Not only did the COVID-19 pandemic affect the healthcare system, but it likewise devastated the economy and many industries. Moreover, the outbreak prompted organisers of several high-profile events to cancel them this year. However, as an alternative, many have gone online to make major announcements and presentations instead. Samsung, on the other hand, was fortunate enough to host its Unpacked show before lockdowns were imposed. Meanwhile, Apple is marking a historical first for the company with its WWDC20 virtual tech conference this week.

The American tech group is known for its extravagant affairs with the tech industry's high-profile personalities in attendance. It would have done exactly that if not for the ongoing 2019 novel coronavirus health crisis. As medical officials encourage social distancing to control transmission, Apple is reaching out to its fans and consumers in the only way possible – over the internet.

Despite speculation that WWDC20 will have notable product unveilings, it is yet to happen before the multi-day event ends on Friday. While Apple has been known for live presentations, it is unclear if what was shown so far is pre-recorded or not. CNN also reveals that behind the scenes, temperature checks, masks, and social distancing were observed by everyone involved. The latter was evident as there was never an instance wherein two people were in one footage.

Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, opened the event with a short discussion about COVID-19 as well as racism. The latter of which has sparked protests about social injustice the world over. The rest of the show that followed, used various spaces within the brand's corporate headquarters in Cupertino, California.

According to a representative, the team ensured that proper guidelines issued by Santa Clara County were strictly followed with additional measures taken to prevent transmissions. Given that this annual event is dedicated mostly to software and the developers, Apple surprised viewers with some the features headed to iOS14 and iPadOS 14 later this year.

Apple CEO Tim Cook
Apple CEO Tim Cook kicks off the tech giant's developer conference which was being held online only as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo: Apple Inc. / Handout

In fact, tech pundits criticised the manufacturer for its failure to innovate. Most of whats new appears to have been borrowed from Google's Android operating system. Nevertheless, others find the changes welcome as it does improve who users interact with through their devices.