Apple to virtually host WWDC online starting June 22nd

Apple to virtually host WWDC online starting June 22nd
On March 13th, the coronavirus forced Apple to announce that it was moving its annual WWDC Developers Conference online. The event was expected to be held once again at the San Jose Convention Center. Today, Apple announced that it will virtually host this year's conference starting June 22nd on the Apple Developer website where it will be free for all developers. Usually, developers pay over $1,500 for a ticket to the event.

WWDC will begin June 22nd streaming free to developers from the Apple Developers website

Apple says that developers should download the Apple Developer app from the App Store; the app will provide more information about WWDC including schedules for the "keynote and Platforms State of the Union details, session and lab schedules." This information will be added to the app in June. The same info will be available from the Apple Developer website and via email. If you install and open the app, there is a dedicated WWDC tab at the bottom of the screen.

Apple's marketing chief Phil Schiller says, "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. 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. We look forward to sharing more details about WWDC20 with everyone as we get closer to this exciting event."

During the event, we should learn more about iOS 14, iPadOS 14, watchOS 7 and other Apple operating systems. We also might see the long-awaited AirTags tracking system announced. The product is a circular tag with a removable battery that can be placed on items such as a keychain, a pet collar, bicycle, luggage, and more. Using AI and the U1 ultra wideband (UWB) chip found on the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro models users will be able to find lost or stolen items. 

Apple also announced today the Swift Student Challenge. Open to student developers, the challenge asks these youngsters to create their own Swift Playground. Now the 10th most popular programming language in the world, Swift is open-source and provides real-time feedback. To help kids learn programming, the Swift Playground app (found in the App Store) for the iPad or the Mac helps kids learn to program even if they know nothing about coding at all.

From now through 11:59 PDT on May 17th, kids can submit an interactive three-minute scene in a Swift Playground. Winners receive an exclusive WWDC20 jacket and pin set. More information can be found by clicking on this link. Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering says, "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. 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. We can’t wait to see this next generation of innovative thinkers turn their ideas into a reality through the Swift Student Challenge."

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This year's WWDC is the 31st that Apple has presented. Last year 6,000 developers attended. It should be pointed out that the physical WWDC developers conference is just another event that has been canceled because of the pandemic. In March, Google 86'd its Google I/O Developers Conference and said that it was looking at alternative ways to stay in touch with its developer community. Earlier this year, the GSMA canceled the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona that forced many manufacturers to use different methods to introduce their new phones.

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