What to expect from WWDC 2019: The Rundown
With June 3rd fast approaching, and San Jose, California soon to be filled with developers and Apple executives alike. Rumors, like every year, have been circulating at a faster rate the close WWDC gets. Let’s take a snapshot of what could be coming from Apple during the conference.
This is a given at every WWDC, and this year doesn’t appear on the surface to be any different. macOS Mojave last year was released to great applause, introducing features like the much-anticipated Dark Mode, stacks for the desktop (My favourite macOS feature in a very long time!) and the first taste of the code named ‘Mazipan’ Project Apple has been working on for a while.
The main circulating rumour and feature for the next installment of macOS which seems pretty certain to be true, is the death of iTunes. Over the last few years Apple has been limiting iTunes with the rise and focus of the new Apple Music platform. Apple Music ads all over the iTunes store, less and less frequent updates to the rather ageing and bloated iTunes app for the Mac, and the announcement of an Apple TV app coming to the Mac in the autumn. The last point, straight from Apple in their media event back in March, shows that the rumoured iTunes shakeup could most likely to be true, with TV on the Mac currently existing in the iTunes system. So a new dedicated TV app would render this useless in iTunes, and would be a perfect time for Apple to shake things up with media on the Mac.
Another possibility is the expansion of the Marzipan project Apple debuted last year. With the arrival of the News, Stocks, and Voice Notes app on the Mac with Mojave, showed the first iOS born apps to be ported onto the Mac. This is Apple’s new vision of the future, to have one app that can be run on both Mac and iOS, creating an even closer and more coherent and consistent ecosystem. It has been met with both praise and criticism, but it doesn’t look like Apple will be slowing down on its project. As said above the new Apple TV app is likely to be another Marzipan app taken from the iOS 12.2 Apple TV App, and the rumoured Podcasts and new Music apps will most likely also be Marzipan. We will have to wait and see on June 3rd to see if this is to be the case.
Other featured rumoured for the next instalment for the Mac are enhancements to Siri, so it will finally be able to set a timer and set alarms on the Mac, and Siri Shortcuts.
Lastly, the name is still uncertain but it is almost certain going to be another Californian based name. Apple has trademarked but not used the following names, so perhaps the next name will be in this list; Big Sur, California, Condor, Diablo, Farallon, Grizzly, Mammoth, Miramar, Monterey, Pacific, Redtail, Rincon, Sequoia, Shasta, Skyline, Tiburon, Ventura, Redwood, and Sonoma
An update to iOS is also a staple of WWDC, and this year some big changes are rumoured to be coming to iOS. The expected refresh of the home screen is likely to be shown, rumoured to have been delayed from iOS 12 due to Apple wanting to focus more heavily on big fixes and stability. What this refresh looks like we do not know but it should be a welcome change from the static grid that has been iconic to iOS since its launch in 2007.
It is also set to get a touch of Mojave, with a long awaited Dark Mode. This has been a feature much discussed for many years with iOS and iOS 13 is rumoured to be the update that delivers this much awaited feature.
Some Apple apps that have been shown little love in recent updates have been Find My Friends + Find my iPhone, with iOS 13 rumoured to be giving them a refresh and possibly some new features.
iOS in recent years has really transformed the iPad experience and iOS 13 is set to extend that even further. It is said that iOS 13 will give support for multiple windows from a single app, which has been a long awaited feature. The introduction of new multitasking features like side by side applications, and slide over, changed the way we use and interact with apps on the iPad. This new feature will certainly be welcome with many power users who use the iPad as their primary machine.
The Health App is set to get some love, with a new daily overview of the day and your activities and metrics for the day. The reminders app too could also see some much needed love, with a new layout that shows in a clearer way your tasks for the day, and a breakdown of tasks and lists that you create within the app.
The interface in general is said to get a welcome refresh, with new multitasking, application launch and volume control animations. Volume will not cover the entire screen and will be given a more modern look. Finally the widgets within the Today View are rumoured to be getting a cleaner look.
watchOS 6 is said to be a big release for the Apple Watch. Some features rumoured to be arriving to the wrist include an Apple Watch App store, further features to make the Watch more independent from the iPhone, and a dedicated Calculator app.
Apple Books could also be coming to the watch, but not fully like the iPhone, iPad or Mac. Instead, the app would solely be focussed on showing your audio books that you can listen to on the go, because I highly doubt apple would expect you to read your book from the tiny screen on your wrist.
The main focus for the watch from the early days of its release has been health, and the new system is set to get some more health conscious features to further extend the fitness capabilities of the watch. Some rumoured features include a pill tracker, and menstrual cycle calendar.
Lastly, as with every year, Apple Watch is set to get some new watch faces. One called Gradient, that allows you to choose a face and then select the colour gradient you want the face to reflect. Others should be in the works but we will not know for sure until Apple shows what they have got on June 3rd.
Sneak Peak of the Modular Mac Pro + Pro Display
This has been long awaited. Apple in 2018 did something unconventional and allowed a sneak peak (Not visual) into what they have planned for the upcoming refresh to the Mac Pro, a model that has been left untouched for over 4 years. Apple admitted that it had some work to do in making the next model better, and said that they would show a sneak peak of the new machine in 2019. They also said that the new machine will be a Modular One, a welcome relief for Pro users who were displeased with the lack of adaptability with the new Mac Pro design of the current generation. Will WWDC be that sneak peak? Following in the footsteps of the past, the current version of Mac Pro was shown on the stage of WWDC for a Sneak peak so it could be.
Recently, Apple has been limiting and now removing the LG Pro displays that it suggested in the place of its now discontinued thunderbolt displays. This has been fresh from rumours that Apple is working on its very own version of display, ready for the new modular Mac Pro coming sometime this year.
So, June 3rd looks to be a busy one, and we cannot wait for the releases that Apple brings! Do you think we have covered everything Apple will be offering? What features do you hope to see in the next installment for the iOS, macOS watchOS and more systems that are set to be refreshed in a few weeks time? Leave your comments below!