Following its decision to move its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) entirely online due to the coronavirus pandemic, Apple today announced that the event — now known as WWDC20 — will kick off on June 22, 2020. As contrasted with prior ticketed in-person events, the conference will be made available for free to all developers through two channels: the Apple Developer app and the Apple Developer website.
Despite Apple’s opportunity to push off any or all of the next major releases of its operating systems based on pandemic-related internal delays, the company is promising that WWDC20 will indeed offer “early access to the future of iOS, iPadOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS.” However, the event is kicking off a little later in the month than most WWDCs in recent years, here in the fourth week of June rather than the first or second.
For both end users and 23 million registered Apple developers, WWDC is an opportunity to see what major new software features are coming to Apple’s devices, and often a chance to learn about a small number of new hardware releases as well. Developers will continue to get a week of access to sessions and labs during WWDC20, Apple suggests, though additional details on how that will be accomplished may not be released this month. The company historically uses the event to immediately seed the first developer betas of its new operating systems ahead of September “final” releases to the public.
Apple is encouraging developers to download the Apple Developer app (formerly WWDC) to receive early details on the keynote and “platforms state of the union” videos that will likely air on June 22, as well as session and lab schedules for the full week. It will also release information via emails and the Apple Developer website.
Additionally, student developers interested in participating in a new Swift programming language competition — the Swift Student Challenge — are encouraged to submit three-minute interactive scenes within Apple’s free Swift Playgrounds app. The Challenge is open now through 11:59 p.m. Pacific time on May 17, and gives younger coders an opportunity to participate in WWDC20 despite the lack of a physical gathering. Winners will be announced on June 16, with up to 350 people scoring a WWDC20 jacket and pin set as a prize, plus one year of free Apple Developer membership.