Apple reveals next versions of iOS, macOS at WWDC21, starting June 7 | GeekComparison

A disembodied cartoon head is sure to be excited.
enlarge / Apple’s splash image for WWDC 2021, which references a meme from last year.

Apple is scheduled to host its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) this year. The event starts on June 7 and ends on June 11. Like last year, it will be an online affair as the world continues to struggle with the Covid19 pandemic. All of the event’s offerings are free to anyone who has an Apple developer account.

The company usually uses this event to announce new versions of its various operating systems (macOS, iPadOS, iOS, watchOS and tvOS) and detail the new features and changes of the software. WWDC is also sometimes, but not always, used to announce new hardware products, and it’s often the event Apple uses to explain very important changes of direction, should they become imminent. For example, Apple revealed the details of its custom silicon transition at last year’s conference.

Apple’s press release states that the usual components will be present. There will be a keynote to get things started, followed by “state of the union” presentations that delve deeper into each platform. Then Apple will offer video sessions throughout the week on specific features — using the Metal Graphics API to create augmented reality applications, in a hypothetical example. The conference will also feature one-on-one lab meetings that “provide technical guidance” to developers, Apple says.

As is common for announcements like this, Apple has released a statement from a company executive to coincide with the news.

“We are thrilled to bring our developers together at WWDC each year to learn about our latest technologies and connect them with Apple engineers,” said Susan Prescott, vice president of Worldwide Developer Relations and Enterprise and Education Marketing from Apple. “We’re working to make WWDC21 our biggest and best yet and are excited to bring new tools to Apple developers to help them create apps that change the way we live, work and play.”

WWDC21 will also see the return of the Swift Student Challenge, encouraging students to “create an interactive scene in a Swift playground that can be experienced in under three minutes.” Swift Playgrounds is a coding sandbox app for Macs and iPads that Apple uses to introduce people to Swift, the Objective-C-derived programming language increasingly used to create apps for iPhones and other Apple devices. Swift Student Challenge winners will receive “exclusive WWDC21 outerwear and a pin set,” according to Apple’s press release.

As always, we’ll be covering the event and all announcements live here at Ars Technica.

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