Apple confirms WWDC 2020 will be hosted completely online as coronavirus pandemic continues

What felt like only a matter of time has finally arrived: Apple has just confirmed its plans for this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference in light of the global coronavirus pandemic.

Apple today announced via the Apple developers news and update page that it will be hosting “a completely new online experience” for this year’s WWDC. The announcement was also confirmed via an official press release sent out today as well. Here’s the announcement via the news portal:

This June, WWDC20 brings a completely new online experience to millions of talented and creative developers around the world. Join us for a fully packed program — including Keynote and sessions — to gain early access to the future of Apple platforms and engage with Apple engineers. Dive into an exciting learning experience and discover how to create your most innovative apps yet using the latest Apple technologies.

The announcement is a very Apple announcement. It speaks about innovation because of the new format, hosting the entire event online and yet still managing to deliver plenty of content and new information along the way. However, a quick search of both the news post and the press release reveals that Apple doesn’t actually specifically call out the novel coronavirus pandemic or COVID-19, the disease it causes.

However, Phil Schiller does mention the “current health situation”, and that can only really mean one thing:

We are delivering WWDC 2020 this June in an innovative way to millions of developers around the world, bringing the entire developer community together with a new experience,” said Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “The current health situation has required that we create a new WWDC 2020 format that delivers a full program with an online keynote and sessions, offering a great learning experience for our entire developer community, all around the world. We will be sharing all of the details in the weeks ahead.

And Craig Federighi weighs in as well:

With all of the new products and technologies we’ve been working on, WWDC 2020 is going to be big,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering. “I look forward to our developers getting their hands on the new code and interacting in entirely new ways with the Apple engineers building the technologies and frameworks that will shape the future across all Apple platforms.

Apple notes in the press release that there are more than 23 million registered developers across the globe, and this year’s WWDC will provide them with the tools and insights they will need to build the next great app for Apple’s ecosystem. Plus, we’ll see updates for iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, macOS, and tvOS, of course.

WWDC 2020 will happen in June, but the press release doesn’t block out any specific dates. So we’ll have to wait and see when, exactly, we’ll be tuning into this year’s developers conference online.

In addition to all of this, Apple has confirmed it will be donating $1 million to local San Jose organizations to “offset associated revenue loss”, which is tied to the new online-only format.