Apple’s WWDC (world wide developers conference) conference kicks off on the 13th of June. We take a look at the top 5 expectations from the event.
Apple’s 2016 world wide developer conference is a few days away. This year’s event will be held from June 13-17 in San Francisco, California. This year;s get together will have over 100 developer sessions and hands-on labs being run by over 1,000 engineers. Apple will for the first time will hold the Monday kick-off keynote at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium where we expect the big product and software announcements from Tim Cook.
As you can imagine tickets are very rare to come by. Apple decided to make ticket sales a bit interesting in 2014, Apple took a completely different approach to its ticket sales – one that, as we predicted, has become Apple’s way of distributing tickets ever since. Instead of issuing tickets on a ‘first come first served’ basis, Apple offered everyone a chance to win a ticket (or rather, to win the privilege of being charged for a ticket) by registering for a lottery. In years past, 5,000 developers were randomly selected as attendees from those who applied. If you win a ticket through the lottery you still have to cough up $1,600 USD… ouch! Anyway, let’s take a look at the top 5 WWDC expectations.
Apple Music Overhaul
Apple’s attempt to get a slice of the music streaming market has been somewhat successful. Apple has gathered a solid subscriber base (passing 10 million users earlier this year) but complaints remain about the service’s interface and sometimes unintuitive integration with users’ personal music libraries. Bloomberg has recently reported that Apple will unveil an updated and more intuitive user interface for Apple Music, and announce plans to improve integration between the company’s streaming and download businesses.
The updated app will roll out with iOS 10 and will include visual updates like retaining album artwork instead of adjusting your background to only match colour schemes. The update will also feature new 3D touch shortcuts, automatically integrated lyrics and the “New” tab will be replaced by a better-organised section called “Browse”.
We have seen a lot of news hit the web over the past month on new virtual assistants hitting the market (Viv, Google Assistant etc.) and everything points to Apple giving Siri a major update with iOS 10. Try asking Siri when WWDC is and she will responds with the 13 -17 June date and that she personally “can’t wait!”
Everyone is expecting Siri to get a lo more friendly with third party applications. The integration with a host of other apps will transform Siri into more of an AI personality rather than a cheeky chat-bot. We have already heard that Apple will release an SDK (Siri developer kit) to third party developers and other rumours suggest that she might be making her way to the Mac as well. Read: Apple to open up Siri to third party developers
The original watchOS didn’t really hit the mark for Apple and they quickly corrected a lot of the deficiencies with watchOS 2. We have heard a lot of chatter around the third instalment coming this year. Th most notable rumours suggest new custom watch faces, stability and speed improvements and even a user interface update. What most people, me included, would like to see is a punchier workout application – something that at least comes close to other third party applications. Other ideas suggest that Siri will get better integration and the Apple Watch will finally be able to connect to other iOS devices (iPad maybe?)
After being overlooked in March rumours now suggest that the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro lines will be updated during WWDC 2016. This might be a little confusing though – many reports suggest that Apple might be discontinuing the MacBook Air range to simplify their offerings. Other sources have reported that they will only drop the 11.6 inch MacBook Air, and will be replaced by a larger 15 inch model (to sit alongside the current 13 inch). Still a bit confusing though…
What does seem certain though is that the MacBook Pro 13-inch will receive an update, as it is already more than a year old. The 15-inch however might be overlooked due to it being released late last year. The new MacBook Pro 13-inch could have significant gains in graphical performance due to new AMD/NVIDIA GPUs, and of course will feature Intel‘s latest Skylake chipset.
Saving the best for last. Apple historically announces the next generation of iOS software at its WWDC events in June, and this year doesn’t look to be any different (hopefully). There are some suggestions that we might not see iOS 10 at WWDC though. Apple has been putting a lot more effort into their “point” updates and it was evident with the 9.3 update (introduction of new features like Night Shift mode and other more “flagship” updates).
What do we expect from iOS 10 should it make its debut at WWDC? Reports suggest that users will finally be able to hide pre-installed apps (Stocks, Compass etc.). Other expected features include iCloud Voicemail where Siri handles all unwanted calls, and possibly some kind of “˜Contact availability status‘ where your phone will tell you if your contact is available to speak at that time. Read: Three killer features Apple needs to bring to the next version of iOS
What would you like to see at Apple’s WWDC event this year? Let us know in the comment section below! Follow Jaco on Twitter:@Jaco_vdWalt