Tech giant Apple announced that it will be hosting it’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference online this year due to the coronavirus crisis, and for the first time ever, the event will be free to attend.
The Apple event typically costs $1,600 USD to attend before the accommodation is accounted for. For 2020, Apple will be giving access to “all developers” for free, delivering a “full program” of updates along with breakout sessions.
Apple also announced a new “Swift Student Challenge,” where students can create and submit an interactive scene in the Swift Playgrounds coding app that can be experienced in three minutes. The winners of the challenge will get an “exclusive WWDC20 jacket and pin set,” Apple says. You can read more details about the challenge and apply here. The deadline to apply is 2:59AM ET on May 18th.
Phil Schiller, Apple’s SVP of Worldwide Marketing has said in a press release, “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. We can’t wait to meet online in June with the global developer community and share with them all of the new tools we’ve been working on to help them create even more incredible apps and services. We look forward to sharing more details about WWDC20 with everyone as we get closer to this exciting event.”
As Engadget reports, the iPhone updates are of particular interest as we could see a new home screen design that supports movable home widgets, iPad-inspired multitasking, and a new list view for apps. Furthermore, Apple will be committing $1 million USD to local San Jose organizations to offset the revenue lost as a result of the new online-only platform.
According to The Verge, WWDC isn’t the only developer event to go all-virtual due to the coronavirus pandemic: Microsoft’s Build 2020 will be a 48-hour free virtual event that kicks off on May 19th at 11AM ET.