With Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) set to kick off next Monday morning, a lot of you are probably wondering what the Cupertino-company might have in store for us this year. And while we’ve heard plenty of rumors in recent weeks, we can fairly easily narrow down the potential scope of the show given Apple’s past tendencies and the general purpose of the event, in and of itself.
That being said, WWDC is, well, just a developer conference. And it’s not to be confused with Apple’s periodic special media events — such as March’s “Let Us Loop You In” event, where the Silicon Valley tech-giant officially took the wraps off its long-rumored, 4-inch iPhone SE, 9.7-inch iPad Pro, and more.
So it’s highly, highly unlikely that we’ll be seeing any new hardware launches next week. However, recent rumors suggest — and it is very possible — that Apple will unveil some refreshed products to be released later on this year.
The Cupertino-company did this back in 2010 when it unveiled the iPhone 4, and similarly, we saw new MacBook Airs and MacBook Pros at WWDC 2012. So while the company does, from time to time, like to announce new and impending products, we really shouldn’t be holding our breath this year.
So what will WWDC 2016 entail? Well, so far we know that the event will be focused on Apple’s four software platforms — iOS, tvOS, watchOS, and OS X, which as we recently heard, could potentially be re-christened as MacOS.
Apple’s iOS 10, as reported by BGR, is set to be unveiled first and foremost with live coverage kicking off at 1:00pm PST at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, CA, on June 13th.
iOS 10, for its part, is expected to see the most major enhancements of all, including a rumored design refresh featuring a potential ‘Dark Mode’, a new, colorful Notification system, a slew of new 3D Touch shortcuts, and much more. iMessage, in particular, has also been pegged for the possible release of mobile P2P payments via Apple Pay — which was first rumored earlier last year, and would be a welcomed addition if it ultimately comes to the table.
We’re also hedging our bets on seeing some major Siri enhancements this year, which could potentially fall in line with Apple’s 2015 acquisition of U.K.-based tech firm, Vocal IQ.
Speaking of Siri (no pun intended), it was also recently rumored that we could be seeing Apple’s personal voice assistant come to its desktop operating system, built-into the forthcoming OS X (or macOS?) version 10.12. We could also see the Cupertino-company announce some new Siri-based hardware — similar to Amazon’s Echo, for instance. Many believe that this hardware could potentially take the form of a new, revamped Apple TV console to be released sometime later this year, however that much still remains to be seen.
Either way, WWDC 2016 is shaping up to be an action-packed event — at which we’ll almost certainly see the unveiling of new software enhancements across the board. And, who knows? Maybe Apple does, in fact, have some hardware surprises in store for us this year? Apple tends to be sly like that, after all, so we’d say that it’s by no means ‘impossible’!
What are you looking forward to from WWDC this year, most of all? Let us know in the comments!