Programmers from around the world are descending on San Francisco this week for WWDC, Apple’s massive annual software meet-up.
As always, leaks, whispers and unconfirmed rumors abound before Monday’s keynote speech, when CEO Tim Cook and other company high-ups announce new technology updates and set the tone for the next year at Apple.
The tech giant hasn’t had the easiest year, so this WWDC will be one to watch. One billboard inside the conference center billed the event as “the epicenter of change.” Can it live up to this hype? Here’s an overview of what’s expected.
Siri: One thing seems clear: Siri, the voice-activated assistant that lives in your iPhone, is going to take center stage.
That’s because some industry observers, such as the folks over at The Information, say Apple could open Siri up to all third-party apps. For software developers, that means they could integrate her (it?) into their apps. For iPhone users, that means telling your phone what to do more than typing it.
OS X: Sorry, did I say iPhone? What I meant was iPhone and Mac. Yes, there have been reports from 9to5Mac that Siri is going to make the jump from iOS to OS X, Apple’s operating system for its laptop and desktop computers.
Oh, and speaking of OS X, it’s probably going to be renamed MacOS, bringing it in line with Apple’s other operating systems: iOS, tvOS and watchOS. If you’re keeping score, this is actually the second time Apple has renamed OS X, originally Mac OS X.
Another cool feature Apple might unveil is an unlocking feature that would render a master password unnecessary to unlock a Mac if a user’s iPhone is nearby.
iOS: By now, we’re looking ahead to iOS 10. According to a former 9to5Mac writer who now reports for Bloomberg, Mark Gurman, there could be a bunch of polishing done “around the edges,” if not a sweeping overhaul of the entire user interface.
That could include a new-and-improved Photos app that would give back to photographers some of the functionality they lost when Apple scrapped iPhoto. This could include touch-based brushes to adjust specific parts of a photo rather than the whole thing, according to Japan’s Mac Otakara site.
There’s also chatter about a complete Apple Music reboot, the company’s relatively new music streaming service that struggled through its first year. Bloomberg reported in May that Apple was cooking up a more intuitive interface and smoother integration of its streaming and download features.
Fun fact: One of the guys in charge of the new look is Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor, according to Bloomberg.
Apple Pay, tvOS and watchOS: Users may soon be able to send money through iMessage via Apple Pay. As far as tvOS and watchOS go, however, Apple’s been keeping a pretty tight lid on any possible new features for their fairly nascent television and wristwear operating systems.