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Apple to Preview iOS 15 and More at WWDC 2021

This year’s gathering of Apple developers is scheduled to kick off online beginning June 7, 2021.

A promotional image for Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference 2021 (WWDC) showing an emoji representing a male developer looking at a Mac notebook's screen displaying the June 7 event date

Apple will preview iOS 15 along with other major updates to its software platforms at its next gathering for developers, which will kick off with a keynote on June 7, 2021.

Apple to Host WWDC21 June 7 Through 11

The company has officially confirmed that the annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) will run from June 7 through 11. Apple will “offer unique insight into the future of iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS.” Similar to the previous WWDC and other Apple events held last year, this year’s conference will be hosted in an all-online format.

The company also wrote the following on the official Apple Developer website:

The Apple Worldwide Developers Conference is coming to a screen near you, June 7 to 11. Join the worldwide developer community for an all-online program with exciting announcements, sessions, and labs at no cost. You’ll get a first look at the latest Apple platforms, tools, and technologies—so you can create your most innovative apps and games yet.

The company has confirmed that there will be a pre-recorded keynote on June 7.

Will There Be a WWDC21 Keynote?

From the announcement on the Apple website:

This year’s conference will include announcements from the keynote and State of the Union stages, online sessions, 1:1 labs offering technical guidance, and new ways for developers to interact with Apple engineers and designers to learn about the latest frameworks and technologies.

For those wondering, Apple’s State of the Union is a much deeper dive into the most important new platform technologies than the public keynote allows.

So When Can I Download the iOS 15 Beta?

WWDC12 should bring us previews of the iOS 15, iPadOS 15, macOS 12, watchOS 8, and tvOS 15 software updates ahead of their public launches sometime this fall.

Now, Apple typically sees major OS betas to its registered developers right after the keynote has wrapped up so don’t expect to download the iOS 15 beta before June 7. Public beta testers should have a chance to test-drive pre-release software the following month.

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If history is any indication, we’ll be able to follow along with the pre-recorded keynote video via Apple.com, the company’s YouTube channel, and the official Apple Developer app.

Last year’s WWDC drew a total of 22 million viewers, CEO Tim Cook said.

This Year’s Swift Student Challenge

Aside from unveiling the WWDC 2021 dates, the company has also opened submissions for its annual Swift Student Challenge, with prizes including customized pin sets, exclusive WWDC outerwear, and free memberships to the Apple Developer Program.

Further information is available on the Swift Student Challenge website.

Apple is challenging young developers to create an interactive scene in Swift Playgrounds that can be experienced within three minutes. “If you need inspiration, use the templates in Swift Playgrounds or Xcode for a head start on more advanced creations,” Apple says.

This challenge is open to eligible students around the world.

To be eligible for the challenge, a developer must meet the minimum age in the relevant jurisdiction (13 years in the US, 16 years in the EU) and be registered for free with the company as an Apple developer or be a member of the Apple Developer Program.

On top of that, eligible developers must fulfill one of the following requirements:

  • Be enrolled in an accredited academic institution or official homeschool equivalent
  • Be enrolled in a STEM organization’s educational curriculum
  • Be enrolled in an Apple Developer Academy
  • Have graduated from high school or equivalent within the past 6 months and be awaiting acceptance or have received acceptance to an accredited academic institution

Apple has promised to share additional details about WWDC21 sooner than later.

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