Full stream ahead: New iOS expected at Apple's virtual WWDC21
New tools, insight into future of Apple operating systems to be announced
Apple on Tuesday announced that it will be holding its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June, promising to be the "biggest and best" as the app community continues to convene their talents in order to navigate through a fast-changing world.
The iPhone-maker's signature event will once again be held virtually, following last year's inaugural format owing to the still-lingering effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. But the manner in which Apple held WWDC20 wasn't a deterrent, as the company welcomed a record-breaking number of participants.
More than 28 million Apple developers, including the next generation of app makers, will be gathering to strut their wares and learn the newest innovations from June 7 to 11.
“We love bringing our developers together each year at the WWDC to learn about our latest technologies and to connect them with Apple engineers,” Susan Prescott, Apple’s vice-president of worldwide developer relations and enterprise and education marketing, said in a statement.
“We are working to make WWDC21 our biggest and best yet, and are excited to offer Apple developers new tools to support them as they create apps that change the way we live, work and play.”
It is expected that Apple will introduce the newest releases of its operating systems, most notably iOS for the iPhone and MacOS. Apple has invested significantly in its software and services spheres, which in turn have been returning record revenues for the company.
Apple will also continue its long-standing tradition of supporting students with this year’s Swift Student Challenge. The event, an opportunity for young developers to demonstrate their coding skills by creating a Swift playground, is now accepting submissions.
And to support the local economy and as part of its $100 million Racial Equity and Justice Initiative, Apple is also committing $1 million to SJ Aspires, an education and equity initiative launched by the city of San José, California, which is home to the San Jose Convention Center where the WWDC was held from 2017-19 before the pandemic forced an online format.
Apple has also used the WWDC, traditionally a software event, to bare major new hardware as well. Last year, the biggest announcement was the transition of its Mac portfolio to utilising its in-house processors, Apple Silicon. In November, the Cupertino-based company launched three new MacBooks powered by the new chip, called M1.
There has been no word on any hardware that may make an appearance at WWDC21, though reports have been swirling that Apple could have an April event to introduce a new iPad, AirPods and the long-awaited AirTag Bluetooth tracking device. Apple does not comment on rumours or speculation.
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