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Something to look forward to: Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference starts today with the anticipated keynote set to kick off the five-day event. Apple will be hosting the conference virtually for the first time in the event's 31-year history due to ongoing Covid-19 containment efforts. Developers from around the world will get access to the next major versions of iOS, iPadOS, macOS, tvOS and watchOS at the conference.
The keynote address starts Monday, June 22 at 1:00pm ET / 10am PT / 6pm BST. You can stream it live here via YouTube or check it out on Apple's website.
While the keynote is expected to focus on software and iOS 14 in particular, the hottest rumor that's been going for weeks is that Apple is ready to announce Macs' transition from Intel to Arm processors. By announcing the shift early – the first wave of Arm-powered Macs aren't expected to arrive until 2021 – it'd give developers ample time to tweak their apps to accommodate the new architecture which is fundamentally different from the Intel chips that currently drive its computers.
If that happens, Apple will likely preview what kind of Mac hardware would be Arm-powered first. The latest reports point to a 13" MacBook Pro and fully redesigned iMac desktop that would launch late in 2020 or early 2021. What's perhaps most interesting, those same reports indicate that Arm-based Macs could see a massive 50-100% performance jump over Intel counterparts.
History also indicates it's not uncommon for Apple to slip in a couple of hardware announcements at WWDC. Last year's WWDC saw the company unveil the third-gen Mac Pro and the Pro Display XDR. In 2017, we got the HomePod smart speaker, a 10.5" iPad Pro and a new iMac Pro, among other refreshed hardware.
"We can't wait to meet online with the global developer community and share with them all of the new tools we've been working on to help them create even more incredible apps and services," said Phil Schiller, Apple's senior VP of worldwide marketing.
Apple says the 31st annual WWDC will be the biggest one yet, even though it is online only. There will be more than 100 engineering sessions, developer forums, 1-on-1 labs with Apple engineers, and more during the 5-day event.