Apple just announced that its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) will take place on June 7th through June 11th this year, and that like last year it will be an online-only event.
The announcement, as is typical for Apple, is opaque when it comes to details, but there might be a tantalizing hint: is the memoji character’s glasses simply showing a reflection from their laptop? Or could Apple finally be gearing up to announce its long-rumored VR headset or AR glasses?
“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,” said Susan Prescott, Apple’s vice president of worldwide developer relations, in a press release.
WWDC is when Apple typically details changes coming to iOS, iPadOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS with the occasional hardware surprise. Last year, it also dedicated a significant portion of its keynote to announcing its Mac lineup’s transition to its own Apple Silicon processors. With this transition still underway, it seems likely that Apple will have an update to share about its progress.
New hardware tends to be less of a focus at the developer conference, but it’s not unheard of. Apple used WWDC 2019 as its venue to announce the new Mac Pro, and at WWDC 2017 it announced its HomePod smart speaker, updated iMac desktops, and a new 10.5-inch iPad Pro.
It’s not surprising that Apple has opted to make its global conference for developers online-only given that the impact of COVID-19 is still being felt around the world. Facebook’s F8 developer conference will be virtual this year, and San Diego Comic-Con and the 2021 Anime Expo have also confirmed that their physical events will not take place. But some organizations are attempting to make limited physical events happen like Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.