These are just a few of the updates that could be announced at the Apple Worldwide Developer Conference, a multi-day event that begins next week. The event is always closely watched by customers and developers looking to catch a glimpse of new software coming to iPhones, iPads, Macs, and Apple Watch. But this year, everyone, including developers, will have to watch the event from afar. Apple (AAPL) Virtually sustains it for the first time due to pandemic.
The move to stream all sessions online from their Cupertino, California headquarters has its benefits. It will give Apple’s global community of 23 million developers the opportunity to attend more than 100 engineering workshops on how to create new applications and services, which were previously only performed in person.
Microsoft (MSFT) Recently tested flashy tech events can still draw a large audience and buzz at a time when we have no idea when there will be big in-person meetings again. Facebook, for example, said it won’t host physical events until at least June of next year.
WWDC begins at 10:00 am PT / 1:00 pm ET on Monday, June 22 and runs through Thursday, June 26. This is what to expect from this year’s event based on the latest rumors and reports.
A new home screen experience
Many of the key features unveiled at WWDC will relate to Apple’s upcoming iPhone operating system, iOS 14. But these announcements will emerge amid some uncertainty about when the next iPhone will be released, and thus the new operating system.
Some reports indicate that the pandemic could delay production and the launch of the iPhone 12, which will debut in September in a few weeks.
IOS 14 is rumored to allow users to organize their apps with a list view option, making it easy to scroll and view everything in one place, rather than in rows and columns. Apple could also loosen the walled garden around its default apps, allowing users to select third-party apps like Spotify (STAIN), Google (GOOGL) Maps and Google Chrome instead of prioritizing their own competing services.
Apple may also offer a new augmented reality app that can read QR codes and integrate with some stores like Starbucks. Other new speculated tools for iOS and macOS include Safari updates, Apple Pencil support, advanced language translation capabilities, and a new exercise app. Apple is also expected to introduce the ability to mark a text message as unread so that you can revisit it later and add @mentions in group chats, borrowing a feature found in popular apps like WhatsApp and Slack.
Last year at WWDC, Apple unveiled a menstruation tracking app, a login platform called Log In With Apple, and Dark Mode, which sparked a design trend that broke through on other platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Google. .
Under hood improvements
While the software will surely be the focus of WWDC’s attention this year, one of the most anticipated announcements is a technical change that users will never notice: a change in Intel (INTC) chips on your Mac computers to an internally made ARM-based processor; the same one that is already used in your iPhones and iPads.
This could mean big changes to the line for Mac users: potentially longer battery life and better support for energy-absorbing graphics, according to research director David McQueen of ABI Research. Of course, Apple won’t have to rely on Intel for chipset release dates, update cycles, or size, which means the Mac could even get slimmer by denying the need for fans, he added.
The chip is not expected to hit Mac computers until 2021.
Other announcements to consider
Hardware is not out of the question at WWDC. We may be able to see a redesigned iMac, highly anticipated over-the-ear headphones, or a long-rumored object tracker called “Tag.” But considering that Apple unveiled a new iPad Pro and MacBook Air in March and that the iPhone launch season is just around the corner, don’t expect that the focus will be too much on physical devices.
Without a doubt, this is a great moment for Apple. You have a unique opportunity to introduce new software tools to developers viewing from around the world, hoping they’ll be inspired to create the next big thing for the platform. What he will lack to forge connections in person, he will make up for with exposure.