Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) taking place online June 7-11. It’s just over three weeks away. So what do we expect?
It’s interesting how little we think we know this year, but don’t let despair fool you. It could be a year where Apple lays the foundations for the next wave of new product launches.
Similarly, when Apple is silent, I am curious.
Migration state: The Mac
Apple recently introduced the new iMac. They are racing to be on top of speed charts, which delivers 37% gains in comparison to the Intel Core i7 and i9 models, making it a nemesis for HP and a good proposition for any enterprise looking to invest in new desktops.
But all is lost in mobile this season, so WWDC 2021 could see the introduction of a larger MacBook Pro running an M1 (or M2) chip? Perhaps Apple is also planning a larger iMac that runs on the chip? And how is a new display?
Since this announcement will follow just a year since the transition from rumor to reality, there’s a definite blow to making that case-and a chance to update developers on the progress towards the Mac Pro.
While iOS 15 will not launch until September, Apple will give us a first look at it and all of its operating systems at WWDC 2021. We highlight think about it we know about now with improved, contextually sensitive notifications that respond to what you’re doing (sleeping, driving, working).
There’s a claim that iOS on iPhones and iPads will allow us to set automatic messages for different times of the day, and there’s a small speculative Apple plan to give iMessage an update feature to replace WhatsApp. (That won’t really succeed until it becomes a cross-platform app.)
I want Stocks to be truly profitable, with the ability to access small investments directly from within the app, and I look forward to more insight into internal mapping and Maps.
New privacy tools are easy to guess, specifically a tracking solution that will tell you which apps are collecting and / or sharing your user data. This information can help consumers name and embarrass any app developer who hasn’t been completely clear about their privacy practices. And I think implementation of those policies will also come.
I also look forward to news around HomeKit and support for Things, which opens up some of the big problems around IoT at home, and everywhere.
Finally, the most predictable news is likely to have to do with new domains and capabilities in ARKit (and an outsider’s cut of wild speculation, a gut feeling of useful improvements to iCloud Drive to better support remote working).
With speculation widget support across the Home screen, and recent reports that Zoom works with a private Apple API hint improvement in collaboration with FaceTime / video from Apple devices. Finally, there’s a hubbub of speculation that iPads could see enhanced multitasking added to the mix, given that now run the same chip you find inside the Mac.
Making macOS work more effectively and efficiently on M-series chips (and between all devices) will be the focus of this year’s release. You’ll also find improved support for iOS apps, but I think the highlight will be creative and professional apps, testimonials from key developers, and perhaps some other surprises. (I would love to hear Microsoft announce that it will make Windows 10 available for M1 Macs by Parallels, for example.) We don’t know much now.
New watch faces and additional Complications seem inevitable and we will see more and improved integration with Fitness +. We can also be told about swim tracking in the Fitness app and (perhaps) a non -invasive glucose tracking is coming to the Health app. We will almost certainly know more about recent study regarding watches and heart health and COVID.
Apple has millions of TV + viewers using free subscriptions, which will end in July, so it knows it must make some promises and deliver on some changes to convince them to stay on the service. once it starts charging again. That will be taken in a combination of content with moderation and improvements to the service itself.
We know Apple is looking at it, just from recent changes to the Apple TV hardware (with new remote). Now it makes sense to expect a redesign of the app, and useful tools like kids mode, parental controls, and screen time management.
What will be interesting is how many of any of those enhancements are also available on third-party devices running the TV app. Will Apple’s development be any different here? And what about iTunes for Windows?
Granted recently haka-haka Apple plans to update AirPods and introduce Apple Music Hi-Fi soon, the news of AirPods will be about the software. I expect significant software fixes to AirPods designed with hearing health and the mind is accessible.
One more thing
I couldn’t help but be a little curious that in the weeks before the developer event, very little was known about Apple’s software plans. The reason I’m interested in this is that we usually have a little clue close to the event, so the fact that we don’t have that suggests one of two things:
- Apple doesn’t plan to announce anything of interest (probably).
- The entire software team is engaged in a highly secretive project.
I’m not entirely sure which option to believe, but included Apple Car at Apple Glass both very hyped and reports of processor shortages across the industry, I can’t help but wonder if there’s a sneaky train going down the track.
I’ve been passionate about hype back then, so I won’t be deterred. But I wonder why the software rumor mill has grown so quietly ….
How to watch the show
Apple’s WWDC 2021 keynote is available online and via the TV app. Developers interact through the app Developer on Macs, iPhones, and iPads, where they can find keynotes and developer sessions, new information and access to labs and more.
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