After an odd semi-unveil via Siri earlier today, Apple this evening officially confirmed that its annual Worldwide Developers Conference would take place from June 13th through June 17th in San Francisco. As in previous years, tickets are being distributed via a random lottery process to eligible developers. Interested in attending? Read on as we break down everything you need to know about WWDC 2016.
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Tickets are distributed via a lottery system
As has been the case for the past few years, Apple this year is distributing tickets to WWDC via a random selection lottery system. Developers can register for a chance to be eligible to purchase a ticket now and the window is open until this Friday, April 22nd at 10AM PT. If you’re selected for receiving a ticket, you’ll be able to purchase one for $1,599. Your card is not charged until you’re officially notified as a winner. Winners will be contacted by Monday, April 25th at 5PM PT.
To register, you need to be a member of the Apple Developer Program or Apple Developer Enterprise Program as of Monday, April 18, 10:00 a.m. PDT. Developers between 13-17 years of age must have their submission completed by their parent or guardian who is an eligible member. If you’re selected, the default credit/debit card associated with your Apple ID will be automatically charged by Monday, April 25, 5:00 p.m. PDT for 1599 USD, or in local currency where available.
If the WWDC ticket or Apple Online Store is not available in your country, you will be asked upon registration to enter billing information for a credit card that can be charged in USD. To help ensure your payment is processed, we recommend that you notify your bank or credit card company that you may be charged for a WWDC ticket by Apple. WWDC tickets are for use by the selected applicant only and may not be sold, resold, bartered, auctioned, or transferred in any way
Apple offers scholarships to attend for select students
As in past years, Apple is again this year offering WWDC Scholarships to reward students and offer them an opportunity to attend the conference. In order to be eligible to receive a scholarship, you must be 13 years of age or older and a full or part-time student or a member/alumni of a STEM organization. Additionally, Apple will provide travel assistance for up to 125 scholarship recipients.
Interested students can apply via Apple’s WWDC website and will be required to submit any app they have worked on.
Apple will kick off the week with a keynote
As it does every year, Apple will kick off WWDC 2016 with a keynote. The keynote will take place at 10AM PT/1PM ET on Monday, June 13th. The keynote will cover a variety of topics and include a heavy focus on the developer-side of things.
Following the keynote, Apple will honor the developers behind the biggest apps of the past year with the Apple Design Awards.
The Apple Design Awards recognize iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV and Mac apps that demonstrate technical excellence, innovation and outstanding design.
Some events will be at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium
In the past, Apple has held its WWDC events solely at Moscone West in San Francisco. This included sessions and the company’s annual kick-off keynote. This year, however, Apple will hold all of the first day festivities at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. For those keeping track, that’s the same place in which last fall’s iPhone 6s/iPad Pro/Apple TV event was held.
While Apple doesn’t offer any reasoning for this change, the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium does offer more seating space for the keynote, although the company didn’t use it to capacity last fall for the iPhone 6s event. Bill Graham can seat roughly 7,000 people, while Moscone West can seat around 4,500.
For those potentially attending WWDC this year, the Bill Graham Auditorium is around a 1 mile trek from Moscone West (great way to fill those Apple Watch rings!). Before you get too upset though, everything after the Monday kick-off is held at Moscone West.
We’ll learn the “future of Apple’s four software platforms”
In the press release announcing WWDC 2016, Apple teased that we will “learn about the future of Apple’s four software platforms — iOS, OS X, watchOS and tvOS.” Apple generally announces the next major update for its operating systems at the event, and we don’t expect this year to be any different.
This year, we should expect to see iOS 10 be unveiled and demoed for the first time. We should also expect a new version of Mac OS X and potentially a rebrand to MacOS (macOS?), if leaks from Apple are anything to go by. Don’t expect any new iOS hardware, though, as Apple generally saves that for the fall event.
Specific details regarding Apple’s upcoming software releases are unclear. We reported earlier this year that Apple is planning to bring Siri to the Mac with the next major update, while given that this is the tenth iteration of iOS, we could expect some significant changes there, as well.
It’s likely we’ll see new MacBooks
While it’s looking like a minor spec-bump might be coming to the 12-inch MacBook sometime this month, we will likely see other Mac models be updated at WWDC. We reported in March that Apple has “both new 12-inch MacBooks and upgraded MacBook Pros in the pipeline for this year.”
You can read our full rundown of what we know about the upcoming MacBook changes here.
The annual Bash is not in the Yerba Buena Gardens
For the first time in ten years, the annual WWDC Bash is not in the Yerba Buena Gardens, but rather at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. Every year, Apple holds the Bash as a way for developers and the like to celebrate after a successful conference.
Last year, Walk the Moon performed at the event. In 2014, Bastille performed at the WWDC Bash. Vampire Weekend headlined the event in 2013, while Neon Trees performed in 2013. With Apple Music and Zane Lowe now unveiled, we wouldn’t be surprised to see the famed DJ take the lead at controlling the music for the event.
You can live stream much of the week’s events
If you don’t feel like dropping $1,599 on a ticket to WWDC 2016, Apple will stream much of the week’s event, including the kick-off keynote, on its WWDC website and in the WWDC app. Sessions will also be available after the fact to watch on-demand, which is nice especially for the fast-moving developer-centric talks.
What are you most excited for this year? Let us know in the comments.