In early May, Apple announced that it was still planning to hold its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June, but had opted to shift from an in-person event to an all-digital format due to the coronavirus pandemic. Today, the company released the official WWDC20 schedule through its Apple Developers app and website, and the standout element is a pair of keynotes on June 22 — a large block of time allotted for a traditional 10 a.m. Pacific time Special Event keynote aimed at a broad audience, followed by a streaming 2 p.m. State of Platforms keynote targeted at developers. The two streams will likely consume a major part of the first day, with over 100 sessions set to air through June 26.
Apple says that the initial keynote will focus on “software updates and innovations,” underscoring the traditionally hardware-light nature of the event. The company annually uses WWDC to announce its biggest upcoming changes to all of its operating systems, now spanning macOS and iPadOS on the computer side, iOS and watchOS for smaller devices, and tvOS for the Apple TV platform. Major related updates to its cross-platform development tool Xcode and server-side services, such as the AI assistant Siri, are also highly likely to be unveiled at this year’s event.
While hardware generally isn’t the major focus of WWDC, the event is an opportunity for Apple to unveil devices or accessories that have been awaiting release and — rarely — platform-wide architecture shifts that will impact developers. This year’s event is expected to include the first official details of a long-rumored Mac platform shift from Intel- to Apple-developed processors, potentially enabling developers to order transitional ARM Mac dev kits ahead of a 2021 consumer release. Mac-focused ARM processors are expected to be even more powerful than those used in the latest iPad Pros, which already rival upper midrange PC laptops in power.
The schedule is available now through the Apple Developer app for iOS and iPadOS, as well as Apple’s WWDC20 section of the developer.apple.com subdomain. Apple plans to announce the winners of its Swift Student Challenge, offering up to 350 students free Developer memberships and WWDC20 jackets, on June 16.
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