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Apple’s online-only WWDC starts on June 22nd

Apple announced today that its free, online-only Worldwide Developers Conference will take place starting on June 22nd. The company said back in March that WWDC, which is typically a large in-person conference held over the course of a week, would be a “completely new online experience” taking place in June. WWDC was changed to an online event because of the “current health situation,” according to Apple executive Phil Schiller.

“WWDC20 will be our biggest yet, bringing together our global developer community of more than 23 million in an unprecedented way for a week in June to learn about the future of Apple platforms,” said Schiller in a statement today.

Details about the event’s keynote, Platforms State of the Union, sessions, and labs will be shared in June, according to Apple. June 22nd is a later start than usual for WWDC; the conference typically kicks off within the first two weeks of the month under normal circumstances.

Apple also announced a new “Swift Student Challenge,” where students can create and submit an interactive scene in the Swift Playgrounds coding app that can be experienced in three minutes. The winners of the challenge will get an “exclusive WWDC20 jacket and pin set,” Apple says. You can read more details about the challenge and apply here. The deadline to apply is 2:59AM ET on May 18th.

Leaked builds of iOS 14 obtained by 9to5Mac and MacRumors have given some hints about software updates that could be announced at WWDC 2020. iOS may get a new fitness app, a “PencilKit” API, new iMessage features, and improved mouse cursor support. New features on the way for watchOS 7 reportedly include sleep tracking and a new country flag watchface. Users may also be able to set default third-party web browsers and email clients, according to Bloomberg.

WWDC isn’t the only developer event to go all-virtual due to the coronavirus pandemic: Microsoft’s Build 2020 will be a 48-hour free virtual event that kicks off on May 19th at 11AM ET. Google’s I/O 2020 developer conference, however, was completely canceled in March.

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