The biggest Apple event of the year, the Worldwide Developers Conference 2021 (stylized as WWDC21) starts on June 7th and will only take place online this year. “WWDC21 begins releasing exciting new updates for all Apple platforms later this year.” says Apple. This year, however, the developer conference isn’t just about Apple’s software ecosystem, as rumors also point to the debut of a highly anticipated piece of hardware. Excited? Here’s everything we expect from WWDC 2021:
The focus is of course on the software with which the business is run on over a billion iPhones. For now called iOS 15, we don’t know much about Apple’s plans for the smartphone operating system. According to a Bloomberg A major overhaul of the notification system is reportedly coming with iOS 15.
Starting with iOS 15, the report mentions that users can adapt the notification behavior to their current situation. For example, they can set the notification setting to send an audible alert – or not – depending on what they’re doing. According to reports, users can set status profiles such as driving, working, sleeping or create an overall custom usage scenario, each with its own way of handling notifications.
The upgrade mentioned above comes to life in the form of a new menu that appears on both the lock screen and Control Center, allowing users to quickly switch between profiles. In addition, users can enable automatic replies for each profile, which will be a convenient addition. Currently, auto-replies only work when users are driving, but iOS 15 will be undergoing a major upgrade.
Apple is also reportedly planning a major change to iMessage to make it more competitive against competition from rivals like WhatsApp. Not much is known about the details, but some “social” aspects are added. In addition, it may advertise a special menu informing users about apps that are silently collecting user data.
Will iOS 15 expand the scope of standard app behavior so that users can choose a third-party option rather than an Apple product? Actually, I’m not holding my breath for this one. And I’m not too hopeful of Apple’s previous actions either. What I would love is a refined settings app that doesn’t look like a maze to the average iPhone user. And then there’s the dream of an intuitive solution for customizing native app icons.
WWDC 2021 offers more than just iOS 15
However, iOS isn’t the only platform that Apple loves. According to the above report, Apple is also introducing the iPadOS 15 design, dubbed the “biggest home screen overhaul” in over a decade. With the next iteration of Apple’s tablet operating system, users will be able to add widgets to their tablet’s home screen. In addition, users can replace the entire app grid with widgets.
However, I think iPadOS is the platform that now needs a makeover and new features that will fully milk the raw firepower of the M1 chip in its new iPads. We anticipate announcements of more high quality apps optimized for the iPad family to take full advantage of the raw firepower they bring to the table.
Is Apple finally ready to unleash the true potential of its tablet operating system as it has all the computing power to handle anything you do with ease? We’ll find out soon! However, if you are not particularly optimistic about the above argument, you may be referring to it. ‘Why I’m not upgrading to the 2021 iPad Pro‘History.
Let’s talk about wearables now. WatchOS 8 indeed. The leaks related to the changes in the Apple Watch ecosystem were rare. However, you can certainly expect new watch faces and some user interface improvements to spice things up. Apple could also introduce some new improvements to accessibility and wellness features related to mental health.
Recently, some rumors have hinted at the introduction of a stress monitoring feature or panic attack detection, which combines the data received from the heart rate and the SpO2 sensor on the Apple Watch to create a stress profile and help users relax relax with guided exercises and meditations. We’ve already seen how RTOS-based stress monitoring came to life on smartwatches, albeit not in great detail.
Alright. What about macOS at WWDC? Unfortunately, the Leak Arena has been unusually excited about new features that come with the next big Mac software upgrade. Apple has made the move to naming major macOS upgrades after California landmarks. So your guess about the name of the next macOS update is as good as mine. Jacinto, Gorgonio, Cascade, Golden Gate? Well, let’s wait and see!
WWDC 2021 will also be a hardware showcase?
It’s in the name. Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). The event has historically been Apple Christmas for software ecosystem announcements, but this year it could be a little different. According to leakster Jon Prosser, at least the much-anticipated update to the MacBook Pro will appear at the event. Here is a quick recap of what the new machine is all about:
More importantly, the Apple silicon in the upcoming MacBook Pro models has up to 32 cores, which means it can easily handle demanding tasks like graphic design and video editing. The RAM capacity, however, is up to 64 GB. However, it’s not surprising that Apple is up to 128GB in size. Needless to say, this machine will be a beast (at least on paper) and of course expensive too!
Apple is also rumored to be working on new true wireless earbuds, tentatively called AirPods 3. Leaked schematics suggest an aesthetic makeover that flaunts an in-ear design with scope for earbud use and a much shorter stem. The design is heavily inspired by the AirPods Pro. Active noise cancellation, however, likely won’t be part of the package.
AirPods 3 are said to be equipped with an in-house chip that brings quick pairing to life. In addition, support for Spatial Audio will be part of the package. And if Apple’s promise to make Spatial Audio partnered with Dolby Atmos for a better music listening experience can be fulfilled – now that Apple Music is lossless FREE – the AirPods 3 are at least good enough to blow up your favorite nickelback Traces. Sorry, I meant Adele. Really!
However, if the AirPods 3 doesn’t make a big debut at WWDC 2021, keep an eye on the Beats Studio Buds, which have already received the U.S. FCC nod and were discovered in the code of an iOS beta build. They have a stemless design with a much smaller profile and in-ear design. They are supposed to bring the noise cancellation to the table. And if the price is below the AirPods Pro, they can prove to be a solid option for those in the market for a pair of premium earbuds.
We will cover WWDC 2021 in real time. So stay tuned for all updates on Pocketnow. And in case you miss the live event, check out Pocketnow’s YouTube channel which has all of the major announcements wrapped up with the hot shots of the inimitable Jaime Rivera. And trust me, you don’t want to miss that!