Apple’s annual World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) is almost here – it starts on June 6 (Monday) and lasts until the 10th. Personal attendance will be limited, most participants will experience the event online. What does Apple have in store for us?
This event focuses on software and developers. What the common user should look forward to are the new versions of Apple’s various operating systems that power its phones, tablets, watches, computers, media players, and perhaps other devices.
The new version of iOS will lay the groundwork for the new iPhones coming in September, which are said to have Always On Display functionality. The biggest challenge here is to keep power consumption low, and Apple has always been very good at that. Will iPhone 13 and older get AoD? Unlikely, as most of the energy savings come from the hardware, not the software.
A screen-related change to watch out for is an API that allows fine-grained control over how the status bar is displayed. A more dynamic system could signal the notch’s transition to other designs.
Apple reportedly plans to break the notch
So, what can current users expect? Well, Bloomberg analyst Mark Gurman reports that Apple is going to revamp its notification system. In addition, the health tracking features of the system will be improved, but details are elusive.
Gurman also predicts that Apple’s first party apps will receive an overhaul with iOS 16. Messages, in particular, will reportedly get “social network-like functionality” focused on audio messaging. The Health app is expected to receive drug management features and improvements for tracking sleep and women’s health.
The lockscreen is set to receive new functionality as well – “wallpapers with widget-like capabilities”. iOS already has widgets on the home screen and Today view, the lock screens may behave differently.
Apple is also working on an overhaul of the multitasking interface, but the changes will be much more extensive on its tablets.
iPad OS 16
The new version of the operating system is said to be aimed at bringing iPads closer to laptops. Analysts expect changes to the multitasking interface to include free-form windows in addition to the current split-screen system. Even the app switcher is updated.
The new software will reportedly introduce a new power saving mode. It won’t be as limited as Power Reserve mode as you will still be able to use some apps and features while extending battery life. How long? We’ll know on Monday.
The user interface can also be reworked and there will be new health features. Rumors suggest the new version will get atrial fibrillation detection, as well as new workout types and stats.
macOS 13 and new Macs
macOS 13, perhaps dubbed “Mammoth,” may be getting an overhaul of first-party apps, similar to their iOS counterparts.
And while WWDC is primarily a software event, some laymen are suggesting that Apple could unveil the very first of the M2 Macs. The company would start with a new MacBook Air, a new Mac mini is also not out of the question.
There may be improvements to smart home controls, but Apple has kept any changes a secret.
A full reveal of Apple’s rumored VR headset is pretty unlikely, but the company could introduce its work on virtual and augmented reality, which has been done behind the curtain so far. An important part of that will be the software that will power future headsets, called rOS.
A “buy now, pay later” service for Apple Pay has been rumored since last year. This allows users to purchase an item and pay in installments. The service was described as having two options: four interest-free payments every two weeks and monthly payments with interest. We haven’t heard much about it lately though, so Apple may have given up on the idea.