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Apple's virtual WWDC features keynote June 22, 1-on-1 labs and over 100 sessions

The company's annual developer confab, where it shows off its upcoming software, is all digital this year.

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Apple's virtual developer conference will start June 22. 

Apple
This story is part of Apple Event, our full coverage of the latest news from Apple.

Apple CEO Tim Cook will take the virtual stage at 10 a.m. PT on June 22, kicking off his company's first all-digital conference amid the coronavirus pandemic. The company on Thursday said its Worldwide Developers Conference will take place June 22-26. 

Along with two keynotes on the first day, the event will feature over 100 engineering sessions and 1-on-1 developer labs over the following three days of WWDC. Apple also has updated its developer forums to connect its developer community with over 1,000 Apple engineers to answer questions and engage in technical discussions. The redesign will come June 18 and will let anyone, starting the first day of WWDC, search and view the forum discussions to follow along. 

"WWDC20 will be the biggest WWDC to date, bringing together the global Apple developer community of more than 23 million in an unprecedented, virtual way," the company said Thursday

The annual developer convention is where Apple details its newest software and services that will arrive on devices later in the year. The company may be best known for its devices, but the seamless integration of its hardware with its software is what sets Apple apart from rivals. Apple's ability to control every aspect of its products -- something that began when Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak founded the company in 1976 -- has been key in making it the most powerful company in tech. This year's WWDC is the company's 31st.

During the keynote, Apple will detail updates to its iOS, iPadOS, MacOS, TVOS and WatchOS software. It sometimes unveils new devices at WWDC, and this year, it's expected to detail its efforts to use its own processors in Macs. Apple already designs the chips that power its mobile devices, setting its iPhones and iPads apart from other products that tend to use processors from Qualcomm, Samsung and other chipmakers. 

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Apple typically hosts several thousand developers at its Northern California base, with the conference most recently taking place in San Jose. But this year's WWDC comes as the world grapples with the coronavirus pandemic. As of Thursday, COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus, has killed over 417,000 people worldwide and infected more than 7.4 million. Tens of millions of Americans have filed for unemployment as businesses closed and governments directed their citizens to stay at home. While some parts of the world and US are reopening, life is far from normal, making it risky to gather thousands of developers in one location.

Apple in mid-March said WWDC would be all-digital this year, as will other gatherings like the Collision conference and Microsoft's Build confab. Companies like Google and Facebook opted to scrap their developer conferences this year. 

The June 22 keynote will stream from its Apple Park headquarters via apple.com, the Apple Developer app and website, the Apple Apple TV app and YouTube. It also will be available in China on Tencent, iQIYI, Bilibili and Youku.

At 2 p.m. PT on June 22, Apple also will hold its "Platforms State of the Union," during which engineers will give more details about Apple's upcoming software. The company said the presentation will be available on demand on the Apple Developer app and website and will be available for playback on Tencent, iQIYI, Bilibili and YouKu for viewers in China.

For the engineering sessions, Apple will post videos each day at 10 a.m. PT on the Apple Developer app and website. They'll get into technical details to help developers figure out how to use the new features in their software. 

As for the 1-on-1 developer labs, those will be scheduled by appointment, Apple said.