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Apple will host WWDC virtually, beginning June 22 (apple.com)
182 points by jmsflknr on May 5, 2020 | hide | past | favorite | 76 comments

For many of us, this could be better than ever since instead of being a conference focused on attendees and shared with the rest of us, it'll be designed for sharing on the web. Be really curious to see how it pans out.

I go to academic conferences, not industry ones, but I find the big annual meetings to be exhausting, unproductive, and incredibly wasteful. I for one will be happy to see them go, if that's what ends up happening.

WWDC is exhausting and incredibly wasteful, but it's very productive. Especially if you make use of the labs where they'll actually help you with your code.

I've also found that I learned a LOT more about new operating system features when I was attending the conference vs picking and choosing the videos to watch from home.

It's also a great way to network and meet up with old friends. I've had a lot of fun the couple times I went to WWDC. I would be sad to see it go, but it wouldn't be the end of the world.

Yeah the labs were the only benefit any more, otherwise its lots of standing in lines. I went to the "first" WWDC (not called it yet) back in 1986; no mobile devices, so everyone was forced to, gasp, talk with each other. It was tons of fun to hear what other devs were doing, you could learn while standing in line! Plus Apple served us real food, and took us out on trips (in 1986 the whole conference went out on a boat in SF harbor). Last time I went (right before the switch back to San Jose) everyone was looking at their phones or MacBooks and working. It was much harder to engage people in talking.

I agree, but it's a lottery which only fairly wealthy developers can enter. Personally (even if they restore the previous format) I'd prefer to see it oriented towards the online (rest of the planet) world first and the lottery winners second.

(And they have made the experience a lot nicer over the past few years!)

..especially if you make use of the recruiters.

There, fixed it for you.

Seriously though, unless you are a game dev or make your own models, note that Apple has a China problem —maybe go DART and Flutter (on VSC) while it gets adjudicated.

I suspect this could have far reaching effects on how the company thinks about interaction with developers.

I’ve never been interested enough to try and get a wwdc ticket, but the content and interaction w Apple employees on a range of topics including UX has been something I’ve wanted.

>I suspect this could have far reaching effects on how the company thinks about interaction with developers.

It's funny how long this has taken for many areas even outside developers.

We see Nintendo with their Nintendo Direct where previously everything was in person press focused, and yet it's SO late in the game for these type things to start as far as the internet is concerned. It seems as the ability to reach out like that was largely limited to just pushing out trailers for ages when clearly it could be done differently.

But back to developers, sometimes it feels like in the technology world there's almost a "conference people" and everyone else who doesn't go to conferences with somewhat different ideas and information.

And this being Apple, they set the standard in Product Launches and conference across the industry, possibly multi-industry. Their take on Web Conference will hopefully be a guidelines and inspiration for many other Web Conference. ( Which so far looks more like a Video Call )

Yes... if we can all get WWDC swag! ;-)

This is the most 'Apple' statement I've ever read in a press release from Apple: 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

I mean, for the first time I think them saying "in an unprecedented way" is really .. true. The "remote" WWDC experience was always kind of meh, so I'm excited to see how it being first is going to be.

To be fair, 2010 had the word 'innovation' as the buzzword. For 2020, it is now 'unprecedented' which is quite accurate since the yearly pilgrimage to the Apple Park is cancelled this year.

Only scholarship winners have been able to visit Apple Park, and even that only recently.

Apple copywriter: what's an unprecedented way to use unprecedented?

This use of unprecedented is not unprecedented by Apple.

particularly an unprecedented use of unprecedented isn't.

Apple's hyperbole can be fun to make fun of, but this is one of the few valid usages of it.

I still prefer “insanely great”.....

Does this mean they won't be able to say "WWDC__ will be our biggest yet" anymore (hopefully)?

Lots of potential versions of "biggest" exist:

* Most total viewers (live+in person)

* Most number of sessions

* Most new features announced

* Most operating systems updated

What about it?

Needs more use of "courage" IMO

With the event being online, networking (in the meatspace sense) and socializing is more or less out. The only other real benefit of WWDC is the workshops, so that's the big question - how do you set up a workshop, with actual back-and-forth with Apple engineers, when you have 23 million people?

>The only other real benefit of WWDC is the workshops

I get tons of mileage out of WWDC session videos to this day. Oftentimes poorly documented framework apis are only ever explained in any level of detail in the WWDC videos and examples from whatever particular year it was introduced in.

I wasn't clear - I meant the real benefit of attending WWDC in real time, as opposed to just watching the session videos online later.

Individual workshops would have a far lower number.

Apple should offer some kind of great, moderated way to ask questions by text, audio and video. Then the educator(s) producers can play it back for everyone to hear or even see the person. Then the educators respond.

This is very common on on commercial radio where calls are edited and queued up async from the “live” show.

What would be amazing is if the workflow allowed the person being responded to to offer additional live follow on questions or interactivity once they have been “selected.”

This could be great, if someone built the right tools for it.

Networking is the main reason why I attend conferences

> Developers are encouraged to download the Apple Developer app where additional WWDC20 program information — including keynote and Platforms State of the Union details, session and lab schedules...

Sounds like there's going to be some sort of interactive lab, I wonder what format it will be.

At the very least, they're not charging for anything this year. There are no packages, no tickets, etc.

Curious if there will be any headline announcements. Anyone wants to guesses from that one image in the release what’s Apple key updates might be? Outside of iOS, macOS?

There were a lot of speculations with iPhone 11 about Apple’s new U1 chip and what it planned to do with UWB technology. The Apple “tile” was never released. Then there is the new lidar in iPad.

I’m curious if we’ll see some new AR update that combines all these into an integrated experience.

If there was a time to go big on AR or VR, this lockdown times would be the best time, at least to grab the imaginations of millions locked down in homes.

A credible leak has been that Xcode is coming to iPad (and iOS?). Not sure how I feel about it, I'd prefer more time be spent improving it for Mac use (where, in my opinion, 99% of developers will do their work anyway).

My guesses from the software side:

- A new game framework, or a massive overhaul to SceneKit. It hasn't seen much love lately, and RealityComposer has a really nice API, but is only for AR. Something new is needed or SceneKit is dead IMO.

- SwiftUI will probably see a massive amount of changes. For new controls I think we'll see a collection view and color picker. Hopefully a lot more - it's nice but has a lot of rough edges/hacks currently.

I'm really looking forward to seeing SwiftUI mature. After the initial release of Swift it's the most exciting part of iOS development that I'm looking forward to.

> A credible leak has been that Xcode is coming to iPad (and iOS?). Not sure how I feel about it, I'd prefer more time be spend on improving it for Mac use (where, in my opinion, 99% of developers will do their work anyway).

This would be a good step into making the iPad an actual productivity device.

If they also added a linux VM on the iPad, that would be the real game changer for being able to do programming on it IMO.

Anyone heard of a Hypervisor API being added to iOS?

Not sure of an API, but rumors point to a new ARM chip with EL2, although it’s probably destined for Macs.


Because Linux is in most ways an ideal development environment for backend code that is going to run on a Linux server in production.

But iPad OS is already a UNIX operating system. Sure, it's not identical to Linux, but it's good enough to do web development on.

iPad OS doesn't, as far as I can tell so far, actually have a command-line environment on it. But the one on macOS is impoverished compared to Linux and it has enough quirky differences that the process of really digging in and automating your workflow on it is mostly identical to the process of learning the specific quirks of one vendor's operating system. I know. I've tried. And I reached the point where I said to myself, "macOS system administration is never going to be a useful transferrable skill for me, so I would rather work in Linux".

I'm hoping the SwiftUI updates will include a TextView that can handle attributed strings.

It appears that RealityKit is going to be that replacement to SceneKit. In the Apple forums, Apple engineers/employees are pushing RealityKit in nonAR camera mode as a multithreaded SceneKit replacement.

Guesss Xcode on ARM might be a good and necessary step towards ARM MacBooks?

SwiftUI documentation.

Microsoft's Build is also free and online.


I used to attend WWDC ever since the iPhone was announced. These past years, given all the content was available immediately online, I didn't see the point in attending in person (unless for some reason you needed office hours to figure something out). I've been seeing more like a badge of honor for fresh devs.

I wonder if they will keep doing it online in the future. Imagine the impact to all the workers who facilitate these conferences, local hotels, restaurants, etc.

Those jobs aren’t coming back for awhile yet, regardless.

So are these rumors about apple coming out with a PAAS/workload system that I've been hearing for 2-3 years starting to turn true? They've started hiring a lot of kubernetes engineers and afaik they were a mesosphere shop until evidently recently (judging by the hires I'm seeing).

Curious to see if they contribute upstream.

I have heard a number of people complain about the cross-compilation situation with the OS X/iOS ecosystem. The solution everyone wants is for Apple to support Windows or Linux (honestly that sounds like it would be a shorter put) as first class citizens in their tool chain.

But I could also see Apple providing hardware by the day or month in a data center. They would have to reintroduce the X server for that, though.

Rather than go full X Server, a little tweak to the Mac Pro would make it fit in a 6u rack slot on its side. It's millimeters too wide for that, and the cover is wrong. I wonder if a different skin could do it...

Scroll down here:


There's a rack mount option for the Mac Pro.

How did I miss that news? Guess that explains the dimensions.

Surely that PAAS will work only on MacOS, iOS and warchOS. All that amazing technology for just $50,000 license. Exactly like WebObjects!

> They've started hiring a lot of kubernetes engineers

Isn't that for their internal systems? This is how most companies use K8s anyway.

It's possible, but they're trying to hire some public-facing k8s engineers which makes me believe there is actually some veracity to that PAAS claim. If they're going to offer an "Apple Cloud" or something they're going to need public facing (conferences etc) engineers to convince other engineers to use the product.

On the flip side I thought this was all a complete joke and a goofy rumor and would never happen until the last month where I saw a good portion of my twitter peers (k8s architects) talking about going to Apple, but as you said it could be for internal systems.

I mean, honestly, I still think it's a pie in the sky rumor but maybe a little birdie will chirp.

We might get lucky, they did upstream work to LLVM in the past.

I totally forgot about that! Good point.

Does this mean free virtual workshops, or is that just for people who bought tickets?

Apple hasn't put tickets up for sale, and they mention in the article that WWDC will be "free for all developers". I'm assuming there will be some answer to one-on-one reviews, though. Perhaps if you've got a paid Apple developer account, you might be able to put in a request to connect with someone?

Rumor has it Apple is launching MaskKit, the framework for customizing Animoji surgical masks.

How much are they going to charge? :)

It's free, which is stated explicitly in the first sentence of the linked news release.

From the first sentence of the article:

> for free for all developers.

Depends, are you on a Apple device or no? :D

I'm leaning towards it being free of charge but we'll see.

I remember stumbling on some WWDC video a while back and the only way to play it was in Safari.

It's been a while since you checked, then; Apple's videos play anywhere now (including Chrome and Firefox). I think live streaming even worked in Chrome for 2019, which wasn't the case in some previous years (not sure about Firefox there).

That goes for everything on the Apple Developer Videos site, which goes back to WWDC 2014: https://developer.apple.com/videos/all-videos/

It’s not like HLS is not an open standard; Firefox and Chrome just haven’t gotten around to supporting it for some reason. Edge supports it. I believe you can also drop the URL of the HLS manifest into VLC, if you prefer.

Yeah last time I checked I couldn't play HLS videos in Firefox. Checking wikipedia it looks the same for Chrome but there are extensions available for both browsers.

I believe the videos tend to be playable on Microsoft Edge too.

Free for "all developers". Its free, but you better have paid your annual 99 dollars.

You only pay $99 to publish on the App Store.

And you no longer have to send your registration in by fax! ;)

But you still have to be 18 :(

My mom still gets empty app sales reports to this day…

Developer accounts are free. Publishing to the app stores will cost you 99 dollar.

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