The annual Worldwide Developers Conference will begin today and run through to June 9, during which Apple is expected to announce what comes next in terms of the next version of iOS, macOS, iPadOS, tvOS and watchOS. There is also a (big) chance that the company will showcase its new product — a mixed-reality headset, which will reportedly run on a platform called xrOS. So what to expect at the event?
Every Apple OS gets highlighted at WWDC where developers meet. It’s an important event because it will help developers prepare for changes and new APIs coming to Apple’s software and devices.
Among the highlights should be a new journaling app with deep iOS integration. Codenamed Jurassic, it will “let users compile their daily activities as part of its efforts in the market for mental and physical health technology”. The app will reportedly analyse behaviour to determine what kind of day a person is having and it will take into account health, location, calendar events and other things. Privacy, of course, will be kept in mind.
Among features, iOS 17 may get the ability to turn iPhones locked in landscape mode into smart displays while announcements should be in plenty for the Health app.
All eyes will be on announcements related to EU’s Digital Markets Act (DMA). Apple has till 2024 to make changes that will align how third-party apps work in accordance to European laws. Will the company allow sideloading of apps in Europe? Nobody knows if the announcements will come this year... or at least at WWDC.
The area where changes can come in plenty involves watchOS that runs the Apple Watch. The big update may involve widgets which will change the way the Apple Watch interface looks. One of the features that is being talked about is like the Glances feature that is available in older versions of watchOS. Users will be able to scroll through a number of widgets for activity tracking, weather, stocks, calendar appointments, and other things, instead of opening up apps. The home screen may also get a redesign.
On the iPadOS, we want the Health app. It will be a great addition for those who use the tablet to stream Apple Fitness+.
On the cards for a long time, Apple has been working on some form or the other of mixed-reality headset for almost eight years now. It will reportedly surface today and it will probably have an operating system something called xrOS and a separate App Store, meaning developers have a huge opportunity coming their way. We have already written about the headset, and you can check our archives for more details. All we need to iterate is that the headset will be lighter than anything in the market and it will have plenty of game-changing features. Expect the headset to become available after September, that is, after the launch of this year’s iPhone series.
In Mac Land
According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, several new Macs will be announced at WWDC. The device many are looking forward to is a 15-inch MacBook Air. The previous MacBook has been the biggest hit of last year, so why not step it up? It will have an M2 chip, 8GB/16GB/24GB of memory, a 256GB or 512GB SSD, and a LED display.
Since Apple is moving everything to M2 series chips, the Mac Studio may see an upgrade because it’s currently running M1 Max/Ultra. Everyone wants a Mac Pro with M2 Ultra, which will also allow upgrades to the memory, GPU, SSD, and other components. The iMac needs an update from M1 but it’s too early to talk about M3. So we just might… there is a slim chance… get an upgrade on the iMac.
Nothing much around AI
Apple has not fallen behind when it comes to AI. The company has the technology but what about use cases that go beyond using AI to look for information? It makes sense if AI is kept for next year or 2025, that is, when language-learning models have evolved further. What we may see this year is an improved version of Siri. Apple is reportedly working on a way to make the wake-up command to just be Siri rather than “Hey Siri”.