Apple WWDC 2021: Predictions and Rumors

There’s no time to take a breath from the recent Apple product launches! Next up is the WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference), Apple’s event that gives developers a peek into the future of its software ecosystem. From June 7 through to June 11, the online event will explore the future of iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS. 

As well as insight into the Apple technology and tools behind the next generation of applications, we’ll also get a first look at upcoming software upgrades for the manufacturer’s many devices. 

Plus, there’s a slim chance of some more exciting hardware news. With the Mac mini, entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro, iMac, and MacBook Air updated to include Apple’s latest M1 chips, there’s still some mystery around what will happen with the premium portion of Apple’s Mac lineup, among other things!

Read on for more on those rumors, and one unlikely but very exciting prediction…

What is Apple’s WWDC?

As you might have guessed from the name, WWDC is all about Apple’s software. The focus is on the tools that will be available to iOS developers in the coming months. Apple’s operating systems get periodic updates, of course. But WWDC is the annual event at which headline features are announced across the many systems that make up Apple’s product ecosystem.

The Worldwide Developers Conference invites developers from across the globe to connect with Apple engineers, who are in a prime position to shape and define industry trends for the years to come.   

What to Expect From WWDC 2021

So what kind of announcements can we expect from Apple at this year’s WWDC?

As usual, the focus will be on Apple’s many software platforms. The main updates for 2021 and beyond are expected to concern iOS 15, watchOS 8, iPadOS 15, tvOS 15, and macOS 12.

If previous trends repeat, Apple will announce new software iterations at the conference and quickly make beta versions available to developers to start working and experimenting with. Next will come the public beta, after which all feedback will be incorporated before a full release rolls out towards the end of the year.

There’s also a chance there could be hardware announcements. 

Unexpected Hardware Launches?

All of Apple’s Mac computers are due to transition to Apple Silicon and the manufacturer’s new M1 chips in the next year or so. There could be a new 14 inch MacBook Pro on the horizon. 

Apple upgraded some of the 13in MacBook Pro models back in November. There are rumors that the 2.0GHz 13in MacBook Pro of old could become a bigger, fresher, 14in powerhouse featuring a new Apple-made processor: the M1X. The 16in MacBook Pro could be getting the same treatment. 

There have also been rumors that Apple is preparing to announce an augmented reality headset, so keep an eye out! The company has been working on the technology and filing patents for a decade now, so a sneak peek for developers could be just around the corner. And it may just be a coincidence, but the image Apple has used for the event promotion includes a memoji image wearing illuminated glasses – it could be nothing though!

Updates to Apple’s Wearables

Elsewhere, in Apple’s wearables business, we expect a new watchOS 8 to be announced. 

watchOS 8 is predicted to bring improved health and fitness features to the Apple Watch, as the company looks to improve its market share and compete with fitness-only trackers from competitors including FitBit. 

At the moment, Apple Watch users can track their movement, heart rate, ECG and blood oxygen. If rumors are to be believed, the next iteration could measure blood sugar levels, too.

With a bit of luck, we might also (finally) see watchOS 8 become an iPhone-free operating system, which would allow users to get an Apple Watch without having to commit to getting an Apple phone too. That might go against Apple’s ethos of interoperability, but it could also be a way to open the gates to people who haven’t used products from the brand before. 

A Refresh For tvOS 15

If history repeats, expect Apple to unveil a few new features for Apple TV users. Some rumors have suggested that the updated operating system will give parents more control, with a design refresh, a mode for children with advanced content that Apple will add to the Apple TV + service, and parental control tools including screen time management.

What To Expect From IOS15 and iPadOS 15

Every year, Apple engineers are busy behind the scenes working on ways to improve the iOS and iPad iOS operating systems that iPhone and iPad users rely on every day. It looks as though Apple is set to overhaul notifications settings, iMessage and the Control Center. The classic iPad home screen is also getting a makeover. 

If Bloomberg is to be believed, the new iOS 15 interface will have improvements focused on security, privacy, and notifications. 

Apple iPhone notifications are about to become more intuitive, with users able to set notification preferences based on their current status. We expect these statuses to be things like ‘Driving’, ‘Sleeping’, ‘In a Meeting’, with customization options that allow you to edit the specific type of notifications received depending on the scenario. According to Bloomberg, you’ll be able to choose a notification status mode directly from the Lock Screen!

In line with mood and context-based notifications, Apple is expected to revamp automatic replies, allowing users to customize them based on each notification status.  

Elsewhere, Apple’s iMessage messaging app is getting a refresh, with changes designed to compete with Whatsapp and turn the platform into more of a social network than a simple messaging service. 

In terms of privacy, a new menu will provide information on the installed apps that are collecting data in the background, with customization options to help users take control of their personal information. 

Tech Radar predicts iOS 15 is set to reveal with a redesigned Control Center for both iPhone and iPad, along with support for dual biometric authentication via Face ID and Touch ID (which might also leave some clues about what to expect from the next generation of iPhones.) 

iPad iOS 15 users have a new Home Screen to look forward to. It’s expected to be much more versatile, allowing users to place widgets anywhere they please!   

Big News is Coming From Apple’s WWDC 2021

With the potential unveiling of Apple’s long-awaited VR technology, new M1X-powered Macs, *and* exciting updates to iOS 15, WWDC 21 could be the biggest developer conference in years!

What are you expecting Tim Cook to reveal? And what are you most excited about? Let us know in the comments below! And don’t forget, you can watch Apple’s WWDC live on Apple’s website. And if you are interested in hearing more Apple news, subscribe below!

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