WWDC is Apple’s annual developers conference, where it often makes some of its biggest product announcements of the year. There have been all sorts of speculation as to what announcements we will, won’t, and hope to get—some of which seem likely and some which seem like a fantasy.
A recent report from _Bloomberg shed some new light on what we might be getting, though we can never know for sure when it comes to these events.
Following Google’s developers conference in May, WWDC kicks off with its keynote event on June 5. In the meantime, here’s our speculation on what we will and won’t get this year at the conference:
iOS 11. WWDC is first and foremost a developers conference. That means Apple will spend the majority of stage time will be devoted to showing off the latest version of iOS. We don’t know much about the new version of the mobile operating system, but speculation ranges from support for group FaceTime calls to massive Siri updates. The one thing that has_ been confirmed is an update to Apple Music that will focus more on video.
What are we hoping for? More iPad support, a Dark Mode, and fixed notifications would be great. For some more interesting concept ideas for iOS 11, check out the video below from MacStories:
macOS 10.13 We will also no doubt be getting an update to Apple’s other software platform, macOS. Again, we don’t know a lot about the upcoming features—though we’ll at least get the usual assortment of updates to first-party Apple apps and some expanded features for the new Touch Bar.
The current version is called macOS Sierra, so it’ll be named after some other California location. The trademarked names Apple hasn’t used yet (thanks to _MacRumors) include Redwood, Mammoth, California, Big Sur, Pacific, Diablo, Miramar, Rincon, Redtail, Condor, Grizzly, Farallon, Tiburon, Monterey, Skyline, Shasta, Mojave, Sequoia, Ventura, and Sonoma.
Siri Smart Speaker. A competitor to the Amazon Echo and Google Home has been in the rumor mill for a while now. The surprise success of the Echo caught the attention of just about every tech manufacturer when it came out in 2015. The Apple version will, of course, utilize Apple’s Siri voice commands, as well as work with Apple’s already-established support of smart home devices. Some other rumored features include a touchscreen display, facial recognition, and AirPlay support.
There isn’t a 100 percent chance we’ll see something about this product, but it’s the most likely of the following.
10.5-inch iPad Pro. Earlier this year, we got the surprise release of the new underpriced 9.7-inch iPad ($329). No press conference and no big advertising campaign—just a simple, un-Apple like release. Rumors from earlier this year were pointing to a whole new slew of iPads coming this year—and the mysterious 10.5-inch iPad Pro has always been in the mix.
According to reports from MacRumors, the 10.5-inch iPad Pro is going to be completely redesigned iPad that features nearly bezel-less edges to make the 10.5-inch display fit into the same footprint as the traditional 9.7-inch iPad.
An updated MacBook. Apple has been focused on its new lineup of MacBook Pros recently, but rumors have been churning that we’ll get a Kaby Lake update of the super-light MacBook. With competition out there coming from Microsoft’s Surface Laptop and a host of configuration options under the MacBook Pro brand, Apple may be looking to reposition the MacBook at a lower pricepoint to set it apart.
tvOS and watchOS. Knowing that this is a software-focused event, there’s always a chance that Apple will give us a look at what it’s doing next in other platforms such as on the Apple Watch and Apple TV. We haven’t heard much in terms of rumors on these, but tvOS in particular more often gets attention in the early fall.
Probably Won’t Announce
An updated MacBook Air. The much-loved MacBook Air has been untouched since its last update in 2015, leaving most analysts to believe it’s been replaced by the MacBook. The recent report from Bloomberg stated that there is some speculation that Apple is revising the idea of the MacBook Air due to its continued sales performance, however, we are fairly convinced that Apple has killed the “Air” brand altogether. We are much more likely to get a cheaper version of the MacBook that can compete at a lower pricepoint.
Updated iMac. Despite that Apple has mentioned that new iMacs are in the works, the rumor mill has quieted on these recently. Software Engineering Chief Craig Federighi said in an interview with Daring Fireball_ that future iMac models will address “even more of the pro market. “But there’s still even further we can take iMac as a high performance, pro system, and we think that form factor can address even more of the pro market.”
It definitely sound like Apple will be giving us an update for the iMac later this year, but it seems unlikely that we’ll hear anything about it as soon as WWDC.
Updated Mac Mini. What about Apple’s other forgotten desktop product? In that same interview with Daring Fireball, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller via Daring Fireball: “On that I’ll say the Mac Mini is an important product in our lineup and we weren’t bringing it up because it’s more of a mix of consumer with some pro use. The Mac Mini remains a product in our lineup, but nothing more to say about it today.”
If we take those words seriously, we won’t be seeing an update Mac Mini anytime soon—maybe not even this year. However, it’s reassuring to hear that Apple hasn’t killed it off completely.