- Apple is set to host its latest WWDC event on June 22
- The event will be the first WWDC to be held online
- Apple is expected to make a number of software and hardware related annoucements
The Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) is one of Apple's biggest events of the calendar year, and this year's edition is set to kick off next week on June 22 at 10 am PT. While the affair is usually a big ticket one, where thousands congregate to witness Apple announce the latest in software and hardware, this year's event is scheduled to be an online-only event.
A consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic that's currently sweeping the world, the 31st edition of the event will be unlike any iteration we've seen before and will see no fans present at the venue, with Tim Cook and the rest of the cast making all the events via a live stream to eager fans waiting around the world.
Because of this online-only nature of the event, Apple has also announced that WWDC 2020 will be free to attend for all via the Apple Developer app and the Apple Developer website. The event promises developers around the world the chance to get early information on the future of the iOS, iPadOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS.
While usually an event where Apple makes some big announcement about its software and apps, we have seen the company's WWDCs in the past play host to some big-ticket hardware announcements also. Here's all we know about the upcoming event so far:
One of the biggest announcements set to be made at this year's event is iOS 14. Apple is expected to finally introduce the first beta version of iOS 14 to developers on June 22 itself. Talking about the software itself, iOS 14 is expected to keep a number of design aspects from previous versions of iOS.
It is expected that there won't be a major redesign, however, we do expect a number of interface refinements. Earlier, 9to5Mac, had obtained a leak code that points towards iOS 14 including a new home screen page for their application icons in a list view. This view is said to include different sorting options to show only apps with unread notifications, recently opened apps, and smart suggestions from Siri based on your daily usage.
The publication also claims Apple is also working on home screen widgets. The new widgets will be able to be moved around, just like any app icon. However, this feature is said to be in a very early stage of implementation and could be scrapped before public release.
Another big addition would be a new AR app where users can "get more information about the world around them by using an augmented reality experience on the phone." The publication also claims that there will be a new fitness app "designed to let users download guided fitness-related videos that will walk them through various workouts."
There's no confirmed word on macOS 10.16, the successor to macOS 10.15 Catalina, however, rumors claim that there will be major improvements to Catalyst, and some iOS-only apps (like Health and Activity) might also make it to Macs this year. Of these, Messages and Apple Music might be the first. Apart from this, the next macOS could include features also seen on the iOS 14. These include a translation feature like Google Translate.
WatchOS and tvOS
New watchOS features could also be released which could be powered by the new Apple Watch hardware. There could be additional developer interfaces and health features, with Apple moving toward making the Apple Watch a more standalone product with possibly even its own App Store.
There could also be new features for Apple tvOS which had recently got new features like multi-user support. Now, Apple is expected to build on this and announce more changes to the interface.
ARM-based chips for MacBooks
Based on recent media reports, Apple may finally announce its intentions to move to ARM-based chips for its computers at this WWDC event. The initial batch of models to get the ARM treatment could be the 12-inch MacBook.
According to a recent report from Bloomberg, Apple may finally reveal its decision to make the switch to its custom-designed processors for the next-generation Mac computers and say good bye to using Intel chips on its Macs in the future. Apple has been said to be working on its own chips for the Mac computers for a long time and in the coming year, we could finally see Apple start making the switch. The custom chips are rumoured to be based on ARM designs.
The ARM-based chips are tipped to be similar in design and technology to the ones that power the current iPads and iPhones. Apple expects the new ARM chips to provide improved performance and power efficiency. Initially, the processors could be found on the lower-end MacBooks and over the course of time, even the most powerful Mac desktops may end up using Apple's in-house chips.
New iMAC, Apple TV and other hardware
Talking about the hardware, rumors suggest that Apple could also unveil an all-new iMac, that will be fully redesigned and will be inspired by the Pro Display XDR or iPad Pro, with thin bezels and squared-off flat edges. The design refresh working tandem with a possible processor refresh could help Apple increase the sales of it iMacs.
Apple is also working on a number of other products that could very easily be launched at the event. Reports suggest one of these could be a pair of high-end over-the-ear headphones called AirPods Studio, they would feature noise-canceling, magnetically-attached band and cup padding, and premium sound.
Apple is also reportedly working on a new Apple TV, which will be an upgrade over the current Apple TV 4K. It could be powered by an A12X or A12Z processor and bring double the storage (64GB or 128GB) as the current model.