Apple’s (AAPL) Worldwide Developers Conference kicks off this Monday, June 4, and we’ll be covering all of the news live on the ground. So what kind of announcements can you expect from Apple CEO Tim Cook and company during the big show?
I’m so glad you asked. Apple is notoriously secretive, but leaks are inevitable. So we’ve scoured the internet for the biggest rumors and speculation surrounding the developers conference to give you the clearest picture of what Apple is likely to show off. From the obvious debut of iOS 12 to the potential unveiling of a new MacBook, here’s what we’re predicting for Apple’s event.
IOS 12 and macOS
WWDC is a developers conference, which means it’s all about the software. And you can bet there will be plenty on display. So it only makes sense that we’ll see updates to Apple’s iOS and macOS.
The new version of iOS will likely be called iOS 12 — we’re coming off of iOS 11 after all — while the next version of macOS is still under wraps.
One of the biggest rumors surrounding the two operating systems is that we’ll start to see them merge via apps that run on both iOS and macOS. According to Bloomberg, the move is meant to give developers more of a reason to create apps for the Mac line. It would also mean less work for developers, especially if Apple adopts a similar approach to Microsoft’s Universal Windows apps that let devs use much of the same code to create apps for various Windows devices.
Naturally, you can expect stability and performance improvements with the new operating systems, as well, which is always welcome. In fact, according to Axios, the focus on performance and stability is so important for Apple’s software teams that it comes at the cost of new iOS features, which are being pushed to 2019.
There aren’t many rumors to go on when it comes to macOS, but I’d be my left eye that it will be named after some natural feature in California. My left eye has an astigmatism, so I’m way more comfortable losing it than my right.
Apple will also reportedly add a new digital health feature that will tell you how much time you spend using your iPhone and specific apps. I really don’t want to know how much time I spend browsing Instagram or hate-scrolling through my Twitter feed, but I fully expect to be well above the norm.
Digital health is all the rage in the tech industry, as consumers and experts point to users’ dependence on their smartphones. Google (GOOG, GOOGL) is taking a similar approach with its upcoming Android P update, which will allow users to see how long they’ve spent using their phones and apps, as well. Again, I do not look forward to what these apps have to say about my obsessive phone usage.
Cook and company are also expected to roll out updates to Apple’s augmented reality ARKit. Dubbed ARKit 2.0, the upgrade will add the ability for multiplayer AR games on separate devices, according to Bloomberg. In other words, both players will see the same scenario through their phones’ displays. It sounds like a cool feature, but so far AR, like VR, hasn’t impressed me enough to get me to use it very often.
The one exception to that was “Pokémon Go,” which I, and the rest of the planet, was obsessed with for about a month when it came out in July 2016.
Siri gets smarter
Apple’s Siri was the first and most prominent digital voice assistant for some time after its debut in 2011. But in recent years, Apple’s offering has fallen woefully behind competitors like Amazon’s (AMZN) Alexa and Google’s Assistant in terms of overall functionality. Apple could change that at WWDC, though.
In May, CNBC’s Todd Haselton asked Siri to tell him about WWDC. The voice assistant replied by saying it was getting smarter. Apple’s been known to drop small hints about upcoming announcements via Siri in the past. With the company needing to up the assistant’s capabilities, it makes sense that we’d see some new Siri features.
Potential for hardware
WWDC is a developers event, but that hasn’t stopped Apple from introducing new hardware products in the past. The chances seem slim that we’ll see any sweet new products to drool over at this year’s event, but if we do, I’d expect to get an updated MacBook, perhaps some improved Airpods and maybe a new Apple Watch.
At this point it sounds like hardware is off the table for this year’s event, but Cook might just surprise us with one more thing.
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