Apple has confirmed what was perhaps expected for a while now. The annual Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) will go virtual this year, as countries still struggle to contain the COVID pandemic. The 31st edition of WWDC starts June 22. The virtual conference, in the times when physical social distancing is the norm, will be available on the Apple Develop app and the Apple Developer website. WWDC 2020 is where Apple will give us a first glimpse at what is in store on the software side of things, for iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS, tvOS as well as new tools that may be in development. Developers will also get access to early builds of the software for testing, a process that will continue for the next few months before the official release of these updates later this year.
“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,” said Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “We can’t wait to meet online in June with the global developer community and share with them all of the new tools we’ve been working on to help them create even more incredible apps and services.”
Apple has also said there will be a Swift Student Challenge, which will provide a platform for student developers to showcase their skills by creating their own Swift playground. This is an extension of the Swift programing language and the app is available for the iPad and Mac devices.
“Students are an integral part of the Apple developer community, and last year WWDC saw attendance from more than 350 student developers spanning 37 different countries,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering. “As we look forward to WWDC20, although our gathering will be virtual this year, we want to recognize and celebrate the creative contributions of our young developers from around the world.”
WWDC is the latest event to go online-only, in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic which has seen a lockdown in many countries, including India, in an attempt to curb the spread of the virus. Earlier, Google had completely cancelled the Google I/O, their annual developer conference, while Microsoft has also moved its Build 2020 developer conference to become a virtual event—that starts May 19.