Apple has just announced the details for its World Wide Developers Conference, universally abbreviated to WWDC or Dub-Dub. This event takes place every year, almost always in June. But there were several events which, thanks to Covid-19, took place virtually instead of in person. Here’s everything that’s just been announced, and that official image could be a big clue as to what’s coming.
The dates: June 5 to 9, 2023
This year, the dates are Monday, June 5 to Friday, June 9.
In-person or virtual?
Last year’s conference was a hybrid event, with some developers watching a live stream, outdoors in Apple Park, while everybody else watched online.
This year is going to be a similar set-up, centered again on Apple’s Cupertino HQ, inside the Apple Park campus itself, for the first day. That’s when the two big events take place, the opening keynote and the State of the Union presentations. After June 5, the rest of WWDC will be online only.
Apple says, “Space for this in-person event will be limited, and details on how to apply to attend can be found on the Apple Developer site and app.” Last year, the number of developers was in the hundreds, rather less than the thousands of devs who attended the conference center in San Jose in pre-Covid days.
How much does it cost?
While many will miss the chance to be there in person, there’s one very big advantage of this set-up: it’s free. In previous years, the cost of attendance was not cheap. Apple charged a fee, and then there were costs in traveling to and staying in California for the duration. This year, as Apple says, it’s “free for all developers”.
What’s on offer
Apple has said that the content will be along similar lines to last year, that is, “WWDC23 will spotlight the latest iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS advancements. As part of Apple’s ongoing commitment to helping developers create innovative apps, the event will also provide them with unique access to Apple engineers, as well as insight into new technologies and tools to help them realise their visions.”
So, why is this year so crucial?
There have been plenty of rumors that Apple might show off its mixed reality headset at WWDC, which will be a high point of the keynote if that’s the case. Of course, since the headset hasn’t been announced—and Apple may choose not to reveal it at DubDub—there’s no mention of the accompanying software, though this will be discussed if it is unveiled.
And, let’s be blunt, that image that accompanies today’s announcement sure looks like a wraparound headset, I’d say. Apple is always careful to ensure it doesn’t let the cat out of the bag, and this image is attractive in its own right, but there’s something very evocative about it, or is that just me?
Of course, it could be an image of the rainbow arches which are a central part of the outside area in Apple Park, right where the keynote will be, but Apple always has more than one meaning in its invites and images. We’ll find out for sure on June 5.
After the first day’s keynote and State of the Union, the rest of the week has lots of online stuff. “This year’s online program will include sessions, one-on-one labs, and opportunities to engage with Apple engineers and other developers.”
The Swift Challenge is also a staple of WWDC. As Apple says, “WWDC23 is also an opportunity to support student developers through the Swift Student Challenge, one of many Apple programs that seek to elevate developers and learners of all ages who love to code. With the help of Swift Playgrounds — a revolutionary app for iPad and Mac that makes learning the Swift programming language interactive and fun — students from around the world are invited to create an app playground on a topic of their choice. Submissions for this year’s challenge are now open, and students can submit their work through April 19. For more information, visit the Swift Student Challenge website.”
More details will emerge in due course, and Apple says they’ll be posted in the Apple developer app and on the Apple developer website.