"That is the biggest challenge I would say in what we're dealing with," Cook told CBS "Sunday Morning." "The thing that I worry that we'll be missing is the serendipity that we all count on. And for that reason I can't wait until we're all back together again."
Apple's annual developers conference — now virtual because of the virus — starts Monday and will be livestreamed for free on its developer website.
"If you're a consumer, you find out some of your most favorite software features are announced there," Cook told CBS. "If you're a developer, you get some new technology that you can incorporate in your app and make your app even better."
Cook also told CBS he saw his role as not only focusing on profit but on "constituencies," referencing the role the iPhone camera has played in allowing footage of wrongdoing to spark change.
"We are humbled by it," Cook said. "If you look back in time, some of the most dramatic societal changes have occurred because someone captured video. This is true about things that happened in Birmingham; it was true about things that happened in Selma."