There is bad news for those who were hoping to get their hands on Apple’s rumored upcoming augmented reality headset. It looks like shipping dates will shift from Q1 2023 to Q2 2023 — that is, if you believe the rumors.
This bit of speculation comes courtesy of the ever-reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. The delay is apparently due to the lockdowns in Shanghai, which have interrupted development timelines. Kuo tweeted out the bad news along with his own predictions for the headset:
(2/2) 1. EVT starting from 3Q22. 2. Media event on Jan 2023. 3. Delivery of development toolkit within 2-4 weeks after the event. 4. Starting pre-order in 2Q23. 5. Hitting store shelves before WWDC 2023.
Kuo believes Apple will hold a special media event to announce the AR headset around January of next year with pre-orders starting in 2Q23. He also predicts the device will land in stores before Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference next year.
That last prediction is a bit interesting because Apple normally uses WWDC to highlight new software products including updates to operating systems. That would be the perfect time to unveil “realityOS”, the rumored name for the OS powering the headset. That said, with Apple usually showcasing no less than five operating systems (iOS, iPadOS, MacOS, watchOS, tvOS), adding a sixth may be a little overkill.
Apple could choose to unveil both the AR headset and realityOS before WWDC and still provide more developer-specific announcements at the actual conference.
There are many who hoped that Apple would provide some kind of tease at this years’ WWDC, but alas there was none there. Allegedly, overheating issues prevented Apple from showing it off during the keynote presentation. The company has been demoing it internally, however.
As its latest new product category since the Apple Watch, this AR headset is one of the most highly anticipated new products from the company in many years. Apple will likely try to position the headset as a game-changer like the original iPhone was in 2007, the iPad in 2010, and the Apple Watch in 2015.
The headset is rumored to be powered by an Apple Silicon chip more powerful than the M1. If the rumored release date proves to be true, that means it’ll almost certainly be based on the recently announced M2. Apple claims the new 2022 MacBook Air with the M2 has about the same power efficiency as the M1 while being 20% faster.
While you may be a bit bummed out that we’ll have to wait even longer for Apple’s AR headset, there were quite a few interesting things announced at WWDC yesterday.
The iPhone will finally get customizable lock screens with iOS 16. You’ll also be able to use your iPhone as a webcam with MacOS Ventura.
Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) keynote landed on Monday in the form of a video that lasted almost two hours.
The tech giant unveiled a slew of new stuff, including updated operating systems that bring new and exciting features to its range of devices, together with a new MacBook Air and upgraded MacBook Pro.
Aware that some folks just don’t have a spare two hours to sit through the entirety of Apple’s presentation, the tech giant has helpfully squeezed much of it into a video lasting just over three minutes.
Compared to the full keynote, the edited version does away with Apple CEO Tim Cook’s intro and outro and greatly reduces the amount of screen time given to Craig Federighi’s perfectly coiffed hair, instead preferring to focus solely on the new stuff. Check it out below:
As you can see, the video kicks off with iOS 16, the latest mobile operating system coming to iPhones (though not all iPhones) later this year. It means new features for the lock screen, Messages, Photos (check out the cool image isolation tool), Maps, and more.
The video quickly shifts to some of the new features coming to the Apple Watch — including heart rate zones and a bunch of new watch faces — before moving on to M2, the next generation of Apple Silicon. This links neatly to the new-look MacBook Air, which incorporates the M2 chip, as does the upgraded MacBook Pro.
Blink and you’ll miss the overview of the latest MacOS, Ventura, which offers major upgrades to Spotlight and includes the all-new Stage Manager for a faster way to switch between windows and apps, while the new Continuity Camera feature lets you use your iPhone as your webcam “in ways that were never possible before,” according to Apple.
The video also introduces iPadOS 16 and mentions some of the new ways that Apple is seeking to help developers. Finally, the edited version of the keynote closes with a nod to the winners of the 2022 Apple Design Awards, which celebrates the best in-app and game design.
For more information on everything revealed by Apple during Monday’s keynote, Digital Trends has you covered.
We’re prepping for Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference! This week, Cherlynn and Devindra chat about the announcements they’re expecting at WWDC, including new computers with M2 chips (and potentially a revamped MacBook Air!). What’s next for iOS and MacOS – will lockscreen widgets really be useful? And they hold out hope to hear something about the company’s AR/VR glasses. Also, they discuss the surprising news about Sheryl Sandberg leaving Meta, as well as Microsoft’s new Surface Laptop Go 2.
Listen above, or subscribe on your podcast app of choice. If you’ve got suggestions or topics you’d like covered on the show, be sure to email us or drop a note in the comments! And be sure to check out our other podcasts, the Morning After and Engadget News!
What to expect at WWDC 2022 – 1:29
Could Apple AR Glasses make an appearance? Some rumors – 2:30
Possible news on iPhone 14, iOS 16, iPadOS, and WatchOS – 14:10
Youtube’s TV app now lets you use your phone as a second screen – 30:15
Surface Laptop Go 2 announcement – 33:19
Sheryl Sandberg leaves Facebook after 14 years – 36:23
France bans English e-sports terminology – 42:33
Working on – 44:22
Pop culture picks – 52:38
Credits Hosts: Cherlynn Low and Devindra Hardawar Producer: Ben Ellman Music: Dale North and Terrence O’Brien Livestream producers: Julio Barrientos Graphic artists: Luke Brooks and Brian Oh
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WWDC 2022 (Worldwide Developer Conference) is scheduled to kick off on Monday, June 6. As it has been in the past, it is once again a virtual event that can be attended primarily online and is free for all developers to participate.
In the lead-up to WWDC, the theme for the event was revealed as “swiftly approaching.” This could be a reference to the Apple Swift programming language, hinting at the focus on developers. With that said, you can expect a ton of updates and news surrounding Apple’s operating systems, including iOS, iPadOS, MacOS, watchOS, and more.
You can follow that opening keynote live on Apple’s website. You’ll also be able to watch on Apple’s YouTube channel, which we’ve embedded the video above for your convenience.
The best place to catch the action, though, is Apple’s event page. This page will be updated with a replay of the keynote shortly after the event ends. It also will also link you out to any hardware recaps or official details on other related announcements made on the stage.
Of course, if you own your own Apple hardware like an Apple TV, you can watch there, too. Or, if not, you can watch using the Apple TV app across platforms. And if you’re a developer, you can watch via the Apple Developer website.
What to expect at WWDC 2022
Unlike Apple’s annual Spring or Fall hardware events, WWDC is reserved for talking about software. It’s rare for the company to showcase hardware at WWDC, but we do expect some this year if rumors end up being true.
Other than that, we hope to see a refreshed Mac Pro, which hasn’t been updated to Apple’s own custom silicon yet. This has been teased by Apple execs in the past at Apple’s last hardware event. A new Pro Display XDR might also fit in well with this, too as it is yet to have a true successor.
On the software side, you can look out for some big updates to be announced for your iPad with iPadOS 16. Reports have it that this year’s update could bring long-requested features like resizable windows and a new MacOS-like multitasking mode. As for iPhones, expect iOS16, which could bring features like Door Detection, Live Captions, changes to notifications, and an always-on lock screen.
Then, for Macs, there’s MacOS 13, which could bring more exclusive features to M1-powered Macs, and improvements to System Preferences to match those of iOS. We even think that it could be named “Mammoth.”
Other updates coming at WWDC will be watchOS 9, and tvOS 16. WatchOS 9 could bring new features centered around sleep, fitness, and medication management for women.
And let us not forget the wildcard, Apple’s mixed reality headset. It’s said that Apple is working on “realityOS” for the headset, so it could make mention at WWDC. But that’s just a wild hunch.
Rumors suggested that WWDC would have featured more product announcements, possibly even Apple’s first augmented reality (AR) headset. However, after being a no-show at the conference, the Apple AR headset will now be delayed until the second quarter of 2022.
Reportedly, Apple has been planning to debut its very own AR gear, following in the footsteps of Facebook and Sony. The company announced it would release an initial “mixed-reality” device in 2021 or 2022 followed by AR glasses around 2025.
Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman predicted in March that the Apple AR headset could be released in the “next several months.” However, the absence of any updates from Apple and its no-show at yesterday’s WWDC keynote point towards a delay.
“We predict that Apple will launch AR HMD devices in 2022. The device will provide a video see-through AR experience, so the lens is also needed, and Genius is also a key supplier,” he said at the time.
The unusually long gap between its announcement and release could be explained by the fact that this is Apple’s first attempt at AR. Since the company is new to this field, it wants to give developers some time to prepare for an entirely new platform. Reports suggest that it will be a premium product aimed at developers, rather than a consumer device.
Kuo’s report on the Apple AR headset also mentions a promising future for Genius Electronic Optical, one of Apple’s key suppliers. It talks about the iPhone 13, commenting that Genius will be the only supplier for its wide-angle and telephoto camera lenses. While Largan was another major supplier for Apple, a recent gaffe it made has led to Apple temporarily suspending its shipment agreement with them. The slipup on Largan’s part means that Genius will exclusively be shipping around 65% to 70% of these parts, which translates to it holding a whopping 40% to 50% of the components’ market share.
WWDC 2021 happened today, and as usual, Apple had a ton of news to announce at the event.
Then again, with no hardware to announce, it wasn’t exactly the most exciting WWDC of all time, but here’s the best of what we learned from the company’s virtual conference.
iOS 15 and iPadOS 15
Apple announced iOS and iPadOS 15 today. Big surprise!
The updates do bring some useful new features, including text recognition in images, new AR features in Apple Maps, revamped notifications, government ID integration, background blurring in FaceTime, and more.
The changes to iPadOS were perhaps a little more interesting, furthering the iPad’s cred as a ‘real’ computer. Apple announced improvements to multitasking and widgets, translations for on-screen text, ‘Quick Notes’ that are accessible from any app, and even the ability to code apps with Swift Playgrounds and publish them right to the App Store.
iOS and iPadOS 15 are available for developers to try today, with a public beta to follow before the software’s official release in the fall.
You can read more about everything Apple announced with iOS 15 here, and Apple’s roundup of iPad OS updates here. But it’s worth highlighting a few major features…
Video calling people on Android and Windows
At long last, you can use FaceTime with people outside of the Apple ecosystem. iOS 15 will allow you to create a link to a FaceTime call, meaning anyone with the link can join in via a browser.
It doesn’t appear that Apple has any intention of releasing a FaceTime app for other platforms, and it’s not clear if you can start a call from a browser (that seems unlikely), but it’s still nice to see Apple reach out a little beyond its hardware ecosystem.
Your iPhone can be your ID
Apple is working with the TSA to allow you to use your iPhone as an ID at some American airports. Scan your driver’s license and your information is encrypted and stored on your phone, which you can then present next time you’re flying around the country.
The feature appears to be in its infancy, but it could end up being a godsend to frequent travelers, especially if it gets implemented internationally. The company is also working with hotels to allow your phone (or Apple Watch) to function as a room key, which is neat because I always lose those things.
Privacy updates and iCloud+
Apple announced a slew of privacy updates, including hiding your IP address by default with Safari and Apple Mail. Siri will also now do most of its audio processing right on your device for a variety of basic commands, so your data stays on your phone.
The company says one of the main concerns with using voice assistants is having your information uploaded online, and this update should assuage some of those fears.
The company also announced iCloud+, which includes a few privacy-focused features. Most notably there’s a VPN service called Private Relay, and Hide My Email, which basically lets you set up multiple burner email addresses that forward messages to your main address.
Siri can work on third-party devices (but you’ll need a HomePod)
Apple showed off Siri voice control working on third-party devices, including an Ecobee thermostat. However, as described in the keynote, these devices will route their audio through HomePod to ensure your information is sent securely. You’ll need to already have a HomePod lying around.
Sharing health information with family members
Apple is about to make it easier for family members to keep tabs on each other’s health metrics. The company today announced iOS 15 will allow users to privately share their health data with trusted people.
The company gives a few examples of where this might be useful, such as with “an aging parent who shares their activity or heart health data with a family member, a partner who chooses to share their fertility window insights, or a person with Parkinson’s disease who wants to share their mobility data with a physical therapist.”
Users can decide what data is shareable.
The company also announced a new ‘walking steadiness’ feature that allows users with mobility issues to track their movements and assess their balance and stability in order to help reduce the risk of falling.
MacOS Monterey brings seamless multi-monitor setups with ‘Universal Control’
The next version of macOS, Monterey, adds a new feature called Universal Control allows users to use a single mouse and keyboard across Macs and iPads and seamless transition between multiple devices.
Apple showed how you could simply move your mouse to the edge of your MacBook screen for a few seconds and automatically be linked to your iPad. You can even drag and drop images and files between devices this way.
AirPlay to the Mac
MacOS Monterey and iOS 15 allow you to use AirPlay to stream content from your phone or iPad to your Mac or MacBook. It’s a small update, but one we expect will come very much in handy.
Safari gets a sleek new design and mobile extensions
Safari is getting an all-new look that can automatically change its color depending on the site you’re visiting. It’s a pretty sweet new design.
Apple is also adding support for web extensions on iOS and iPad, allowing you to significantly expand the mobile browsers’ capabilities. You can also assign which sites the extensions are active on as well.
Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) keynote has finished, and it brought with it a deluge of new products, software features, and general tech goodness. But there were plenty of things widely rumored to make an appearance at the blockbuster show that did not.
That could mean they are just expected at a later date this year, or it could signify a much longer delay to the products in question. Either way, here is everything Apple did not announce at WWDC 2021.
New MacBook Pro 14 and MacBook Pro 16 models
One of the biggest rumors going into the event was that Apple had MacBook Pro revamps up its sleeve. According to the rumblings, the MacBook Pro 13 was getting completely overhauled and replaced with a 14-inch variant. The MacBook Pro 16, meanwhile, was due to get a more modest update but would still feature a new chassis and Apple Silicon chips for the first time.
However, there were indications before WWDC that these rumors might not be quite on the money. Nikkei Asia reported in March that the production of two MacBook Pro models had been put back to the second half of 2021, and it looks like that report — apparently referring to the MacBook Pro 14 and MacBook Pro 16 — was accurate. Apple traditionally releases new MacBooks in the fall, so that is probably now the most likely target for their release.
A miniature Mac Pro
Apple’s Mac Pro is by far its most powerful Mac — and its most expensive — but it has not been updated since its 2019 debut. There was talk that Apple was working on an updated Mac Pro (possibly with Intel chips) before this year’s WWDC, as well as a half-sized Mac Pro with a potentially beastly Apple Silicon chip. In the end, neither was announced at WWDC.
It could be that Apple wants to announce both new Mac Pros together and to do that it needs to make sure its pro-level Apple Silicon chips are ready for the demanding workloads their users will put them through. Apple must also ensure enough professional apps are ready in time. It seems the company did not feel the chips and apps were at that stage.
New Mac Mini with an updated design
The Mac Mini has only just transitioned to Apple Silicon chips, but that did not stop the murmurs that Apple was already planning to reveal a redesigned version at WWDC. According to leaker Jon Prosser, itwould feature an aluminum body with an acrylic top, a slimmed-down profile, and an updated Apple M1X chip.
We never saw this redesign at the WWDC show, though. The M1 Mac Mini launched less than a year ago, so perhaps Apple felt it was too soon to undercut it with a fresh new look.
A resurrected iMac Pro
Apple unceremoniously ditched the iMac Pro in March 2021, and with a little hindsight, it seems the company was clearing the way for the M1-equipped 24-inch iMac. But with rumors of upgraded Apple Silicon chips launching imminently, a new idea formed: Could Apple resurrect the iMac Pro with upgraded Apple Silicon chips?
It looks like the answer is no, at least for now. The iMac Pro was a no-show at WWDC 2021, and Apple is likely content to keep it that way for the time being. Once its pro-level chips are ready (and third-party developers have updated their professional apps), the iMac Pro might reappear on the scene. We will have to wait and see.
Redesigned AirPods and new AirPods Pro
There is no doubt that AirPods have become wildly popular since their launch, and AirPods Pro, their high-end cousin, have found their own successful niche, too. Given that achievement, updated versions at WWDC felt like a distinct possibility. That idea was boosted by the slate of rumors surrounding the devices, including that the AirPods would be redesigned and the AirPods Pro would boast health-tracking features.
In the end, Apple announced a slate of new software features for the AirPods range, but no hardware changes. A clue why might be found in the upcoming Beats Studio Buds. These wireless earphones are also owned by Apple, and it could be that the company did not want to launch them so close to the AirPods and have each device cannibalize the sales of the other.
New smart home devices
It is rare for Apple to spill its own secrets, but it might have done just that in a recent job posting that mentioned a system called HomeOS. Could Apple be working on a new operating system for home devices? And if so, does that mean new compatible devices are right around the corner?
Well, no one outside Apple knows for now, because nothing came of it at WWDC. As with AirPods, there were software updates relating to smart home devices, but they were all for existing systems like the Home app and Siri integration. Whether HomeOS means an updated HomePod Mini with new features, a better way to control HomeKit devices, or something else entirely, we will have to wait a little longer to find out.
An all-screen iPad Mini
The ongoing pandemic has spurred a surge in iPad sales as more and more people look to work and entertain themselves from home. With interest in the device revitalized, we started wondering whether Apple would update the iPad Mini at WWDC to try to meet some of this demand. Those hopes were bolstered by reputable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who previously claimed a new iPad Mini was coming in the first half of 2021 with a larger display among its upgrades.
That never came to pass, but it does not mean we will have to wait too long for the iPad Mini’s next update. When it comes to Apple rumors, Mark Gurman is considered one of the most reliable sources, and he recently published a report alleging a new iPad Mini with narrower bezels and possibly lacking the Home button could be released “later this year.” Keep your eyes peeled.
Apple’s mixed-reality experiment
The idea that Apple would launch a mixed-reality headset (one that combined augmented reality and virtual reality) at WWDC always felt like a long shot, and that belief was confirmed when the headset failed to make an appearance at the show. Some things are too good to be true.
But it might not be as far away from being revealed as you might expect. Gurman, who has an excellent record for Apple leaks, reported in March 2021 that Apple was planning to introduce the device “within the next several months.” The kicker, though, is that Gurman says Apple wants to unveil the headset at an in-person event, and as we know by now, WWDC was online-only. Still, we might be getting a taste of Apple-flavored mixed reality sooner rather than later.
Apple is hosting its Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) on June 7 in an all-virtual format again.
We’re expecting updates to iOS, macOS, WatchOS, and tvOS, along with privacy-focused features across Apple’s ecosystem. Plus, there might be some hardware announcements too. Let’s dive into it.
iOS 15 and iPadOS 15
Apple introduced grouped notifications in iOS 12, and now it might bring a refresh to that system. According to a report by Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, you’ll be able to set custom notification context modes. These include modes such as working, sleeping, or driving. Based on that different apps will show you notifications.
Plus, the report noted that there will be changes made to lock screen and control center icons. An earlier leak on Reddit suggested that Apple might change the icon design to make them non-flat.
As per a writer named Connor Jewiss, who said he saw some version of iOS 15, Apple’s health app will get new features such as food tracking.
When I said I’d seen some iOS 15, I’m not going to disappoint:
◼️- Dark Mode UI tweaks ????- Messages app tweaks ????- Food tracking and other new features in Health ????- Confirmation of UI changes from previous screenshot rumor ????- New notification settings and look on lockscreen
Jewiss also noted that Apple might make some tweaks to the dark mode UI.
Gurman’s aforementioned report also highlighted that Apple wants to make iMessage a robust WhatsApp competitor. To do that, the firm will introduce custom auto-reply settings. A report from MacRumors noted that Apple’s already working on the ability to retract or delete sent messages.
The only notable thing we know about that’s coming to iPadOS is the ability to rearrange widgets on your screen — a feature Apple introduced for the iPhone last year.
Upgrade to the M1 chip
Apple unveiled its much-awaited ARM-based M1 chip last November, and it blew the competition out of the water. However, Apple has merely scratched the surface by including the processor in new models of the MacBook Air, the MacBook Pro, the Mac Mini, the iPad Pro, and the iMac.
The M1 chip has limitations of maxing out at 16GB RAM and no support for external graphics cards. So we haven’t seen a truly expansive machine for professionals based on this chip.
A report from Bloomberg published last month noted that the new chip — expected to be called M1X or M2 — will have two variants. While the combination of eight high-performance cores and two energy-efficiency cores will remain the same in both versions, the GPU will have either 16 or 32 cores.
While WWDC is mostly a software affair, we might see some hardware announcements based on the new chip. Earlier this week, MacRumors reported a regulatory filing of seemingly a new MacBook Pro 16-inch model.
Multiple reportsfrom earlier this year suggested that Apple might get rid of the Touch Bar in favor of physical Fn keys. Plus, we’ll see more USB ports, and return of the HDMI port along with an SD card reader.
WWDC’s teaser image had a reflection of apps on the character’s glasses that got everyone excited about Apple’s rumored AR glasses. We might hear something about the company’s augmented reality vision, but I won’t hold my breath for it.
Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, or WWDC, is scheduled to kick off this year on June 7. Like recent developer conferences from rivals Google and Microsoft, WWDC 2021 will be a virtual event this year due to the ongoing global pandemic.
The good news for Apple developers, fans, and followers is that the shift to a virtual showcase means that you can watch Apple’s keynote and developer sessions for free, a steep discount from the typical $1,599 ticket for the in-person conference.
There’s a lot to be excited about this year, so you’ll want to make sure to come back and watch on Monday.
How to watch WWDC 2021
WWDC is slated to kick off at 10 a.m. PT on June 7, which means that those on the east coast can tune in at 1 p.m. ET.
In previous years, Apple had allowed fans to follow its keynote on YouTube, and you can follow along on Apple’s YouTube channel once again this year — a link to this year’s livestream is embedded above for your convenience. However, the best bet to get all of Apple’s WWDC news is to follow Apple’s dedicated events page, where the company will also embed its livestream for this year’s keynote presentation. Those interested in viewing Apple’s livestream can head over to Apple’s special events portal, which will give you the option to add the WWDC keynote to your calendar.
The livestream will also be available on Apple’s TV app on Apple hardware and through the Apple Developer website if you’re a registered developer.
What to expect at WWDC 2021
WWDC is typically about Apple software, and this year will be no different. Apple will likely announce the next operating system revisions for some of its biggest platforms, including iOS, iPadOS, MacOS, WatchOS, and more.
With these releases, Apple could once again be doubling down on its privacy push following the launch of the App Tracking Transparency feature that debuted on iOS 14. A new privacy menu may be coming to iOS 15, along with changes to how notifications are displayed and managed, according to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman. The company is also said to be working on an overhaul to its iMessage platform, and its Health app could gain the ability to track food, which would make it competitive with third-party apps like MyFitnessPal.
On the tablet, iPadOS may bring a significant visual overhaul to the iPad. With iPadOS 15, users may be able to finally place widgets anywhere on the home screen, making it a more versatile desktop for your computing needs.
And for those who need a desktop for their computing needs, the Mac gets a surprising OS jump. After Apple retained the OS X branding for years, the company switched to MacOS 11 with the launch of Big Sur. This year, the platform gets a bump to 12. It’s unclear what to expect this year, but unlike the jump to MacOS 11 last year, the move to MacOS 12 this year may be a minor release, according to Bloomberg.
For Mac owners, however, the big news will be new hardware. Though hardware announcements are rare at Apple’s software-centric developer conference, it’s widely rumored that new MacBook Pro models could debut at this year’s show.
Ahead of WWDC, rumors suggest that Apple could unveil new MacBook Pro models with 14- and 16-inch displays. Unlike the refreshed MacBook Pro 13-inch with M1 processor that launched late last year, the new MacBook Pros are expected to come with significant design changes. It’s been suggested that Apple could remove the Touch Bar in favor of more traditional function keys with this revision, bring back the HDMI and MagSafe charging ports, and reintroduce an SD card reader.
Powering the new laptops could be a new, revised M1X processor, according to Bloomberg, featuring a 10-core heterogeneous processor design with eight high-performance and two high-efficiency cores and integrated graphics with either 16 or 32 GPU cores.
Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) is one of its biggest events on the calendar. This year’s show is due to run from June 7-11 and will be entirely online (much like many of Apple’s recent events).
What can you expect to see at the show? Will there be any exciting new hardware reveals and software features? We have all the answers you need right here, with a rundown of everything we expect to see at WWDC 2021.
iOS 15 and iPadOS 15
Two of Apple’s most important platforms are those that run on the iPhone and the iPad. The company always uses WWDC to shed new light on upcoming versions of these operating systems, and this year will be no different.
Details surrounding these new versions (iOS 15 and iPadOS 15) are thin on the ground, but we can make some educated guesses. For one thing, we expect Apple will continue its trend of allowing more freedom when changing default apps. You can change the standard web, mail, and music apps right now, and we are hoping that will expand to cover things like the calendar, reminders, camera, and more.
One of the biggest changes in iOS 14 was the introduction of widgets. In iOS 15, we expect Apple will further refine these, perhaps by adding more widget options for its own apps, more functionality, and more sizes.
The next version of MacOS
MacOS 11 Big Sur first saw the light of day at WWDC 2020, and it turned out to be one of the best MacOS upgrades in years. Apple will want to keep that momentum going this year with the new version, which according to 9to5Mac will be dubbed MacOS 12 (rather than MacOS 11.1).
It is likely we will see a refinement of some of the features that made Big Sur so good. For starters, that means more widgets and more customization of the Control Center, which is already one of the best features of MacOS Big Sur.
We would also love to see the introduction of Shortcuts on MacOS. The Shortcuts app is a handy tool on iOS that lets you quickly launch complex tasks that are activated with a touch or your voice. Bringing that to the Mac would be an excellent way to boost your productivity and save you time.
Other operating system updates
While iOS, iPadOS, and MacOS are the big ones, Apple’s other operating systems are expected to get some love too. For instance, while we do not know many details about the next update coming to tvOS, it will surely get some tweaks and new features given Apple’s continuing focus on services like Apple TV+.
The Apple Watch’s operating system will also tick over to WatchOS 8. Rumors indicate we could get new Health, Battery, and Hiking apps from Apple as well as a relaxation of the requirement to always be online in certain cases (such as when using some Siri features).
It is rare for a WWDC event to focus exclusively on software, and this year could be no different. Heaps of hardware products are rumored, but many will probably launch before WWDC 2021 at Apple’s spring event, so what we see in June is largely contingent on what does not launch in the spring. Among those unlikely to show at WWDC are AirTags and a redesigned iMac, as they are widely expected to appear sooner.
That still leaves plenty on the table, though. For one thing, there could be updates to the Mac Pro based on how many related rumors and leaks have appeared of late. Not only could we see updates to Apple’s most all-out, all-powerful Mac, but there are strong rumors that Apple is also working on a half-size Mac Pro with an Apple Silicon chip inside. Previewing this high-end device to a crowd of tech-savvy developers at WWDC makes a lot of sense.
If Apple decides to stick with the pro theme, there might also be time for the company to outline the next versions of the iPad Pro and AirPods Pro. The former is expected to have a new A14X chip that is on par with the MacBook Pro’s M1, a Thunderbolt 3-enabled port, and a dazzling mini-LED display. As for the latter, not much is known about the updated AirPods Pro yet, but we expect to learn more as the event approaches.
The future of Apple Silicon
Unfortunately, it is unlikely Apple will show off any new MacBooks at WWDC. According to Nikkei Asia, Apple has delayed the production of two MacBook Pro models until later in the year, making an October or November reveal more likely.
However, there is a good chance Apple will discuss the tech powering its Macs — namely, new Apple Silicon chips and the future of its transition away from Intel. A clue might be found in the WWDC invitation, which features a Memoji character looking at a half-open MacBook in much the same way Craig Federighi did while talking about Apple Silicon at last year’s event.
We know Apple is working on a raft of updates to its chip platform, including processors with 32, 16, 12, and 8 high-performance cores (alongside four high-efficiency cores). It is unlikely Apple will talk about these in any great detail at WWDC 2021, but it might shed some light on a few things it has up its sleeve.
Apple mixed-reality headset
We mentioned clues in the WWDC invitation above. There is another possibility that some people have suggested: That it hints at an Apple-designed mixed-reality headset. We think this is very unlikely, though.
The suggestion revolves around the app reflections in the Memoji character’s glasses. The standard interpretation is that these are simply reflecting off the MacBook screen. However, some people have claimed that it might in fact be a depiction of augmented reality apps projected on the glasses’ lenses.
Apple is rumored to be working on augmented reality glasses, but these are not expected to launch until 2023 at the earliest, making WWDC 2021 a suspiciously premature date for the reveal.
But could the invitation be a reference to Apple’s upcoming mixed-reality headset rather than its AR glasses? That is doubtful too. Reporter Mark Gurman, who has an excellent track record when it comes to Apple rumors, believes Apple will announce its headset at an in-person event this year, yet WWDC 2021 is going to be online-only, seemingly putting the headset out of the running. We hate to be spoilsports, but at this point, it seems the mixed reality glasses clue is simply a case of wishful thinking. That doesn’t mean they won’t give us a preview, but we’ll have to wait and see.