With WWDC18 on the fast-approaching horizon. We’ve rounded up everything you can expect to see announced at the keynote on Monday, June 4th, 2018 at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose. We will be keeping you up to date in real-time with all the announcements and releases on the day and through the week so stay tuned to Appleosophy for all the latest. You can read our coverage plans here.
How to watch the keynote:
You can find all the requirements to watch the stream and the start time in your time zone in our How to watch Apple’s WWDC18 Keynote live-stream post.
Since the launch of Apple Watch, Apple has started every WWDC with watchOS. This could be because updates to watchOS often introduce very few major features, or because Apple Watch is still growing in popularity. Regardless of the reason behind it, Apple will almost certainly begin its list of software updates by announcing watchOS 5.
Unlike last year, it’s more than likely that we will see a major update to the design of watchOS at this year’s WWDC. Over the past four years, Apple has continued to reuse the same core design of watchOS with every major new update, so it seems very likely that this year Apple will shake up the design to help sell new Apple Watches later this year in September. Analysts are reporting that the Apple Watch Series 4 will keep the same design as the original Apple Watch for one more year, so a major OS redesign could help boost sales for the Apple Watch Series 4 arriving in September.
Aside from an OS redesign, we could also see an entirely new “brighter UI” with a greater resemblance to iOS. Likewise, we could see the existing “darker UI” available on the Apple Watch coming to iOS with iOS 12 as well. This would certainly satisfy the users who have wanted a Dark Mode on iOS for several years and have resorted to jailbreaking to get access to this functionality instead. Last year, Apple unveiled Intelligent Invert (a feature where images retain their natural colours, yet text and background colours are inverted). Many users believe that Intelligent Invert could arrive on Apple Watch this year, too.
Last year, Apple unveiled Apple TV 4K. It introduced a whole new world of content in 4K HDR. While it is clear Apple is invested in Apple TV, it’s unlikely that we’ll see any major changes to tvOS this year. It’s even more unlikely that we’ll see any new Apple TV models. We can assume that Apple will introduce a huge number of new features for tvOS 13 and iOS 13 next year, however, it seems that this year the focus will be on macOS and watchOS – which have both been rather neglected in past years at WWDC. In fact, several developers have been withdrawing apps from the Mac App Store because it’s clear that macOS has not been a focus for Apple in recent years – and devices like iPad Pro seem to be taking priority as Apple prepares for the slow death of its MacBook lineup.
tvOS 12 will likely introduce vastly improved AirPlay 2 functionality – like the ability to quickly send audio from a Movie / TV Show to one or more paired HomePods. Besides AirPlay 2 improvements, it’s hard to predict any major new features that Apple hasn’t already added to tvOS already. However, Apple will likely come up with some exciting new features for Apple TV that we haven’t seen before.
Improved Siri support is something that would be much appreciated if it were introduced with tvOS 12. The current version of Siri can accurately find Movies and TV Shows but struggles to provide any other information that Siri on iPhone or iPad can already tell you. For example, finding out the weather, sports results and dictionary definitions are all unavailable on Apple TV right now.
In 2019, we can expect the launch of the Apple’s entertainment streaming service, which we can assume will be called something new, for example, “Apple Theater”. Next year we will likely see both iTunes Purchases and Apple’s new subscription-based entertainment streaming service content, within the same TV app. This would match what Apple already does with the Music app – which is that it allows you to play your iTunes purchases, as well as music downloaded directly through Apple’s music streaming service – Apple Music.
As with any other WWDC, a big part of the event will be on iOS 12. While Bloomberg reports that the new update will favour stability over major new features, we can expect that Apple will introduce a few new features with this year’s iOS 12 update. Despite the fact that a major redesign will be pushed back to next year, it’s highly likely that we’ll see the new Bold Headers rolling out to a few more apps. First introduced with iOS 10, Bold Headers have gradually started to appear inside the majority of pre-installed Apple apps. Notes, Photos, Files and Mail already feature Bold Headers, however, apps like Calculator and Stocks are yet to be updated with them. We can expect that iOS 12 will continue the expansion of Bold Headers and will improve navigation across apps.
Long neglected, iBooks and iTunes Store may finally receive a major design overhaul. Both apps could easily adopt the same design as the new iOS 11 App Store, with the new Featured Tab showcasing the best new books and entertainment as well as offering more in-depth reviews.
Design aside, iOS 12 could introduce a wealth of smaller, yet very useful, features. For example, the update could introduce the ability to unlock your Mac when you hold your iPhone nearby – a feature already available for the Apple Watch.
The update could also introduce support for Third-Party functionality in the Control Center. Over the past few years, Apple has been focusing on allowing developers to really integrate their apps into the iOS infrastructure. Tools like Widgets and 3D Touch Shortcuts have made accessing third-party apps and features even easier. It’s possible that Apple could continue opening up features to developers, with support for third-party Control Center functions. I know that I would love to be able to bring up Shazam or Instagram in seconds from the Control Center. We will have to wait until WWDC to see if Apple is interested in opening up Control Center to developers, or if it will remain exclusive to Apple. Regardless, changes to the design of Control Center are inevitable if iOS 12 is really set to be a minor update.
macOS “Monterey” 10.14
With iOS and tvOS set to be less exciting this year, macOS may finally receive a major refresh and a lot more stage time. While there’s a number of different names trademarked by Apple already, we predict that the next macOS update will be called macOS Monterey. Monterey is a beautiful location in America, with both beaches and mountains acting as natural scenery. We analysed each location and came to the conclusion that Monterey would be the perfect name and setting for macOS 10.14. However, Apple could end up calling it something entirely different. In this article, I will be calling it “macOS Monterey”. Make sure to stay tuned on the live blog page, where our team will be reporting the new name and all other announcements made by Apple on June 4th.
macOS Monterey is set to be a major update for Mac. New app icons, a redesigned notifications bar and an updated Finder are all expected to be included with the new update, but there are also a variety of smaller changes that could be introduced with macOS Monterey that would make macOS and iOS more interchangeable.
App design changes are expected (as many apps like Notes, Reminders or Calendar haven’t been updated in years), as well as a fresh set of new app icons. We will also likely see a design refresh for Notification Center to bring it more in line with iOS 12’s design style. Hopefully, we will also see the ability to unlock your Mac with your iPhone, like you can already do with Apple Watch.
I’d really like to see the Home app, News app and Health app brought over to macOS Monterey. It seems so ridiculous that you can control your Home from your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple Watch and Apple TV – but not your Mac. I’d also love to see my favourite news publishers on my Mac, alongside all the latest stories inside the News app. While I can Google the news in Safari, this feels counterintuitive when my iPhone and iPad already know which articles I’m interested in and provide me with notifications so I never miss anything important. With regards to Health, I just feel it would be useful to see how far I’ve walked, how many calories I’ve burned and how my body has improved physically over time from my Mac. The Health app looks great on my iPhone, but the benefit of viewing it on my Mac would be that I’d be able to view analytical data in more detail, and with astonishing accuracy.
Another feature I hope we’ll see with macOS 10.14 is better Files and Finder integration. I love the iOS 11 Files app and I love the macOS Finder application. However, they both do virtually the same job. Therefore, I would love for Apple to seamlessly merge the two together, to make the experience across macOS and iOS more streamlined.
New iPad Pros
While the software will certainly be a large part of WWDC, so will hardware. It’s likely that we will see at least one new iPad Pro this year. The devices that need updating are iPad Pro 12.9″ and iPad Pro 10.5″. iPad Pro 9.7″ will not receive an update it has since been replaced by iPad 9.7″ (2017) and iPad 9.7″ (2018). While we may see internal changes to iPad Pro 12.9″ or iPad Pro 10.5″, it’s unlikely that we will see any major new design this year. Based on the fact that it took Apple a good few years to bring Touch ID to iPad after its debut on iPhone 5S, it’s likely that iPad Pro will be updated with Face ID support and a new design next year or in early 2020. Basically, don’t expect a big update to any iPad Pro models this year.
New MacBook Pros
Alongside new iPad Pros, we could also see the launch of several new MacBook Pros. I’m almost certain that Apple will keep the same screen sizes available (13″ and 15″) however I feel they will remove the 13″ model without the Touch Bar, and just keep the 13″ MacBook Pro and 15″ MacBook Pro. Like with iPad Pro, I don’t think Apple will update the MacBook Pro design this year. The Touch Bar has been around less than two years so far and will likely remain part of the design for at least one more year. Next year or early 2020, I think we will see a full touchscreen keyboard with Apple Pencil support, however, I don’t think Apple has the resources to make this happen yet. In conclusion, this year’s MacBook Pro lineup will probably look no different to last year’s lineup, apart from the possibility that Apple will drop the 13″ model without the Touch Bar.
With the MacBook Pro lineup set to be virtually the same as last year, what will the MacBook lineup look like, and where does MacBook Air fit into Apple’s Mac ecosystem? Firstly, we can expect a similar design to last year. The current design is incredibly thin and supports USB-C, so no upgrades to design are needed. The Touch Bar feature still seems very exclusive to MacBook Pro, so it’s unlikely Apple will roll it out to MacBook, and the performance of the device is pretty much as good as it gets for a notebook so thin. So will Apple even bother to update the MacBook? Right now, I don’t think so. I feel Apple will let the MacBook 2017 continue to sell, and improve the device next year with a new design. At the moment, I don’t think there’s any reason for Apple to bring out a new MacBook because the current model is so powerful. But where does this leave MacBook Air? Well as mentioned in one of my other articles, it seems the era of MacBook Air is almost over. Therefore, I don’t think we will see another new MacBook Air ever again. Instead, I think Apple is slowly preparing to entirely replace MacBook Air with its standard MacBook model, which would explain why the MacBook has seen design and performance improvements over the past few years but the MacBook Air hasn’t.
New HomePod Mini
HomePod, despite multiple delays, finally launched earlier this year. It was marketed as “the sound of home” and has sold underwhelmingly so far. However, this could be about to change. According to new leaks, a “HomePod Beats Edition”, or “HomePod Mini” is in the works. Considering the success of the Amazon Echo and Amazon Echo Dot (just $49), it’s clear why Apple might want to steal back some of Amazon’s aggressively high market share in the Home Speaker industry. While Google Home and Google Home Mini have contributed to a decline in Amazon’s Smart Speaker industry dominance, the Amazon Echo still remains a bestselling product for Amazon. So much so, that they’ve recently launched Echo Show (an Alexa-enabled device with a camera and a screen). Therefore, Apple will definitely want to enter the Smart Speaker industry with a cheaper alternative to its $319 HomePod so it can take back further market share from its competitors. While a Beats-branded HomePod seems very unlikely, a $149 “HomePod Mini” with lower-spec speakers and reduced audio quality could sell incredibly well.
New iPhone SE 2
Perhaps the most anticipated device of this year, iPhone SE 2 leaks have been popping up every week for several months. The new device, expected to be unveiled at WWDC, is rumoured to have an A10 Chip, the exact same dimensions as the current iPhone SE, a glass back (for wireless charging), a notch for Face ID and no home button. While these rumours could be entirely false, the fact that we are seeing a growing number of new blueprint designs and case models, it seems the dream that is iPhone SE 2 could become a reality. We will have to wait until June 4 to find out.
Appleosophy will be having a team on the ground providing you with all the latest coverage of the keynote and sessions. You can view our coverage plans here. We’ll also be having a live-blog during the keynote keeping you up to date. So keep it locked to Appleosophy.
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