Google has published a new mobile events application on Google Play called “Interactive Events,” but the app doesn’t appear to be ready for prime time. Instead, it looks like the app has been published early by accident, as it advises users who download it to their phones that it’s a “confidential” app being tested internally at the company, and warns users to not discuss the app with “non-Googlers.”
There isn’t much you can do with the mobile app at present, but screenshots on Google Play give an idea about how it works. In addition, if you dismiss the “Confidential” warning message and accept the agreement, you’re then taken to a screen where you have the option to scan a QR code or type in a confirmation code in order to access event information.
Obviously, you won’t be able to do this now, but that’s apparently how a new user would get started if and when the app makes a public debut. Likely, they’ll be able to scan a QR code printed on conference material, like their badge, and then pull up an interactive events guide right on their phone.
One interesting feature in the forthcoming app is its ability to sync selected sessions to your Google Calendar – and the app will notify you when those sessions are about to begin. Beyond that, the Interactive Events app appears to offer a fairly standard feature set, providing details about events like the agenda, location, speakers, videos and notes, for example.
The app was first spotted by the Phandroid blog, which noted that something like this could make sense for Google’s own conferences, too, including Google I/O. However, in years past, Google has launched its own, standalone apps for Google I/O, like this one from the 2014 event.
You’ll notice, though, that the I/O app and the Interactive Events app share a similar feature set and even look and feel, with their colorful tiles highlighting the different sessions, for example. It makes sense that Google would be interested in reusing that code to offer other conference hosts their own events app, too, as a way to promote Google’s various services, like Calendar or Google+, perhaps.
For the time being, the app is live here on Google Play. We’ve asked Google for more information and will update if the company responds.
UPDATE, 3/11/15: Google has since removed the Android app’s dogfood message, and updated its description on the web version of the app. The description now informs users:
“The Google Events App will allow guests, attending events run by Google, to interact with speakers on stage, take notes, participate in Q&A, connect to social media, and request further follow up information. The app is not available at events not organized by Google.”
The current speculation is that this will now replace the Google I/O app for this year. Google has still declined to respond.