The worldwide coronavirus pandemic posed a severe challenge to Apple’s plans for the yearly Worldwide Developer Conference, which reached the 31st edition this year.
The crisis made Apple and many other companies shift their physical events to the virtual realm.
The Big Announcement
Today, Apple announced its planned lineup for the virtual developer event.
Apple stated this moring that WWDC20 would go on as usual, including the keynote address, Platforms State of the Union, over a hundred engineering sessions, an “all-new” version of the Apple Developer Forums, and 1-on-1 labs with more than a thousand engineers of the company.
The new Appl Developer Forums are just a redesign of the current Apple Developer Forums.
The update is centered on allowing developers to connect with Apple engineers remotely since they are no longer allowed to do that in person.
According to Apple, more than a thousand engineers will be present to answer questions and engage in discussions in the forums, starting on the first day of WWDC.
Here is a quick schedule of the WWDC event:
- New Apple Developer Forums: June 18 redesign, engineers arrive for Q&A June 22
- Special Event Keynote: June 22, 10 a.m. PDT
- Platforms State of the Union: June 22, 2 p.m. PDT
- 1-on-1 Developer Labs: June 23-26
- Engineering Sessions: June 23-26
Apple has virtualized its Developer Labs for the events of 2020. Developers used to be able to sit down in front of an Apple engineer and ask questions.
However, now they will be able to request an appointment with engineers who were part of the technical projects and advancements the company plans to implement in their dedicated apps.
The labs, which will be available from June 23 to June 26, will be accessible by Apple Developer Program members for as long as space allows it.
On June 23, Apple will start posting videos of more than 100 technical and design-focused sessions headed by the company’s engineers.
The videos will be posted daily at 10 a.m PDT and will be available for developers in the new Apple Developer app for iPad, iPhone, Developer Website, and Apple TV.
The company noted that it would be revealing the finalists for the Swift Student Challenge on June 16.
The Keynote Address
This year’s keynote address will be held on June 22 at 10 a.m. PDT, and it will be streamed straight from Apple Park.
The stream can be accessed on apple.com, the Apple Developer app, the Apple TV app, the Apple Developer website, and YouTube.
For viewers in China, Apple will also stream on Tencent, iQIYI, Bilibili, and Youku.
After the end of the stream, the keynote will be available for on-demand viewing across platforms.
A Challenging Event
Apple is faced with a severe challenge. We can imagine it isn’t straightforward to replace a physical event at the scale of the WWDC with an online version.
Apple’s developer videos and forums were always available, but many developers from across the globe still relied on Apple’s physical event for some knowledge.
We hope to see Apple pull this one-off. That would undoubtedly mark a massive success for the company. Though many companies had to adjust to the new conditions, many of them struggled, and only a few succeeded. We’ve seen Apple under stressful situations before. They have proved that they are capable of overcoming everything that’s thrown at them, which is why many people are confident that this year’s WWDC will be a significant success!