Apple late last week joined its operating system rivals when it announced that its annual developers conference would not take place in a physical you-are-there format.

The Cupertino, Calif. company said that the “current health situation” — it did not use “COVID-19” or “coronavirus” in its statement — “required that we create” a venue-less get-together.

“We [will] 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,” wrote Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior marketing executive, in the statement.

Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) will be held, as usual, in June. The firm did not reveal the dates, but in the past WWDC has taken place in the first week of the month. Last year, for instance, WWDC ran June 3-7. If it kept to that practice, Apple might conduct the virtual conference June 1-5, although the following week, June 8-12, might also be a possibility. The lack of a physical location, of course, will give Apple substantial scheduling latitude.

Preview code for the next versions of macOS, iOS, iPadOS, watchOS and tvOS will be made available to developers at the start of or during the online event. Distribution of operating system betas concurrent with WWDC has long been an Apple practice.

More details about WWDC will be forthcoming, Apple said. Presumably, those will include pricing — even whether there will be a cost for the conference — and how Apple plans to replicate the third-party-developers-to-Apple-engineer interactions that WWDC has historically fostered.

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