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With Apple’s 30th Worldwide Developers Conference less than two weeks away, Apple has sent out media invites for the keynote event, which will be held on June 3rd at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California.
The WWDC Keynote, which kicks off the week-long developers conference, is traditionally used to highlight Apple’s new lineup of major operating system updates. Apple also sometimes throws in a hardware announcement or two, but as a developer-focused event, it’s usually more about the software.
iOS 13, macOS 10.15, watchOS 6 and More
It’s almost certain that the keynote will herald the arrival of the first developer previews of iOS 13, along with macOS 10.15 — the name of which is not yet known. tvOS 13 and watchOS 6 updates will also almost certainly accompany the iOS and macOS releases.
Although we’ve heard little about most of Apple’s operating system updates, there’s been no shortage of rumours, news, and leaks about iOS 13, which is expected to pack in a new long-awaited dark mode, along with possibly a redesigned home screen, four new Animoji, over 200 new emoji, some cool new iPad features — including maybe even mouse support — and a whole bunch of significant changes to Apple’s first-party apps, some of which have been long-neglected.
We’ll also likely find out whether iOS 13 will signal the end of the road for older iPhone models, and if so, which ones will be left out in the cold.
Being a developers’ conference, there will almost certainly be some new features and integrations that third-party apps can take advantage of, with rumours that Apple is planning to more widely open up Siri and NFC support, and we’ll also finally see Apple’s “Marzipan” framework unveiled to allow for iOS and macOS apps to share a common codebase.
Not much is known about what to expect in macOS 10.15, but Apple is said to be planning to break up iTunes into separate apps for music, podcasts, and TV, although the new Music app will be a full replacement for iTunes, rather than a stripped-down version. There’s also been talk of a new macOS feature that will allow an iPad to be used as a second display.
What About New Hardware?
Unlike WWDC 2017, which saw the debut of two new iPad Pros, new Macs, and of course the HomePod unveiling, we’re not expecting this year’s event to be much about hardware at all. Apple already quietly refreshed its standard iPad lineup in March, and iPad Pros have now fallen into the more typical fall release cycle. Apple also released its 2019 MacBook Pro refresh yesterday, taking those off the table for any potential WWDC announcements.
That said, there’s a good chance that WWDC will headline at least one major piece of new Apple hardware: the modular Mac Pro that’s been rumoured since late 2017. In an uncommon move for Apple, the company actually confirmed last year that the new Mac Pro would be arriving in 2019, and Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference is the most logical place to show off the new high-end Mac, and it’s the event where Apple showed off its last Mac Pro redesign back in 2013.
It’s less clear, however, whether Apple will only be previewing the new Mac Pro like it did with the 2013 model, or whether it will actually be announcing availability for the new system. In addition, Apple also reportedly has a high-end mini-LED 31.6-inch 6K display in the works, and we think that’s likely to get some stage time at WWDC as well, since it will mark Apple’s re-entry into the standalone display business, and of course a display such as this seems like a perfect companion to Apple’s new flagship “Pro” Mac.
Either way, with less than two weeks to go, there’s plenty to get excited about, and it’s not just the keynote — over 5,000 developers are expected to descend upon San Jose that week, where they’ll be able to get access to Apple engineers and learn new techniques, as well as how to take advantage of the new features coming in iOS 13 and macOS 10.15, so it’s likely that we’ll see more than a few major app announcements coming out that week as well.