Apple on Tuesday formally announced that its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) will be held virtually, ending the speculation of how the iPhone maker will hold one of its flagship events amid the global coronavirus pandemic.
The decision doesn’t come as a surprise. Major companies, not only those in the technology sphere, around the world have been resorting to online gatherings – be it for product launches, shareholder meetings or medial calls – in these unprecedented times in an effort to curb the spread of Covid-19.
The WWDC will begin on June 22, a couple of weeks later than it is usually scheduled, and will be free on the Apple Developer app and website for all developers.
“WWDC20 will be our biggest yet, bringing together our global developer community of more than 23 million in an unprecedented way for a week in June to learn about the future of Apple platforms,” Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice-president of worldwide marketing, said in a statement.
“We can’t wait to meet online… and share with them all of the new tools we’ve been working on to help them create even more incredible apps and services.”
As always, Apple is expected to announce a host of major software updates, led by iOS 14, which powers the iPhone and is a critical conduit in the Apple ecosystem that includes its two other major components, MacOS and iPadOS.
Rumours circulating indicate that new features fitness, messaging and augmented reality will be among those to be introduced.
Some hardware could also be expected, with Apple also using the event in recent years to make such announcements.
Apple is also expected to welcome more student developers into its fold at this year’s WWDC. In 2019, it gathered over 350 of them from over 37 countries.
“Students are an integral part of the Apple developer community,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice-president of software engineering.
“We want to recognise and celebrate the creative contributions of our young developers from around the world. We can’t wait to see this next generation of innovative thinkers turn their ideas into a reality.”
Apple is asking developers to download the Apple Developer app where additional WWDC20 programme information – including keynote, session and lab schedules and more – will be shared in June.
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