Apple announces date of virtual Worldwide Developers Conference for 2020

The 31st edition of the WWDC will be held online for the first time due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Apple announced on Tuesday that its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) will be on June 22 this year, rather than earlier in the month as in past years. With concerns around the novel coronavirus still swirling, the iPhone-maker first decided in March that the conference would be completely online this summer, rather than in San Jose, CA. 

Upon announcing the event would be online-only, Apple committed to donating $1 million to local San Jose organizations in an effort to offset revenue the convention center would lose from Apple moving the event online. 

SEE: Zoom video conferencing: Cheat sheet (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Out of 31 years of operation, WWDC 2020 is the first to be virtual, following the lead of many other tech conferences forced to move online. Big-name events such as Mobile World Congress and SXSW were canceled because of pandemic conditions, but Apple said it could host its event in a way that accommodated CDC and local official social distancing guidelines

The online conference will be available on the Apple Developer app and Apple Developer website free for all attendees, according to a press release

The event typically reveals new software and updated operating systems for Apple products. However, new hardware is completely out of the question. During WWDC 2019, Apple released new versions of watchOS, iOS, and iPadOS, as well as a new Mac Pro desktop and Apple Pro Display XDR

No leaks or details on this year's offerings have been made yet, but the tech giant did address what they were doing in lieu of its annual scholarship.

Swift Student Challenge 

Apple usually awards scholarships to more than 300 students each year. In the past, winners with the best Swift playground received a WWDC ticket, housing for the conference, as well as a one-year free membership to the Apple Developer Program. 

"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," said Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of software engineering, in the release.

"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," Federighi said. "We can't wait to see this next generation of innovative thinkers turn their ideas into a reality through the Swift Student Challenge."

For WWDC 2020, students can submit to the Swift Student Challenge by developing an interactive scene within a Swift playground that can be viewed and experienced within three minutes. Winners this year will receive a WWDC 2020 jacket and pin set, as stated in the release. 

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