: it’s shipping all paid attendees either a Verizon Droid or Nexus One before the conference.
The logic behind the move? I/O is going to be heavy on Android content, so Google wants to make sure everyone in attendance is set up with a working phone, without having to deal with the logistics of handing them out at the conference. Getting them shipped ahead of time will also give developers a chance to familiarize themselves with Android, if they haven’t used it already.
Google is sending out Verizon Droids and Nexus Ones to developers based on the location they entered when they first signed up for the conference (and no, according to the FAQ, you can’t request to get a different model).
Here’s the Email Google is sending out:
This year’s Google I/O is less than 2 months away, and we’re very excited that you and over 4,000 other developers will be joining us in San Francisco. During the 2-day conference, you’ll have over 90 sessions to choose from and the opportunity to meet with developers from over 170 companies that will be demoing their apps and talking in-depth about their use of Google technologies in the Developer Sandbox.
As you might have guessed, Android will have a big presence at this year’s event. To make sure you’re equipped to make the most of your Android experience during Google I/O, we’d like to mail you a Verizon Droid by Motorola before the event.
Bring your Android device to Google I/O
Instead of having you spend time picking up and registering the device during the conference, we want you to be able to get started ASAP. Here are the different ways in which we’re hoping you’ll use the device you receive:
Get to know the Android SDK
Use the device to get started on your first (or next!) Android app using the latest SDK. You’ll find a ton of helpful info atdeveloper.android.com, including the Developer’s Guide. We hope you have new apps or working prototypes by the time of I/O. That way, you’ll be able to get feedback on your app from other developers, including members of the Android team who’ll be leading in-depth sessions and answering attendees’ technical questions during Office Hours (the schedule will be published oncode.google.com/io in April).
Put your device to work at I/O
To encourage active use of your device, we’re amplifying cellular and wireless coverage inside Moscone West, and charging stations will be available for anyone to use. We hope you’ll:
Get I/O info on your device: Before May 19th, we’ll send out details on how to download a conference app that we’re building now. During I/O, you can use the app to instantly access I/O session details and more.
Download apps: Over 40 companies will be demoing the latest and greatest apps available in the Android Market. Check out their demos in the Developer Sandbox, download new apps, and take them for a test drive.
Participate in SCVNGR: We’re collaborating with SCVNGR to produce a location-based mobile game for Google I/O that’ll have you hunting for QR codes hidden throughout the events.
To receive your Android device:
Click the form link below, read the terms and conditions of the offer and fill out the form with your preferred shipping address so we know where you’d like to receive your device. All preferred shipping addresses must be submitted no later than April 18th.
You’ll receive your device 2 to 4 weeks from the day you provide your shipping address.
To learn more about this giveaway for Google I/O, visit our FAQ page. If you have questions that aren’t answered on the website, please send an email to email@example.com.
Thanks for your support of Google’s developer initiatives and for registering for Google I/O. We look forward to seeing you in May!
The Google I/O Team
Thanks to Carlos Cardona for the tip.