In a move that comes as no surprise, given the rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus around the world, Apple announced today that WWDC, which has been held at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center for the past few years, will be held online this year. In a press release issued by the company today, Phil Schiller said:
“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. 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.”
WWDC draws developers from dozens of countries from around the world. However, with around 5,000 attendees crammed into tight convention center quarters and many more visitors in town for events surrounding the conference, the risk to developers, Apple employees, and the San Jose community is too great to hold an in-person event. Instead, sessions will be online in June with exact dates to be announced later. With the conference moving online, Apple is also donating $1 million to local San Jose organizations.
Of course, Apple’s decision is the right one, but having attended WWDC every year since 2013, I will greatly miss the opportunity to see friends who I often only see there and meet with the developers whose apps we write about all year long. However, MacStories readers will enjoy the same kind of comprehensive WWDC coverage we’ve done in the past. Plus, we’re working on some new ideas to build on past years, so stay tuned.