Apple today announced it will host its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in an online format from June 6 through 10, free for all developers to attend.
However, it’s not entirely online:
In addition to the online conference, Apple will host a special day for developers and students at Apple Park on June 6 to watch the keynote and State of the Union videos together, along with the online community. Space will be limited, and details about how to apply to attend will be provided on the Apple Developer site and app soon.
This makes sense, but it’s also a template for how Apple could manage the future of the conference even once the pandemic has actually subsided. It’s hard to imagine that it would return to what it once was: the online version is much cheaper and almost certainly easier to produce than wrangling thousands of people in a single location. (There’s a strong suggestion that even this in-person event will be outdoors—and hey, there is a big open space right in the middle of that donut.)
Plus, one of the great advantages of an online conference is ease of access and an asynchronous experience, but it does mean that there is something lost in not having people gather in a single place. I know plenty of folks who would be willing to enter a lottery for a chance at attending an in-person event. (And I hope Apple will also continue to make that accessible for people who can’t easily afford it, as they have with scholarships in the past.)
Either way, it’s just two months until the biggest event of the Apple year. Get those predictions and wishlists in now.
—Linked by Dan Moren