Apple confirms WWDC 2020 is happening online

WWDC 2020 is still going to be big, the company promises.

Apple, WWDC, developers, Mac, iPhone, Phil Schiller,
Apple / IDG

Apple has arguably bowed to the inevitable, announcing that it intends to go ahead with its annual Worldwide Developers Conference in June, but in an “entirely new online format.” And it promises that, as expected, the event will be “big.”

This is the right decision

No matter how much you may have been anticipating attending WWDC in San Jose this year, in your heart of hearts you know this is the correct decision as the coronavirus pandemic strikes deep into the heart of everybody’s families and communities.

There are quite positive potential outcomes to the decision, too, as it should make it much easier for people everywhere to get to grips with what Apple wants to tell us this year.

Apple says the new format will “be an opportunity for millions of creative and innovative developers to get early access to the future of iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS, and engage with Apple engineers as they work to build app experiences that enrich the lives of Apple customers around the globe.”

What is Apple saying?

In a press release announcing the decision, Apple states:

“WWDC 2020 will allow developers to learn about the new technologies and frameworks they rely on as they create new app experiences in areas including augmented reality, machine learning, health and fitness, home automation and more.”

Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing said:

“We are delivering WWDC 2020 this June in an innovative way to millions of developers around the world, bringing the entire developer community together with a new experience.

“The current health situation has required that we create a new WWDC 2020 format that delivers a full program with an online keynote and sessions, offering a great learning experience for our entire developer community, all around the world. We will be sharing all of the details in the weeks ahead.”

Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering said:

“With all of the new products and technologies we’ve been working on, WWDC 2020 is going to be big.

“I look forward to our developers getting their hands on the new code and interacting in entirely new ways with the Apple engineers building the technologies and frameworks that will shape the future across all Apple platforms.”

What’s coming this year?

We know Apple has huge plans this year. I am convinced the company has been working toward it for the last few years, and while I don’t expect to see the full implementation of this work this year, it was always intended to be a pivotal moment in company history.

I’m anticipating new platforms, much-improved solutions, and further moves to put iPad more deeply at the center of the developer experience.

What is Apple promising?

Apple says WWDC 2020 will reach all 23 million of the company’s registered developers in more than 155 countries and regions.

It says the event will provide them with the insights and tools they need in order to turn their ideas into a reality. It will let developers know more about its plans by email, using the its Apple Developer app and using the Apple Developer website.

What about San Jose?

Decisions have consequences.

The decision to cancel the show in San Jose means the local economy there – which will likely already be suffering as a result of coronavirus – will suffer more.

To its credit, Apple says it will commit $1 million to local San Jose organizations to offset associated revenue loss as a result of WWDC 2020’s new online format.

What about the developers?

The company also let slip a few details about its developer ecosystem:

  • Developers have earned over $155 billion since the App Store launched in 2008.
  • There is an active installed base of more than 1.5 billion Apple devices.

Also read:

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