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Apple reveals dates for online-only WWDC 2021, promising ‘unique insights’

Apple’s annual developer extravaganza is going fully virtual once more. Now officially set for June 7 through June 11, the company has confirmed in a press release that this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) will be a free-to-attend online event for all developers.

Apple notes that last year’s online conference saw “record-breaking participation” and promises that WWDC21 should deliver more of the same, with “unique insight into the future of iOS, iPadOS, MacOS, WatchOS, and tvOS.”

The company leveraged online videos and lab sessions for attendees at last year’s WWDC in place of traditional face-to-face networking and hands-on time. These offerings will return for WWDC21. Apple is even hinting at “new ways for developers to interact with Apple engineers and designers to learn about the latest frameworks and technologies.”

Since WWDC is usually about software, you can expect Apple to announce the next versions of MacOS, iOS, and iPad OS, which are rumored to be called iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and MacOS 12. We also expect to see tvOS 15, and WatchOS 8.

WWDC isn’t typically the stage for new hardware, but with rumors circulating, it wouldn’t be surprising to see new Apple silicon Macs at this year’s event. The photo announcing the conference also has a MacBook in view in front of an Animoji, suggesting that this could be another big stage for the Mac, following last year’s M1 announcement.

“We love bringing our developers together each year at WWDC to learn about our latest technologies and to connect them with Apple engineers,” said Susan Prescott, Apple’s vice president of Worldwide Developer Relations and Enterprise and Education Marketing. “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.”

Interested developers will get an email with additional program information. There also will be more information shared through the Apple Developer app, on the Apple Developer website.

Students can also enter a submission for the Swift Student Challenge through April 18. This year, Apple is inviting students to code interactive scenes in a Swift playground that can be experienced within three minutes. Winners will receive exclusive WWDC21 outerwear and a pin set.

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