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Google I/O conference set for May 8 through 10

Google used last year's annual event to introduce Android O, which became Android Oreo.

The dates are set. Google's annual I/O Developer Conference is penciled in for May 8 through 10, 2018, and will be held in Mountain View, California, at the Shoreline Amphitheater.

If you don't know what I/O is, here's why everyone who uses an Android phone (or iPhone) should care. Every year, Google uses its developer conference to unveil the latest version of Android (Android P?) and other tech innovations from Google. 

Last year, I/O brought a ton of cool announcements like the Google Lens project, updates with Daydream VR and Tango AR, Android O, and even Google Assistant coming to the iPhone. Almost all of these innovations will end up on Android phones or Google's products, so we're eager to see what Google brings this year.

To reveal when the I/O conference will be held, Google released a mysterious tweet at midnight Jan. 24.

If you're looking at this tweet and scratching your head, you probably aren't fluent in binary code. Don't worry, translating the text from binary will give you a link for google.com/io. Once you go to that site, you'll be given a series of puzzles that will reveal the time and place of I/O 2018.

Even though I revealed the date at the beginning of this post (sorry about that), the puzzle is still fun to try to solve. So if you're up for the challenge, go to the Google I/O site linked to above.

Now playing: Watch this: Google I/O 2017 recap
1:09

If you're trying to solve the puzzle but get stuck or need some help, we've got your back. Keep reading for our walkthrough of each of Google's clues.

Clue 1

When you start your quest, you'll be dropped off in Google Maps' Street View in front of one of the Google buildings. Enter the building and look for clues indicated by a little eye marker. The three clues in this room are: sushi, a book titled "Sister Carrie," and Aug. 5 National Sister Day. Once you find these three clues, go to the yellow door and click the lock marker that pops up. It'll ask you "What city do we seek?" The two sister references and the sushi point toward Iwata, Japan, which is Mountain View's sister city in Japan. Type "Iwata" to go to the next room.

Clue 2

Next is a conference room. The clues you'll find are an upside-down cake, a chessboard with two pieces stacked and a framed picture. But there are also few unmarked clues. There's the upside-down dog as the computer's wallpaper, the drawing of Australia (aka down-under), and the numbers 07734 379009 3781637. Flip those numbers upside-down and they roughly spell "Hello Google Legible." Going to the locked door in this room will bring up the question "what three numbers do we seek?" This brings us back to the marked clues. We get 01 from the position of the white king on the chess board, 60 from the 60-sided dice, and 80 from the photo of Vilfredo Pareto, the engineer known for the 80/20 rule. Type "01 60 80" in the door prompt to unlock the next room.

Clue 3

The next room is a kitchen and by looking around you'll see a bunch of yams on the counter, in cans, and even in a framed picture. A second clue is a flyer for "paws swap." Both "paws swap" and the dog name mentioned in the flyer (Otto) are palindromes, which signifies the importance of reading things backward. If you continue around the room you'll also see the picture of the yams reflected in a mirror… very interesting. Going to the locked door won't even prompt a question, it'll just tell you to type "yam." Do it and go to the next room.

Clue 4

After that you'll be in a small game room. The locked door will then ask you "What name do we seek?" Next to the door is a Greek-styled bust of some man, so we're guessing the name must belong to this guy. Around the room is other ancient Greek imagery from laurel wreaths to old ruins of an amphitheater. One of the marked clues is a login screen for someone named "Marietta Pheh" and the other clue is an eagle and tortoise statue standing on a desk. While we weren't able to figure out who Marietta was, by simply Googling "greek eagle turtle" we were led to the Wikipedia page of the Greek tragedian Aeschylus who apparently died when an eagle dropped a turtle on his head. Sure enough, the Wikipedia picture of him looks just like the bust next to the door. Typing in "Aeschylus" will allow you to enter the next room.

Clue 5

The next and final room is tiny, but right next to the entrance you have the option to turn off the lights. Once you do, head to the other side of the room and click the lock marker to open up the final puzzle: the Coin Decodertron 1018. From there it'll give you an icon corresponding to each room you passed through along with a four different icons to choose for each room. To solve this, remember the theme of each room and click the icon that best matches the theme. The themes are Sister, Upside-down, Mirrored and Drama/tragedy. Choosing the first icon on the first row, the fourth icon on the second row, the second icon on the third row, and fourth icon on the fourth row will solve the puzzle and open up a portal.

Clue 6

Head straight into the portal and keep moving forward until everything turns white. Then you'll find yourself onstage at the Shoreline Amphitheater with the details about Google I/O in the top left corner as your grand prize. But you should already know this by combining the theme and answer to each of the rooms' puzzles. The sister city of Iwata is Mountain View, 01/60/80 upside-down is 8/9/10, yam spelled backwards is May, and a place to see a Greek tragedy is an amphitheater. Thus the final answer: May 8-10 at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View.

Congratulations if you made it this far, and stay tuned to CNET as we cover everything announced at the 2018 Google I/O Developer Conference.

The final screen for people who've solved the puzzle.

Screenshot by Gordon Gottsegen/CNET