WWDC 2021 is almost here: iOS 15, MacBook Pro M2 and what else to expect

Apple’s WWDC 2021 gets underway Monday – here’s what to expect

Apple’s worldwide developer conference, the annual meeting for the people who build the software that runs on your iPhone, iPad, Mac, and other Apple devices, has seen some important announcements in recent years.

Take last year’s event, where Apple unveiled plans to make its own chips for the Mac, a transition that’s still ongoing. Or the 2018 edition of WWDC where Apple has detailed plans to port the iOS app to the Mac. Those are some pretty big changes to spring on people, especially before lunchtime.

WWDC 2021 is underway in less than 24 hours. And when the inaugural keynote begins Monday (June 7) at 10 a.m. PT with the keynote, we’d expect a much quieter affair than the last few installments. This year, the focus is likely to be on software, as Apple previews upcoming updates to its litany of operating systems that power everything from phones to tablets to Macs. Speaking of Macs, there’s a chance we might see new models, even as Apple reserves its product announcements for other events.

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While the agenda looks great at the WWDC 2021 keynote, that doesn’t mean Apple won’t have a surprise or two in store, especially if it uses this year’s conference as a way to reach those developers. Decides to do what may be feeling difficult – done recently.

“During the recent apple-epic test“Apple’s attitude toward developers … wasn’t the best,” said Jason Snell, a longtime Apple writer who runs Six Colors Blog And contributes to Tom’s guide every time. (Full disclosure: Snell and I covered Apple together for the better part of 14 years, and we continue to collaborate on side projects that are unrelated to any of Apple’s work, as long as the Magnum PI- Not a branded iPhone.)

“I wouldn’t be surprised to see Apple try to placate some of the policies by changing them, and to express its general love for developers,” Snell said. That said, loosening policies immediately after testing could allow Apple’s opponents to declare victory. It’s difficult. But if there’s big news, I think it will come down to that front. “

Still, even though Apple spends some time smoothing things over with developers, the main event will focus on software updates and maybe a hardware reveal or two. Here’s what to expect at WWDC 2021 and how you can follow along with upcoming announcements for Monday’s keynote.

When is WWDC 2021 and how can you stream Keynote?

WWDC runs from June 7 to June 11 this year. The week-long event includes several developer sessions that aren’t really intended for a general audience. The biggest news out of WWDC comes from Monday’s keynote, which begins June 7th at 1PM ET/10AM PT.

we have a guide How to watch WWDC 2021, but the short answer is over the head Apple’s website, where a live stream will be available. Apple also has a Youtube channel Which will broadcast the live stream of WWDC 2021. And if you have an Apple device — iPhone, iPad or Apple TV — go to the TV app, where the WWDC keynote will be shown under Apple Events.

WWDC 2021 predictions: software galore

Even with the prospect of a hardware announcement on Monday – more on that below – software dominates the news at WWDC. It’s an opportunity for Apple to show developers what’s coming with the software that powers all of the company’s various devices, so that those app makers will have access to any new features before the full release arrives later this year. Get a chance to update your products to take advantage.

In all instances, anything Apple previews this Monday will likely be available as a beta to developers, usually the moment the WWDC keynote ends. But ordinary users can also indulge in software previews – in recent years, Apple has released public betas for its iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, and Apple TV product lines. Public betas usually appear a few weeks after WWDC ends, but you can sign up for betas now on the website for Apple’s Beta Software Program to get a jump on the process.

After publishing this preview, Bloomberg posted a last-minute report on potential WWDC 2021 announcements, with one of the biggest changes likely to be having a privacy dashboard across all of Apple’s devices. Described as a control panel, it will give you a report on exactly which third-party apps are tracking.

For the specific software preview you can expect at WWDC 2021, read on.

iOS 15 and iPadOS 15: Two years ago, Apple split its iOS software into two separate offerings — iOS runs iPhones (and the few remaining iPod touch models out there), while iPadOS powers Apple’s tablets. However, both operating systems have a lot in common, and generally, features offered by Apple for one system find their way to the other, unless those features are specific to the phone or tablet.

iOS 15 Concepts showing off a redesigned iPhone lock screen

To put it another way, Apple has introduced a lot of changes iOS 15 Will likely come into effect during Monday’s preview iPad 15. For this year’s iOS update, early rumors point to better controls over notifications — you’ll be able to set more status for incoming messages and tweak various auto-reply. Your iPhone’s lock screen may be overall too, as Apple adds customization tools. (Bloomberg suggests that lock screen customization may be on hold for this update.)

In addition to those rumors, we’d expect iOS’s built-in apps like Photos, Maps, and others to receive their usual enhancements — and in fact, a report has already teased updates to Maps, iMessage, Safari, and Health.

iPadOS 15 is particularly intriguing, according to Snell — especially in light of the arrival of 12.9-inch iPad Pro and 11 inch ipad pro model earlier this year. “The new iPad Pro is powerful but limited – and all eyes are on the next version of the operating system to see if Apple is going to make changes to use that power more effectively,” he said. .

To that end, iPadOS 15 is expected to get the home screen widget Apple has added to iPhones. iOS 14. In the case of the iPad, those widgets will clearly be able to take advantage of the substantial screen real estate on Apple’s tablets. Bloomberg also reports multitasking enhancements in iPadOS 15. Last year’s iPadOS update was fairly minor, which usually means Apple will be pushing the boat on new features for the next update.

MacOS 12: The rumor mill has been pretty silent on what new features we can expect from the latest version of macOS, with the California-inspired nickname Apple is going to choose. macOS 12. Apple has previously highlighted mountains, deserts, and bodies of water, so we’re due to swing through canyons at some point.

Goodbye macOS Big Sur, Hello macOS… Fresno?

However, more important than the name is what enhancements macOS 12 brings. We’re looking forward to hearing more about security (particularly protection against malware), and more iOS features and integrations making their way to the Mac and assorted design tweaks.

watchOS 8: Apple has decided that the Apple Watch’s true calling is as a health and fitness accessory, so expect to see more features to support that mission. watchOS 8. Specific additions could include improvements to the Apple Watch’s integration with the recently launched Apple Fitness service, as well as a dedicated Health app for the watch.

We’ve heard the thunder apple watch 7 May add blood glucose monitoring capabilities. While Apple is unlikely to reveal anything that spells out the features of its next smartwatch before its expected fall release, we may be hearing about additional health monitoring capabilities coming to watchOS 7. Mental health tools that monitor stress and warn of potential panic attacks seem like a natural extension for Apple’s Watch.

Oh, and we’ll be seeing new watch faces on Monday – oh so many watch faces.

tvOS 15: Yes, the Apple TV’s software also gets some time in the WWDC spotlight, though we imagine Apple will roll out this update fairly quickly. biggest rumor circulating tvOS 15 There is a potential interface overhaul, its most significant improvement since tvOS added new screensavers and multiuser support for What’s Next View. We’d bet parental controls and Screen Time monitoring tools are also on the agenda.

One more thing – HomeOS: Another Apple OS? in this economy? We ourselves wouldn’t believe it, if it weren’t for the job posting that appeared this week Indicated on the HomeOS platform Works at Apple. Presumably, this software will help manage smart home devices, an area where Apple’s HomeKit has the likes of Amazon and Google. Apple could certainly benefit from “a more focused and rational smart-home strategy,” said Snell, “which has shown signs of coming together after several years of disarray.”

That said, there are a lot of roads to travel from a job listing to an entirely new software platform. Apple could very well be working on software and unifying its smart home offerings, but it could also be something it’s not quite ready for the WWDC spotlight this time around.

WWDC 2021 predictions: what about the hardware?

Developers want to hear about software, not hardware, though that hasn’t stopped Apple from using WWDC as a launching pad for new Macs in the past. In addition to last year’s Apple Silicon presentation, 2019 saw Apple introduce the Mac Pro, while 2017 stunned us with the iMac Pro, a new iPad Pro, and the HomePod speaker. So hardware can be, and has been, until recently, usually in odd-numbered years.


Aside from that trend, you’d understand that Apple would really love to update us on the state of the transition to Apple-made processors. After last year’s announcement, we’ve seen the M1 for MacBook Air, Mac mini,…

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