Craig Federighi says Apple could adopt aspects of virtual WWDC in the future

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Craig Federighi talks about WWDC 2020, the first virtual Worldwide Developers Conference.
This year's virtual WWDC keynote might be a taste of things to come.
Photo: Apple

WWDC 2020 Apple exec Craig Federighi says the company’s production team “moved mountains” to put together this week’s online-only WWDC keynote. And, while he won’t go so far as to commit to future virtual keynotes, he did say that Apple was very happy with it — and will be looking see what aspects of the presentation it can use in the future.

That’s one of the insights gained from listening to the latest episodes of Tech YouTuber Marques Brownlee’s Waveform podcast, which features an interview with Federighi, Apple’s senior VP of software engineering.

Craig Federighi: Apple was happy with virtual WWDC 2020

Federighi said WWDC is always “the most intense” part of the year for Apple’s software team. This year, he noted, things felt “maybe doubly”  intense. Federighi said the initial reaction on Apple’s part to having to do a virtual keynote was one of concern. But “pretty immediately people started saying, ‘What could we do? What’s the opportunity here?'” Federighi said.

They settled on using the opportunity to “make Apple Park [more of a feature] and take people around the space and show where we work.” Federighi said he didn’t get to see the finished version until it aired Monday. He watched it at home with his family. He said in the future, Apple will definitely apply some of the lessons it learned here.

Federighi also discussed the importance of personalization when it comes to iOS 14. He mentioned that Apple’s approach to widgets could evolve over time so that they might not be limited to the first Home screen.

He also touched on people’s concerns about macOS Big Sur and the fear that it was becoming more iOS-like. “I feel that after you use the UI for [a while], it feels natural and fresh and clearly, distinctly Mac,” he said. “I love it.”

Brownlee’s podcast is available to listen to through Apple Podcasts.