With WWDC 2015 set to kick off on Monday, June 8th, rumours are starting to circulate about what Apple may be set to unveil to developers during the event. With builds of iOS 9 and OS X 10.11 potentially pencilled in for outings during the event’s opening keynote, leaks have begun to arrive that claim to have the inside scoop on at least some of the features and changes set to arrive as part of the two software updates.
Kicking off, initial rumors coming out of the infamous ‘people familiar with the matter’ – according to 9to5Mac – have Apple set to dump the current Helvetica Neue that currently graces iOS and Mac OS X. Having initially arrived as part of iOS 7 and OS X 10.10, Helvetica Neue was lambasted for its lack of legibility – a complaint that cannot be levied at the San Francisco font that is expected to replace it.
Originally seen for the first time on the Apple Watch, San Francisco was designed by Apple to make legibility less of an issue on a small screen. Since then the font has made the jump to the keyboard of the new MacBook which Apple recently released and all this means that the move from Helvetica Neue to San Francisco as the system font for both iOS and Mac OS X seems more of an inevitability than a possibility.
Dumping a system font and replacing it with another is not a trivial task however, and with insiders reporting that Apple is set to bring San Francisco to iOS and OS X, it is clear that Apple has its work cut out ahead of any potential beta releases come WWDC time.
As if that isn’t enough work to be getting on with, Apple is also now rumored to be bringing a new Home app to iOS 9 that will give users a place to tie all of their HomeKit apps and functions together. Currently stalled following its announcement at last year’s WWDC, HomeKit is Apple’s framework that should theoretically make it easier for makers of home automation equipment to create apps and tie-ins for iOS. Following its announcement there has been a worrisome lack of progress on the HomeKit front, at least publicly, but a new Home app could see things moving in the right direction.
According to sources of 9to5Mac’s Mark Gurman, Apple’s new Home app is still in the early testing stages but it would allow such things as virtual rooms to be set up to allow the easier management of HomeKit appliances from within the app. The organization and configuration of HomeKit devices is likely to be a key feature of the Home app when it arrives, with the wireless discovery and subsequent configuration said to be on the cards.
German’s sources say that the Home app may not be ready for prime time just yet though, so we may have to wait a little longer to see it in action. That means we probably shouldn’t expect to see it in early iOS 9 betas come WWDC time.
We’ll know soon enough though.
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