Apple CEO Tim Cook will be on hand for the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference on June 5. (Photo: Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)
Apple’s (AAPL) massive Worldwide Developers Conference kicks off Monday, June 5 at 1 p.m. E.T., and we’re expecting a host of new announcements.
These announcements will give us a view into what the company has been working on over the past year, as well as what we can expect with its upcoming iPhone 8.
Apple is known for using WWDC to showcase its newest software updates. That means we’ll likely see the latest versions of the company’s iOS for the iPhone and iPad, as well as macOS for Mac desktops and laptops.
Apple should also announce improvements to its watchOS and tvOS systems, and could even roll out its very own Siri speaker to compete with the likes of Amazon’s (AMZN) Echo and Google’s (GOOGL, GOOG) Home.
Apple regularly debuts the latest version of its iOS operating system at WWDC, and this year’s event should be no different. Interestingly, while hardware leaks are the norm for Apple’s devices now, we hardly see as many software leaks hit the web. That means we don’t know very much about iOS 11 quite yet.
So far, the big rumors point to major updates to Apple’s Siri voice assistant, which first landed on the iPhone in 2011. While Siri has seen a slew of updates since then, it still can’t quite match the power of Amazon’s Alexa or Google’s Assistant apps.
Apple’s iOS 11 will bring updates to the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, and some hints as to what we might see in the iPhone 8.
With iOS 11, Apple could change that by bringing Siri more in line with what modern voice assistants have to offer such as expanded voice capabilities and improved language understanding.
According to The Verifier, Apple could also add group calling to its FaceTime app, which would bring it in line with Google’s Hangouts and Microsoft’s Skype offerings.
Whatever updates we see for iOS 11, it’s important to keep on eye on even the smallest changes, as they could provide a hint of what the iPhone 8 has to offer.
Outside of iOS 11, Apple’s biggest potential announcement at WWDC is the Siri speaker. There haven’t been any leaked images of the speaker, which would compete directly with Amazon’s Echo, Google’s Home and Microsoft’s (MSFT) upcoming Cortana-enabled offerings.
MacRumors says that Apple device will likely include facial-recognition technology and run off of the company’s iOS operating system.Bloomberg reports that Apple has already begun manufacturing the speaker, which means it could go on sale in the relatively near future.
It will be interesting to see if Apple is capable of producing a product as powerful as Amazon’s Echo, especially since the Echo allows you to purchase items directly through Amazon using only your voice.
The software behind Apple’s Mac laptops and desktops, macOS is also expected to see some improvements at WWD. Little is known about the next major update to macOS, though if Apple sticks to recent patterns, it will likely throw in more iOS compatibility features to ensure iPhone users and Mac users stay within Apple’s product ecosystem.
watchOS and tvOS
As with Apple’s macOS, it’s still not clear what updates are coming to watchOS and tvOS.As CNET notes, Apple could begin offering a glucose monitor for the Apple Watch that would help diabetics monitor their blood sugar levels.CNBC reported in March that Apple CEO Tim Cook was seen walking around the company’s campus with a device connected to his watch that monitored his glucose.
MacBook updates and a new iPad
These rumors are a bit of a stretch, as Apple doesn’t usually announce much hardware at WWDC: But the mill keeps pointing to the potential for updated MacBooks and a new iPad debuting at the big show.
According to Bloomberg, Apple will roll out three new MacBooks including a new version of the super-slim MacBook with a more powerful Intel processor, an upgraded MacBook Air and MacBook Pro with a new CPU.
Apple’s insanely thin and light MacBook is rumored to be getting an update at WWDC.
It sounds like these MacBooks will only get improved internals, so don’t expect them to sport any new designs.
The new iPad, meanwhile, is said to sport a 10.5-inch display and offer stylus support. 9to5Mac says the iPad will manage to pack its large screen into a body that’s not much larger than the current 9.7-inch iPad.