Once a year, Apple invites you to its WWDC in-house exhibition. It’s that time again on Monday evening. And the list of anticipated announcements is long.
When it comes to Apple’s software, the in-house Worldwide Developer Conference – WWDC for short – is the highlight of the year. After two years as a virtual conference, the main part will take place online again this year, but for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic, the group is inviting a selected audience to its home country of Cupertino. No wonder the expectations are correspondingly high.
Only Tim Cook and his team know exactly what the company will show in the opening presentation scheduled for 7 p.m. German time. The star will report live on site. And if you believe the rumor mill, there will be a lot to see.
focus on software
As befits a developer fair, the main part of the presentation will revolve around Apple’s operating systems. iOS 16, new systems for iPad, Apple Watch and your own Mac computers are considered set. They are featured at WWDC every year. Which doesn’t mean that this part of the keynote is boring.
Quite profound changes are expected, especially on the iPhone and iPad. iOS 16 is set to fundamentally change the way you use the iPhone’s unlock screen. If there was little reason to spend more than a few seconds there, the new update should finally bring more benefits. Apple is rumored to be revamping the way notifications are displayed. Even more exciting is the rumor that Apple wants to expand the lock screen with interactive widgets that can be used before unlocking. This will be particularly relevant if the iPhone 14 should get an always-active display, as rumored.
With the iPad, the conversion to the right working device, which began a few years ago, continues. That’s not surprising – after all, the iPad Pro and iPad Air are powered by the same M1 chips as current Macs. In practice, Apple probably wants to revise multitasking above all and make it possible, for example, to adjust the size of windows yourself.
Of course, it’s not just about fundamental revisions. Apple is also planning numerous improvements in detail. The news app should finally get more interaction options and could catch up with its competitors Whatsapp and Signal. The health app is to be expanded and offer more precise sleep tracking and a dosage plan for medication. The accessibility features intended for people with disabilities should include live captions for telephone and video calls and door recognition via lidar technology. On the Mac, the group should rebuild the settings to bring them closer to the version for iOS.
And what about Apple hardware?
While new hardware such as iPhones or Macs used to be regularly presented at WWDC, Apple has given the stage to software in recent years. The only exception was when Apple had something completely new up its sleeve—and wanted to give developers an opportunity to make the switch. The Apple community is all the more excited about the rumors that Apple is said to have planned the presentation of new Mac computers.
Two candidates in particular are considered likely. According to well-informed circles, the Macbook Air could be the first computer to be upgraded to the M2 chip. Considering that the extremely powerful and energy-saving predecessor triggered an earthquake on the chip market and that the competitors are only just catching up, this would be a pretty spectacular new announcement. And: For the first time since the introduction in 2008, Apple is said to be planning a new design. Since the Macbook Air permanently changed notebook design, a big leap could also be pending here.
The rumored new Mac Pro is a little more niche but no less exciting. When the M1 Ultra was presented in March, Apple had already made it clear that the traditionally most powerful computer in Apple’s portfolio would be converted to the M architecture. And there is still a lot to expect. The expensive professional computers are not a big phenomenon in the mass market. Nevertheless, both corporate customers and the competition will be waiting spellbound for the expected leap in performance. Apple could once again set standards here.
The big unknown at WWDC
The potentially biggest revolution is considered the most uncertain announcement. In recent weeks there has been repeated speculation that Apple could use the keynote to take the big step into virtual reality that has been expected for years. After Apple boss Tim Cook has repeatedly described augmented reality as the most important new technology, the company could now get down to business.
According to some rumours, an operating system called RealityOS that focuses specifically on augmented (AR) and virtual reality (VR) wants to open the doors to virtual worlds even further. This is supposed to run on the group’s first own data glasses, which were reportedly presented to the management team for the first time a few weeks ago. The glasses should support both VR and AR. For the latter, it should transmit the signal from a camera live to the screens inside and expand it with data.
However, one should not look forward too much to RealityOS and the glasses. Several connoisseurs of the group recently emphasized that they consider an announcement for the WWDC to be rather unlikely. We’ll know more tonight.
It would be conceivable that Apple would take a step like the Apple Watch or, most recently, its own M processors: In both cases, the final product had not yet been presented in full, but only the rough plans were announced. This gave the developers the chance to adapt their programs accordingly, until the devices went on sale a few months later.