Apple's WWDC starts today: How to watch and what developers can expect

Apple's annual developer conference will be virtual this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Find out how you can watch WWDC21 live, and what Apple is expected to announce.

Apple WWDC Promo

Image: Apple, Inc.

Apple will hold this year's all-online Worldwide Developers Conference starting today, and running through June 11. According to a press release from Apple, "WWDC21 will offer unique insight into the future of iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS" and is "an opportunity for developers to learn about the new technologies, tools and frameworks they rely on to build innovative and platform-differentiating apps and games."

In addition, WWDC21 will feature over 200 in-depth sessions, one-on-one labs and more. The event will also provide "unprecedented access to Apple engineers and designers so developers can learn about the latest tools and technologies to help them create the next generation of apps," according to Apple's press release.  

Members of Apple Developer Program can request one-on-one lab consultations with over 1,000 Apple experts to ask questions about the latest APIs and best practices, and apply for user interface and design reviews. Apple Developer Forums will also be available throughout the week to answer questions and engage in technical discussions. Session videos will be posted each day and will be available in the Apple Developer app and on the Apple Developer website on June 8.

WWDC21 will also feature special activities and events designed to celebrate developers and bring the community together. Attendees can try a coding or design challenge, learn from guest speakers and more.

New this year, WWDC21 will have pavilions which "provide an easy way for developers to explore relevant sessions, labs and special activities for a given topic," said Apple. Attendees will be able to customize their WWDC experience and check out content about things like SwiftUI, developer tools, accessibility and inclusion and more (exclusively within the Apple Developer app).

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What announcements to expect during WWDC21

At WWDC21, Apple is expected to preview iOS 15, iPadOS 15, tvOS 15, watchOS 8 and macOS 12 during the conference, according to sister site ZDNet. While it is unknown what changes the announced updates will bring, Apple usually introduces new features, performance improvements and bug fixes. 

ZDNet also reported that there haven't been many leaks or rumors about what to expect during WWDC 2021, but there is talk that the iPad will get a home screen redesign "that will allow users to place widgets anywhere on the screen as you can on an iPhone right now," wrote Jason Cipriani. It is also expected that Apple will upgrade the iPad's software after the release of the M1-powered iPad Pro

SEE: Apple's WWDC 2021: The top 3 announcements business users want to hear (TechRepublic)

According to Apple's site, WWDC21 will kick off with its keynote address today at 10 a.m. PT, followed by a Platforms State of the Union at 2 p.m. PT. As Apple's press release explains, the keynote will unveil "exciting new updates coming to all Apple platforms later this year." The Platforms State of the Union will "take a deeper dive into the new tools, technologies and advances across Apple platforms that will help Apple developers create even better apps," said Apple. 

How to watch WWDC21

Apple's WWDC21 is free to watch and will start with a keynote address, likely given by CEO Tim Cook, at 10 a.m. PT on June 7. To tune in, you can go to Apple's site to stream the sessions throughout the week or watch via the Apple Developer app, the Apple TV app and YouTube (with on-demand playback available after the conclusion of the stream). 

The Platforms State of the Union will stream via the Apple Developer app and Apple Developer website at 2 p.m. PT on June 7. 

The annual Apple Design Awards will stream on June 10 at 2 p.m. PT via the Apple Developer app and the Apple Developer website.

Be sure to check TechRepublic for more WWDC21 coverage.

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