Apple is kicking off its Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) next week, and all eyes are on what new software and hardware products might be unveiled during the event. We know that iOS and macOS will take center stage at WWDC 2018, so here’s what’s likely in store for observers.
On the iOS side of things, Apple is reportedly going to avoid going overboard by introducing tons of new features with iOS 12. Instead, the company is more focused on improving performance and making the operating system less buggy. With that being said, there will be a few new additions like a new Digital Health section in settings according to Bloomberg. Digital Health will give you an easy-to-decipher readout on how much time you spend in each of your apps and how much time in total you spend on your device daily.
We should mention that Google has already announced a similar “digital sanity check” on our compulsive behavior when it comes to our devices in Android P with Dashboard.
iOS 12 will also introduce ARKit 2.0, which will further enhance immersion in virtual environments. “the company has been planning a new mode that would let users play AR games against each other in the same virtual environment,” writes Bloomberg. “Another mode allows objects to be dropped into an area and virtually remain in place.”
Major updates that had been previously rumored for iOS 12 — like a redesigned Home Screen experience and AI enhancements for Photos — will have to wait for next year’s iOS 13 release.
Not much is known about what Apple with do with macOS, but the main theme in years past has been to drive further integration with iOS. We should see the same with this year’s mac OS 10.15 release.
On the hardware front, there’ve been rumors that Apple will release a cheaper HomePod-type device with Beats branding. The current HomePod, which was finally released in February, but is priced at wallet-busting $349 compared to $49 for an Amazon Echo Dot or $99 for a second-generation Echo. The speculation about a new HomePod device ramped even more up earlier this month with Siri began giving hints about the upcoming device.
According to Bloomberg, we are unlikely to see any big announcement with regards to Mac hardware or new iPad Pros at WWDC, bucking trends in previous years. However, we still would like to see updates to the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro families at WWDC and are holding out hope that Apple will deliver some Coffee Lake goodness to Mac users.
The Apple Watch was first announced in the Fall of 2014 and was released to the public in April 2015. The Apple Watch has gone through a number of iterations over the years (Series 0, Series 1, Series 2, Series 3) while keeping the same basic look. Last year’s Series 3 introduced onboard LTE connectivity which allows phone calls to be made directly from your wrist without a tethered iPhone. It’s reported that this year’s models — which we’re assuming will be called Series 4 — will feature larger edge-to-edge displays while still supporting the vast ecosystem of bands that are available for existing devices.
The next Apple Watch, however, will likely have to wait until Fall to make its debut alongside the 2018 class of iPhones.