Apple’s annual developer conference, WWDC, is being held from June 3 to June 7 at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California. Apple is last among all major tech companies to host its annual developer conference and like previous years, the company will introduce new versions of iOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS. Last year, the Worldwide Developer Conference took a stark turn from previous years where Apple focused on stability and introduced fewer new features to its platforms. This year, however, we could see Apple executives turn the volume to 11 as it moves in the past of changing from a hardware-oriented company to software and services company. Here is what we expect from Apple at WWDC 2019:
Apple Mac Pro
It’s almost Mac Pro time. When Apple launched the trashcan Mac Pro in 2013, it seemed like the company has finally made a professional hardware that also has aesthetics to brag about. However, as years passed and softwares got more powerful, the trash can Mac Pro failed to live up to its expectation. It is one of those few Apple devices that was form over function. In 2017, Apple acknowledged that it was too ambitious with the Mac Pro design, which rendered it impossible to upgrade. The company’s most powerful hardware for professionals right now is the newest iMac Pro but even that suffers from upgradability.
The professional users have been among the most loyal base of Apple consumers but they have started fleeing camps. In the past two years alone, a number of professional users, creators and enterprises have switched to Windows for superior hardware. At WWDC, Apple could try its final act of retaining existing Mac Pro users by introducing the modular design. It is not immediately clear what kind of a design Apple has planned for new Mac Pro but it is expected to have enough options to upgrade it a few years later. Most users will be keenly watching whether Apple adds support for NVIDIA GPUs with the launch of new device.
Apple iOS 13
Over 50 percent of Apple’s annual revenue comes from sales of iPhone and iOS underpins that platform. While Apple is looking for new sources of revenue due to decline in iPhone sales around the world, the operating system that runs on the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch will still have the most stage time. The next version of Apple’s mobile operating system is likely to be called iOS 13 and it will follow Android by adding a system-wide dark theme. With Apple having moved to OLED for iPhone, the introduction of dark theme would make sense. Bloomberg reported that Apple iOS 13 is codenamed Yukon and it will come with improvements to multitasking and adding support for multiple windows for a single app.
The next version of iOS will also bring enhancements to keyboard and one feature is expected to mimic the functionality on SwiftKey keyboard. Apple plans to allow users to swipe across letters on the keyboard to type words. Other planned features include a function similar to third-party apps like Duet Display and Luna Display which turn iPad into a second screen for Mac. With iOS 13 release, Apple is also planning a major revamp for its Health app and new options to its Screen Time feature.
Apple macOS 10.15
Apple has over billion active iOS devices in the world but macOS could steal its thunder at WWDC tonight. Craig Federighi, Senior Vice President, Software Engineering at Apple is expected to introduce macOS 10.15 which allows iPad apps to run on macOS devices. The new cross platform compatibility is codenamed Marzipan and Apple has already brought some of its in-house applications from iPad to Mac as part of the initiative. At the developer conference, Apple is expected to introduce standalone version of Podcasts, Apple Music and Screen Time to macOS and there is a possibility that the announcement will result in the death of iTunes.
Apple is also planning to merge its Find my iPhone and Find my Friends services into a single app and this new app might take advantage of Marzipan and debut on Mac. While macOS is getting iPad apps, Apple is very clear that the two operating systems will never merge. The big question will be whether macOS users will be left wanting to touch their screens like they do with iPad when these new applications debut at WWDC 2019.
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Apple watchOS 6
Apple Watch has become a silver lining in the Cupertino-based company’s product portfolio and it is the device that will stand out as Tim Cook’s success as CEO since he took over from the late Steve Jobs. Last year, Apple added cellular connectivity and made Apple Watch independent from iPhone and at WWDC tonight, the company will make it even more independent by adding a native App Store. With watchOS 6, Apple Watch users will be able to directly purchase and install apps from their wrist. This will end the need to look for apps on iPhone and then install them on your device.
Apple is also planning to add new fitness features that will widen the appeal of the wearable. The two new rumored health-related apps being planned for Apple Watch are called Dose and Cycles. Dose will remind Apple Watch users to take their pills while Cycles will help women track their menstrual cycle. Apple Watch is also getting Voice Memos, Animoji and Memoji with watchOS 6. Apart from these new features, Apple is also planning new watch face complications that will show information beyond time. Bloomberg claims the watch faces planned are called Gradient, California, Solar Analog and Infograph Subdial and these could be designed with the taller display of Apple Watch Series 4 in mind.
Apple tvOS and TV+ app
Apple recently introduced a new TV app for iPhone and at WWDC, we could see a new version of tvOS. The new operating system could be designed with Apple’s upcoming TV shows in mind and offer an easy way to discover content from other services. It could also shed some light on Arcade, its gaming service with 100+ dedicated games from top game studios and indie artists.