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by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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By Jason Snell

Let the Summer Begin

Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) is next week, marking the official start of summer for those of us who follow what Apple’s up to. Unlike most Apple media events, which launch a few new products into the world, WWDC is only the starting gun in an endurance challenge that lasts through September (or, depending on how you count, nearly a year).

It’s all because of the software. WWDC is a conference focused on software developers, so it’s the best place for Apple to unveil its plans for its platforms—and evangelize the new stuff to an attentive audience of developers, both in the building and watching on the Internet. (These days WWDC sessions are streamed live and archived for later playback, a far cry from the days when you’d wait months for the WWDC DVD box set to be delivered. I’m not kidding.)

As a result, we’ve settled into a pattern where WWDC announcements in June are followed immediately by the availability of early release “developer beta” versions of macOS, iOS, tvOS, and watchOS—in other words, the first releases of the software the rest of us will be installing in September when these new versions go final.…

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