Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC 2017) is set to take place in June. The conference is where Apple traditionally showcases the latest versions of their operating systems, as well as new tools for developers and new hardware.
Apple is preparing new versions of iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS for the conference. Additionally, the company is contemplating launching new Mac hardware at the event, earlier than the traditional fall launches.
WWDC 2017: iOS 11 + Siri
Apple is set to announce iOS 11 at WWDC 2017, according to sources familiar with the matter. The new update will be for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices. The update is set to launch to the public this fall.
Apple is also scheduled to launch a major iPhone update this fall. Many of the changes in the new update focus around this new device, meaning many of the changes will remain behind wraps until the fall. Instead, Apple will focus on two significant changes in iOS 11.
The first is a completely updated version of Siri. The virtual assistant was launched in 2011 alongside the iPhone 4s. Since then, Siri has only marginally improved. While the company did launch some minor changes last year, these were only the first steps to a complete overhaul.
First, Apple is planning on making Siri open to all third-party developers. This opening-up means anyone can create an app to add functionality to Siri and put it in the App Store. Second, Siri is becoming contextually aware. This means if you ask “What time is the movie?”, and then say “Add a reminder,” Siri will remember you are referring to the film.
These updates will stretch across all platforms, not just iOS. Apple is also working on a unified version of Siri, that would have the same functions of all platforms. It is unclear is this version is ready for launch.
WWDC 2017: iOS 11 + iPad
The second major change Apple is working on in iOS 11 is a series of iPad-specific software updates. These updates will coincide with some hardware updates this fall, and an overall push from Apple to strengthen the sales of the tablet computer in general.
One of these new, iPad-specific features is multi-user support. iPad owners will be able to create multiple accounts on their device. Similar to a Mac, and each account will have separate settings, apps, and preferences. Additionally, the iPad will be able to switch users just by using Touch ID automatically.
Another new feature is expanded multitasking support. On the larger Pro models, Apple has been testing the ability to multitask 3-4 windows at once as opposed to the current two.
Additionally, many of the first-party Apple apps in iOS will receive updates specifically for iPad, making them easier to use on the larger device.
WWDC 2017: macOS 10.13, watchOS 4, and tvOS 11
Apple will also launch updates to the rest of its principal operating systems.
macOS 10.13 will launch this Fall and include some interface changes and new features. watchOS 4 and tvOS 11 will also launch with new features this fall.
WWDC 2017: Macs
Apple is working on some updated Mac computers, which may be announced at WWDC.
Some of these devices, including an updated MacBook, are finished. Apple may, however, choose to wait until the fall.
There have also been rumors around Apple showcasing a new Apple speaker similar to Amazon Echo or Google’s Home. It will be worth watching if this speculation becomes a reality.
What are some of your expectations as an Apple user?