Apple kicks off its yearly Worldwide Developer Conference in about two hours and you can watch it by tuning in to the stream below, or from your phone or tablet by going to Apple’s Events website.
As recent Apple events, the WWDC conference will be an online-only event and Apple will have prepared a video conference with high production value and, hopefully, concise, to-the-point presentations. Here’s what to expect.
Naturally, Apple’s biggest announcement will be the next version of iOS, its most popular OS. Tentatively-named iOS 15, the new installment of the iPhone software is rumored to bring improvements to notifications, privacy, accessibility and iMessage.
Notifications could begin to cater to different scenarios like working, driving, sleeping – with different settings, Do Not Disturb variables and automatic replies, depending on the situation.
Starting with iOS 15, Apple could inform you which apps collect information silently.
As for iMessage, Apple is said to be working towards making the messaging service more of a social network. Apple is reportedly working on many new features for iMessage that may or may not be ready for prime time at the WWDC keynote.
New accessibility features could include support for bidirectional hearing aides, a new Background Sounds mode, which plays a sounds to mask unwanted environmental noise, Apple SignTime will allow customers to communicate with AppleCare and Apple Retail through sign language. AssistiveTouch will allow people with limb differences to navigate Apple Watch, VoiceOver screen reader will be able to explore objects within images, etc.
Apple recently brought the M1 chip to the iPad Pro lineup and with iPadOS’ next version we expect a major redesign of the homescreen. A rumored addition is the ability to place widgets anywhere on the screen.
Apple could deliver on new features on iPad, making better use of the M1 chip.
Apple could announce HomeOS – a new platform, dedicated to smart home devices like the Apple TV, the HomePod and HomePod Mini and others.
New MacBook Pro’s alongside a new Apple chip
Apple has long been rumored to be working on a major redesign of the MacBook Pro and many insiders have pointed to a WWDC announcement.
Apple could finally unveil the 14-inch MacBook Pro as well as the next 16-inch MacBook Pro. Both will bring a new design, possibly inspired by the flat-sided iPhone 12 and iPad Pro line. The Touch Bar is said to be put out to pasture in favor of good old physical function keys.
Apple is reportedly catering to disgruntled MacBook Pro buyers by returning the SD card reader and the HDMI port to the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro’s, as well as bringing back the beloved MagSafe magnetic charging port.
Both of Apple’s latest MacBook’s will be powered by the second-generation Apple chip, possibly called M2 or M1X. It’s said to bring 10-core processors (8 high-performance cores and 2 efficiency cores) and 16 or 32-core graphical processors. RAM is rumored to be up to 64GB.
Reports have suggested brighter and higher-contrast screens on both new MacBook’s, but you probably shouldn’t expect mini-LED just yet.
This one is unlikely, but some sources have pointed at WWDC as the announcement venue for Apple’s rumored VR headset. It’s supposed to feature 2 8K displays and a number of cameras for movement detection. Price is slated to be around $3,000.