WWDC – Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference – is set to kick of on 7 June 2021 with a keynote at which the company will reveal its plans for the operating systems on our iPhones, iPads, Macs, Watches, HomePods and Apple TVs.
Due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic Apple is running a virtual WWDC, just as it did in 2020. This means that, as has been the case for recent Apple events, the WWDC keynote will take the form of a video stream from Apple’s headquarters in which we are likely to see various Apple personnel demo the new features for Apple’s operating systems and services that will be arriving in the autumn.
It also means that rather than the usual 6,000 attendees (as of 2018) anyone who is an Apple developer will be able to join the sessions in which Apple discusses the ins and outs of the new operating systems and how the new features can be applied.
The WWDC keynote has always been a much watch event. In this article we’ll start off with how to watch the keynote address, including when it will kick off, and then we’ll discuss how you can watch some of the other WWDC related content that you might be able to gain access to.
When is the WWDC 2021 Keynote?
The keynote will happen on day one of WWDC 2021.
The first day is Monday 7 June. Apple has confirmed that the keynote will begin at 10am PDT.
Here’s what that translates to in the countries where most of our readers live:
- UK: 7 June at 6pm (BST)
- Europe: 7 June at 7pm (CEST)
- US: 7 June at 10am (PDT), 11am (MDT), noon (CDT), 1pm (EDT)
- Canada: 7 June at 10am (PDT), 11am (MDT), noon (CDT), 1pm (EDT), 2pm (ADT)
- India: 7 June at 10.30pm (IST)
- Australia: 8 June at 1am (AWST), 2.30am (ACST), 3am (AEST)
The event will probably last about one to two hours.
How to watch the WWDC Keynote
Apple will livestream the keynote presentation so anyone can watch. Below we will run though the various ways to watch depending on your device.
There are a number of options. You can watch on Apple’s YouTube channel. (Currently you will see last year’s WWDC keynote embedded at the top of this page, but we will switch this to the new event once that is live).
Alternatively you can watch on Apple’s own website.
(In the past Apple has also streamed the event live on Twitter. It doesn’t seem to be repeating this experiment, instead directing followers to apple.com, but there may well be tweets posted during the event.)
Apple’s special events page has all the info you need, including the option to add it to your calendar.
How to watch WWDC Keynote on a Mac
There are a few ways to watch the WWDC keynote on a Mac.
You can watch where it streams on the Apple Website through Safari on macOS Sierra 10.12 or later. To watch, simply head to the Apple Event page. Although it looks like Apple will stream it directly on apple.com.
You will also be able to watch – and download the keynote – in the TV app here. (Currently that link goes to the September 2019 event).
It will also be available to watch on the Apple Developer website.
Following the end of the keynote it will also be available to watch in the Apple Podcast app here and the Apple TV app.
You can also watch previous year’s keynotes in Apple’s Podcasts app, which is available in macOS Catalina.
How to watch WWDC Keynote on iPad or iPad
Apple says its keynote videos are best experienced on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch using Safari on iOS 10 or later (although it will play on iOS 9 too).
To watch, either go to the Apple Event page or open the TV app and watch the stream there.
How to watch WWDC keynote on Apple TV
Apple TV users will be able to watch the keynote as long as they have an Apple TV that supports the App Store and features the TV app.
You will be able to watch the keynote via the TV app.
Previously Apple hosted the WWDC keynote inside a dedicated Events app on the Apple TV but this year that app has been made redundant and instead the keynote will appear as an option within the TV app.
How to watch WWDC keynote on YouTube
Apple will also stream the keynote on YouTube here. (And you’ll be able to see it at the top of this article).
The stream is already set up with a preview published on YouTube. You can create a “Watch Later” reminder so you don’t miss the show.
How to watch on a PC
PC owners will need Microsoft Edge on Windows 10 to watch on Apple’s site. Or they can watch using YouTube as above.
How to watch on anything else…
Apple says other platforms may be able to access the stream using recent versions of Chrome or Firefox (MSE, H.264, and AAC required).
To watch, visit the Apple Event page.
How to watch at an Apple Store
In the past local stores participated in broadcast events which the public was encouraged to sign up for on Apple’s website where you can search for your local store. However, in the current pandemic it is unlikely that Apple will be encouraging gatherings at the Apple Stores this year.
UK Apple Stores have reopened in most locations (find out if the Apple Stores have reopened near you). If your local store is open it may be broadcasting the event on a screen there.
In 2019 the following stores showed the keynote:
- Greenhithe, Bluewater
- Liverpool, Liverpool
- London, Brent Cross
- London, Covent Garden
- London, Regent Street
- Manchester, Arndale
- Sheffield, Meadowhall
Can I join WWDC sessions?
WWDC isn’t just the keynote. If you want to find out more about the new software coming to Macs, iPhones, iPads and other Apple products you may be interested to learn that in 2021 Apple will be allowing all registered developers to access the sessions online.
Apple has announced the line-up for WWDC, including timings for the Platforms State of the Union presentation and the 100+ developer sessions.
Unfortunately only registered developers can listen into sessions – which are usually protected by an NDA. However, if you are a registered developer and normally you are one of the many who misses out on WWDC tickets, this year you will gain access to all the sessions – and crucially, have the ability to ask your questions of the presenters.
This is the line up:
- 7 June, 10am PDT: Apple Keynote
- 7 June, 2pm PDT: Platforms State of the Union
- 10 June, 2pm PDT: Apple Design Awards
- 200 in-depth sessions with ‘Access to Experts’.
- A number of ‘Special Events’.
- New for WWDC21: ‘Pavillions’.
How to register as a developer
To register as a developer head over to the Apple Developer Program registration page and click Enrol.
Registering as an Apple developer will give you access to support materials, and enable you to register Macs and iOS devices with Apple so you can use them to run your software.
You can sign in with your own Apple ID (recommended if you’re a single developer), or you can create an Apple ID just for the developer account (recommended if you are developing for a company).
You don’t have to pay Apple to register as a developer. You can sign up and gain access to all the developer tools without paying a penny. The basic registration is fine for developing and testing an app, although you will need to sign up with Apple for membership if you want to download the developer previews.
How to join WWDC sessions
Apple has said that the WWDC 2021 format will deliver a “full program with an online keynote and sessions, offering a great learning experience for our entire developer community, all around the world”.
Apple will be sharing all the details in the weeks ahead. Developers are encouraged to download the Apple Developer app for more information.