Apple’s annual World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) is almost here – it kicks off on June 6 (Monday) and will last until the 10th. In-person attendance will be limited, most who take part will experience the event online. What does Apple have in store for us?
This event is all about software and developers. What the casual user should look forward to is the new versions of Apple’s various operating systems that power its phones, tablets, watches, computers, media players and, perhaps, other devices.
The new version of iOS will lay the groundwork for the new iPhones coming in September, which are rumored to have Always On Display functionality. The main challenge with this is to keep power usage low and Apple has always been quite good at that. Will iPhone 13 and older get AoD? Unlikely, as most of the power savings come from the hardware and not the software.
One screen-related change to keep an eye on is an API allowing for fine-grained control over how the status bar is displayed. A more dynamic system could signal the move away from the notch to other designs.
So, what can current users expect? Well, Bloomberg analyst Mark Gurman reports that Apple will revamp the notification system. Additionally, the system’s health tracking features will be improved, but details are elusive.
Gurman also predicts that Apple’s first party apps will get an overhaul with iOS 16. Messages in particular will reportedly get “social network-like functionality” focused on audio messages. The Health app is expected to gain medicine management features and improvements to sleep and women’s health tracking.
The lockscreen is set to receive new functionality as well – “wallpapers that have widget-like capabilities”. iOS already has widgets on the homescreen and the Today view, the lockscreen ones may behave differently.
Apple is also working on an overhaul for the multitasking interface, but the changes will be much more extensive on its tablets.
The new OS version reportedly aims to make iPads closer to laptops. Analysts expect changes to the multitasking interface to include free-form resizable windows in addition to the current split-screen system. Even the app switcher will be touched up.
The new software will reportedly introduce a new power-saving mode. It will not be as limited as Power Reserve mode as it will still let you use some apps and features while still prolonging battery life. How long? We’ll find out on Monday.
The user interface may be reworked as well and there will be new health features. Rumors suggest that the new version will gain atrial fibrillation detection as well as new workout types and metrics.
macOS 13 and new Macs
macOS 13, perhaps also to be called “Mammoth”, may see an overhaul of first-party apps, similar to their counterparts on iOS.
And while the WWDC is mostly a software event, some leaksters suggest that Apple could unveil the very first of the M2 Macs. The company will allegedly start with a new MacBook Air, a new Mac mini is not out of the question either.
There might be improvements to smart home controls, but Apple has kept any changes under wraps.
AR / VR
A full reveal of Apple’s rumored VR headset is quite unlikely, but the company could introduce its work on virtual and augmented reality, which has been done behind the curtains so far. A key component of that will be the software that will power future headsets, dubbed rOS.
A “buy now, pay later” service for Apple Pay has been rumored since at least last year. This will allow users to purchase an item and pay it off in installments. The service was described as having two options – four interest free payments every two weeks and monthly payments with interest. We haven’t heard much about it recently, though, so Apple may have given up on the idea.