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(Pocket-lint) - We already knew Apple's 2020 developer conference would be virtual, but it'll be free for developers too. The event - known as the Worldwide Developer Conference, or WWDC - will take place later in June than it does currently, starting on 22 June.

WWDC20 will have previews of Apple's upcoming software work, including iOS 14, watchOS 7 and macOS 10.16. The event is now in its 31st year, even if this year's event will certainly feel a little different. 

It won't all be open for public consumption - the technical sessions will be for developers enrolled in Apple's Developer Program only. However, the main keynote will be open for everybody to watch (as Apple keynotes pretty much always are nowadays). 

Apple is also introducing the Swift Student Challenge this time around. It's an opportunity for student developers to show what they can do by creating their own interactive scene in a Swift playground that can be experienced within three minutes using the Swift Playgrounds app for iPad. The Challenge is open until 18 May. 

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Last year more than 350 student devs were present at WWDC representing 37 different countries. 

Of course, Apple is embracing the opportunity presented by the virtual conference, meaning it can reach more developers than ever: "WWDC20 will be our biggest yet, bringing together our global developer community of more than 23 million in an unprecedented way for a week in June to learn about the future of Apple platforms," said Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing.

Apple says that detailed keynote, session and lab schedules for WWDC20 will be shared in June within the Apple Developer app. 

Writing by Dan Grabham. Originally published on 5 May 2020.