Apple Announces WWDC21 Dates

Today Apple announced that they will be holding their annual World Wide Developer Conference, or WWDC, again this year. The theme for this year is “Glow and Behold”. WWDC21 will be held in an all-online format starting June 7th and going through June 11th. Apple’s WWDC20 was also held in an all-online format. While last year’s was due to Covid-19, and the reluctance to gather so many people in one place, there has been no mention as to why Apple is having an all-online conference.

Even though there is no mention for the reason, the all-online format is somewhat better for all developers because everyone can see the exact same sessions as the same time and there is no lottery for tickets, no rushing to be the first, and just like WWDC20, this is a free conference which provides more accessibility for all developers to attend. Everyone can see the same conference no matter where in the world they are.

Swift Student Challenge

Animoji in 3D of a student with a Graduation Cap, wearing gray glasses, with the Swift and Xcode icons reflected from an M1 MacBook Air.
Swift Student Challenge

Just as was the case last year, there is a “Swift Student Challenge”. The Swift Student Challenge, an opportunity for young developers to demonstrate their coding skills by creating a Swift playground, is now accepting submissions. These submissions are due by April 18th and all of the information, including the application to apply, can be found on the Swift Student Challenge website.

Some of the requirements for the application are:

To be eligible for the Challenge, you must:

  • Be 13 years of age or older, or the equivalent minimum age in the relevant jurisdiction (for example, 16 years of age in the European Union);
  • Be registered for free with Apple as an Apple developer or be a member of the Apple Developer Program; and
  • 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; or
    • 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 will be releasing more information in the next couple of months. As has become my tradition, I will be making predictions of what we might see at WWDC once it is closer to the start of WWDC.

Source: Apple

Apple Announces WWDC 2020

It is likely that you are aware that there is an international pandemic known as Covid-19. The highly transmissible virus is a problem and in order to minimize the spread, it is best to avoid large gatherings where transmission is possible.

In order to avoid having anyone contract the virus with 5,000 developers gathering in one place, Apple is changing the format of this year’s WorldWide Developer Conference (WWDC) to an online format. For a vast majority of Apple’s 23 million registered developers experience Apple’s WWDC in an online-only format. In fact, the number of developer who can actually attend WWDC is 0.022% of all developers.

Apple will still hold a keynote and online sessions. To quote Phil Schiller, Senior Vice President of Marketing:

“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.”

One of the downsides to moving to an online format is the fact that San Jose, where WWDC has been held the last few years, will lose out on a significant amount of revenue because of the conference. In order to help San Jose, Apple is going to provide $1 million to San Jose organizations to help offset the loss.

My prediction is that next year’s WWDC will return to an in-person conference, although some of the changes made this year will still be incorporated into next year’s conference. I hope to be able to watch the keynote in June, but either way I will be writing a post about what Apple announces. It will be interesting to see how this year’s WWDC goes.

You can keep up to date with what Apple announces by “email, in the Apple Developer app and on the Apple Developer website“.

Source: Apple

Apple Announces the 16-inch MacBook Pro

Yesterday Apple unveiled a replacement for the 15.4-inch MacBook Pro, the 16-inch MacBook Pro. The 16-inch MacBook Pro takes form factor of the 15.4-inch model and enhances it. The 16-inch MacBook Pro still comes with a Touch Bar.

There is a change that cannot be expressed in words. To quote from Apple’s press release,

The 16-inch MacBook Pro introduces a completely redesigned six-speaker, high-fidelity sound system designed to bring musicians, podcasters and video editors the most advanced audio experience ever in a notebook. New Apple-patented force-canceling woofers use dual opposed speaker drivers to reduce unwanted vibrations that distort sound. As a result, music sounds more clear and natural than ever before, and the bass can go half an octave deeper. An upgraded high-performance mic array delivers a 40 percent reduction in hiss and an improved signal-to-noise ratio that rivals that of popular professional-grade digital microphones, delivering super-clean recordings that capture even the quietest details.

One of the biggest, and most needed, changes is the keyboard. The old style keyboard which was introduced in 2016 has been replaced with a Magic Keyboard. The mechanism that you type on was previously a butterfly switches. This has been replaced with the traditional scissor switches. This change should reduce the overall issues that have affected the keyboards, but only time will be able to tell if that is really the case.

The keyboard has two additional features that many users have been asking for. The first is a physical escape key. Many developers will be glad to see this key return, as they are constantly using it. The second keyboard feature that many users have wanted is the “inverted t” arrangement for the arrow keys. The return of inverted-t arrangement will allow users to easily identify which key they are pressing.

One thing that has changed, but may be more of a subtle change is the new screen. The screen is larger than the previous model and has a P3 Color Gamut, still 500 nits of brightness, but it does have a resolution of 3072 by 1920. The screen will also now support a wider range of refresh rates. The supported rates are 47.95Hz, 48.00Hz, 50.00Hz, 59.94Hz, and 60.00Hz.

There are two models of 16-inch MacBook Pro. The first comes with a 2.6GHz 6‑core Intel Core i7 processor and the AMD Radeon 5300M graphics card, 512GB of SSD storage. The second model comes with a 2.3GHz 8-core Intel Core i9 processor and the AMD Radeon 5500M graphics card with 4GB of memory and 1TB of storage.

These are configurable to a 2.4GHz 8-core Intel Core i9 processor and an AMD Radeon Pro 5500M with either 4GB or 8GB of memory. The possibilities for upgrading the storage have increased as well. You now have the options of a1TB, 2TB, 4TB, or 8TB SSD.

There have been some reviews of the new 16-inch MacBook Pro. Most notably from Marco Arment, John Gruber, and Rene Ritchie. There is one last thing, Jonathan Morrison was able to sit down with Apple’s Senior Vice President of Marketing, Phil Schiller to discuss the MacBook Pro.

As mentioned earlier, the 16-inch MacBook Pro model replaces the 15.4-inch model. The new line-up consists of the 13-inch MacBook Pro and the 16-inch MacBook Pro. The 16-inch MacBook Pro is available for order today starting at $2399. The second model starts at $2799.

It is good to see Apple providing the features that their professional users want in devices. Hopefully, this is just the first step in making their laptops even better.

I am not sure if I will end up getting one at some point or not. My early-2015 MacBook Pro is still working, but is limited in terms of storage space, time will tell. If I do end up getting one, I will be sure to review it.

Source: Apple

Apple Announces October 30th Event

Today Apple sent out invites to members of the press announcing an event on October 30th. The event will not be held at the Howard Gilman Opera House on the campus of the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York City. The event titled “There’s more in the making” will be at 10:00 AM Eastern time on October 30th.

The event will be live streamed and can be watched at the Apple Events page.

Apple has done something a bit different with the invitations this go around. They sent out different images to different journalists. The header image above are the ones that are shown on the events page. However, some journalists got even different ones, like the one below.

Panzarino Event Invite

These are not in the rotation of images on the event page. It is good to see the variety of invites that were sent out. Look for my predictions sometime before the event.

Apple Announces its September Event

As has been the case since 2012 Apple has been holding its iPhone event in September. This year is no exception. Today Apple has sent out invitations for their September Event. This year’s event is on September 12th. It will be held at the Steve Jobs Theater at Apple Campus 2. As with most Apple events, this one is at 10 a.m. Pacific Time. It will be streamed, so you can watch it live.

I will be posting my predictions for what we might see sometime closer to the event date, so stay tuned.