WWDC 2020 – what to expect from Apple’s software event

Worldwide Developers Conference is where Apple show off all their latest software for their various products. This year going fully digital for the first time.

There will be no usual event held this year for WWDC. 22nd June will see an online only keynote debut of Apple’s new software. Apple’s press release features a promo picture (above) and some information about WWDC and the new format. All the rest of the information is speculation based on previous years and leaks.

What we’ll almost certainly see
  • iOS 14
  • iPadOS 14
  • macOS 10.16
  • watchOS 7
  • tvOS 14

iOS is the big one. Bringing new life to millions of iPhones around the world. iOS updates have shifted in recent years. Going from major redesigns, to minor features and stability improvements. We’ll get a preview of iOS 14 at WWDC, with beta versions sent to developers and public release in September. What can we expect to see on stage next month?

iOS 14
  • A new list view home screen/app – Either a completely redesigned home screen or new app with better organisation for your apps. The app list will be sortable alphabetically, by notifications, most frequent or Siri smart suggestions (time-of-day, location, etc.)
  • Fitness app – a new fitness app with workout videos, and integration across iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad and Apple TV.
  • AR – apps and features to make full use of the LiDAR sensor on the new iPad and due on the new iPhone 12 Pro later this year. This could bring an Apple AR app, 3D AR feature in Maps, better focus in the camera and a better portrait mode.
  • Third-party app defaults – The ability to switch the default browser, music, maps and mail app. For example, tap an address and go straight to Google Maps, rather than Apple Maps.
  • iMessage improvements – Users will be identified by @username, retractable messages, mark as unread, a cleaner interface to bring it up to speed with competitors such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.
  • Apple Pencil support – Handwriting recognition and conversion to text.

At past WWDCs we have occasionally seen some new and updated hardware product unveilings and releases. With Apple’s March event earlier this year cancelled, new products have been popping up out of the blue recently, such as an updated iPad Pro, iPhone SE 2nd gen, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro 13-inch.

WWDC 2020 may be a good opportunity to debut some new products either as a preview for something they’re working on or straight up release.

Potential new products
Potential updated products
  • HomePod 2 (last updated 2018)
  • iMac (last updated early 2019)
  • iMac Pro (last updated 2017)
  • Mac Mini (last updated 2018) (Minor storage update 2020)
  • iPad Air (last updated early 2019)
  • iPad Mini (last updated early 2019)
  • Apple TV (last updated 2017)

Don’t count on their being any new or updated hardware at WWDC, as Apple may decide to announce outside of the event, as not to get overshadowed by their own software news.

What we won’t see
  • iPhones – iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro will debut at their usual September event
  • Apple Watch – New watches always debut alongside new iPhones in September
  • MacBooks – The entire MacBook range (Air, Pro 13-inch and 16-inch) has recently been updated
  • ARM processors in Macs – There’s been a lot of buzz online recently regarding Apple moving away from Intel and building its own processors for its computer line. This will likely start with MacBooks later this year or 2021.

Head to apple.com on June 22nd to catch the keynote live.

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