Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference 2016 (WWDC) kicks off today, Monday June 13, at 10:00AM Pacific, 1:00PM Eastern time. The Cupertino firm is expected to debut new versions of iOS, OS X, watchOS, and tvOS. We’ve gathered all we could from all of the various rumors sites and put together a list of what we might see at today’s event.
OS X 10.12 (Maybe macOS?)
OS X 10.11 Yosemite was a bit of a boring update, with mostly under-the-hood improvements, and only a couple of front-facing changes. However, OS X 10.12 could be a bit more interesting.
Apple is expected to finally bring Siri to the Mac, offering Mac users the same virtual personal assistant iOS users have had a love/hate relationship with for all these years.
Most rumors indicate Siri will be fired up via an icon in the Dock, a smaller icon in the menu bar, a keyboard shortcut, and even via a hands-free “Hey Siri” vocal command.
Siri on the Mac is expected to offer many of the same features and functionality as Siri on iOS, with the ability to adjust system settings, open apps, conduct searches, play music and video, and more. We also expect to see Apple open up Siri to third-party developers on both OS X and iOS via a Siri SDK, so hopefully, Apple will show off what developers with early access to the SDK have come up with.
Apple is also rumored to be working on allowing a user’s iPhone to unlock their Mac when it is in close proximity to the computer, offering instant access to the Mac without the need to enter a password to unlock it each time. Touch ID would be used for identity verification.
That same capability, using Bluetooth LE, could allow for the next rumored feature for OS X, Apple Pay integration. The feature would allow users to make purchases via their Safari web browser, making payment using Apple Pay, via their iPhone’s Touch ID sensor.
An updated version of iTunes is expected to debut on OS X, with a simpler, more intuitive user interface, and a revamped Apple Music part of the app.
Finally, in addition to the new features for OS X, there has been a number of rumors indicating Apple may rename OS X to macOS, or MacOS, to better bring it into line with the naming convention used for Apple’s other operating system, iOS, watchOS, and tvOS.
There actually has not been a large amount of rumors floating around the bowl when it comes to iOS 10, which is a bit unusual for introductions of Apple’s mobile operating system.
Apple is expected to debut a Siri SDK to allow iOS developers to use Apple’s virtual personal assistant in their own apps, allowing Siri to access data and perform tasks she was previously barred from. Such access should greatly increase her super powers, allowing Siri to become more on par with other personal assistants, such as Cortana and Google Now.
“I’m guessing we’ll see a Siri API/SiriKit, allowing developers to connect into Siri and (hopefully) make it more useful. This could also pave the way for a Siri-connected Speaker (a la Echo).”
We could possibly see a Siri-powered device, similar to Amazon’s Echo, announced, but probably not likely today, although one is rumored ot be on the way.
The Apple Music app is expected to get a revamp, with a more intuitive user interface, a “bolder, yet simpler” design emphasizing black and white, and more emphasis on album art.
3D Touch capabilities for iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus users are expected to be improved in Apple Music, with more shortcut previews, new sharing features, and a better way to access and view song lyrics.
A dark mode for iOS has been rumored, based mostly on the look of Apple’s WWDC app and website, but that’s kind of iffy.
A number of improvements have also been rumored for the iOS Photos app, perhaps bringing back some features that were included in the much-lamented iPhoto app that Photos replaced. Those features could include, EXIF editing, touch-based brushes, and more. We’ll likely see some Apple Pencil-specific features introduced for the iPad Pro.
Ian would like to see “improved iMessage, with link previews and more interactive content.”
Finally, one much-requested feature may finally make its appearance in iOS 10, which is the ability for users to hide or delete stock apps, such as Stocks, Weather, and Tips.
watchOS 3 and tvOS
Did we says rumors have been lacking for iOS 10? In contrast to watchOS 3 and tvOS rumors, iOS guesses have been positively abundant! There have been virtually no real rumors circulating about either OS.
We can likely expect performance and feature tweaks, but other than that, we have absolutely no guesses on these two operating systems. We hope Apple pulls a big rabbit out of the hat for both systems, but don’t hold your breath, because blue is not your color! (Maybe something in a nice mauve?)
Even though there are a number of rumors around about a revamped MacBook Pro lineup, featuring an OLED touchbar replacing the usual top row of function keys, plus a new Thunderbolt display, we don’t really expect any big hardware announcements today. Maybe as a “one more thing” cherry on the sundae, but probably not.
ApplePay, iCloud, and More
As we mentioned before, Apple Pay is expected to come to web browsers, allowing Apple Pay users to pay for in browser purchases using the service, with payments approved via the Touch ID sensor on the iPhone.
Apple is also reported to be working on a person-to-person payments system for Apple Pay, allowing users to make payments like Square currently does, possibly via iMessages. We’ll wait and see on that one.
New security features for iCloud in iOS and OS X could be introduced. Any such features are more than likely to throw gasoline on the already fiery war between law enforcement agencies and Apple. One possibility could be encrypted iCloud backups.
Apple has already announced some major changes to the App Store, and they are likely to share more news on the subject during today’s event. So far, they’ve announced a new app subscription revenue sharing policy, adding ads to App Store search results, bringing back the “Categories” tab, and a sharing option being added as a 3D Touch Quick Action.
You can bet we missed a few things in our lineup, but let’s just put those in the “and some surprises” category and leave it at that. We’ll be covering the WWDC 2016 Keynote Address at 10:00AM Pacific, 1:00PM Eastern, right here on MacTrast. We’ll liveblog the livestream as it happens. See you then.