Apple Makes WWDC Conference Online Only Amid Virus Pandemic

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(Bloomberg) -- Apple Inc. said its annual WWDC conference will be online-only this year, scrapping a gathering that usually attracts thousands of software developers.

“WWDC 2020 will take on an entirely new online format,” Apple said in a statement Friday, citing the “current health situation.” The event will still have a full agenda, including an online keynote address and classes for developers to learn about new tools and software, the company added.

Apple didn’t say when it would hold the conference, but said it would share more information in the coming weeks. WWDC is one of Apple’s most important events of the year, when the company reveals its software road map and often hints at new features coming to future iPhones and iPads.

For this year’s conference, the company is expected to discuss iOS 14, changes to the iPad, and new health features for the Apple Watch. “With all of the new products and technologies we’ve been working on, WWDC 2020 is going to be big,” Craig Federighi, Apple’s top executive for software, said in the statement.

This is the latest event to be disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic. Google, Microsoft Corp. and Facebook Inc. earlier shifted their developer conferences to online formats.

Apple hadn’t announced this year’s conference until now, but it likely would have been held at the San Jose convention center in June. The Cupertino, California-based technology giant said it would donate $1 million to local San Jose organizations to offset revenue loss from the shift in format.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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