WWDC is Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference. It serves as Apple’s yearly event to announce new software platforms and features to developers. Read on for what to expect at WWDC 2021 this year, which is held from June 7 through June 11.
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WWDC 2021: Virtual event
WWDC 2021 will be held as an all-virtual event this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This year, WWDC will include keynote and State of the Union events, online sessions, 1:1 labs for developers, and new ways for developers to interact with Apple engineers and designers.
Apple also says that, even though WWDC will take place virtually this year, it is committing $1 million to SJ Aspires, an education and equity initiative launched by the City of San Jose. This is part of Apple’s to help support the San Jose economy, where WWDC is usually held, even though the event is virtual.
The tagline for this year’s WWDC is “Glow and Behold” and the artwork plays on the Craig Federighi meme that went viral from last fall’s M1 Mac event. It could also provide a hint at expectations for an AR/VR announcement.
Last year, Apple held WWDC completely online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The plans were announced in March, and WWDC proceeded without a hitch in June. The all-virtual WWDC was widely praised for making the conference more inclusive for everyone, even those who don’t traditionally make it to the in-person event.
In fact, Tim Cook touted that WWDC 2020 drew 22 million viewers across all of Apple’s streams. Apple was able to put together 72 hours of video content for developers and hold 4,500 person-to-person labs.
When will WWDC 2021 take place?
WWDC 2021 will be held from June 7 through June 11. The event will likely get started on June 7 with a keynote address from Tim Cook and other Apple executives and developers. Throughout the rest of the week, Apple will hold its annual State of the Union presentation, present the Apple Design Awards, and offer ways for developers to connect with Apple engineers.
What will Apple announce at WWDC?
Every year at WWDC, Apple previews what to expect from its different software platforms. This year, we expect iOS 15, watchOS 8, iPadOS 15, tvOS 15, and macOS 12.
Thus far, reporting has indicated that iPadOS 15 will make major updates to the home screen, while iOS 15 will include new notification features and upgrades to Do Not Disturb.
Apple will announce these software versions at WWDC and immediately make a developer beta available. A public beta is likely to follow sometime later in the summer, followed by a general release in the fall.
New hardware is not out of the question for WWDC 2021, particularly as the Mac continues to transition to Apple Silicon. We’ll have to wait for the actual event to know for sure. Apple is also rumored to be developing a mixed-reality headset that could come as soon as 2022, and it’s possible that Apple teases this product at WWDC this year given that it will need developers to create apps and games for the headset.
Apple itself has only promised that WWDC 2021 “will offer unique insight into the future of iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS.”