Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, who is consistently well-placed to make accurate Apple predictions, is suggesting that next week’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) will have a heavy software focus and will not include any major hardware announcements.
Apple has historically used the opening keynote of its annual WWDC announcement to make major announcements surrounding its main software-based platforms, such as macOS and iOS. Once those announcements are out of the way, Apple’s executive team has previously moved on to making a slew of other announcements, some of which have been hardware-based and are used to introduce a new iPad or a brand new range of improved MacBooks.
Gurman believes that this year’s event – which begins on Monday, June 4 – will be predominantly about software, with all hardware announcements penned for later in the year.
It’s pretty much nailed on that Apple will use the event to talk about iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS, but it’s the scale of those announcements that could shock people. It’s expected that the opening keynote will be slightly more muted where software is concerned, focusing on a more incremental approach rather than wholesale changes. That could include the announcement of ARKit 2 with new support for multiplayer modes in AR-based games. The company is also now expected to announce some new Digital Health tools built into iOS 12. Google made a similar announcement at its own I/O conference earlier this month.
We could also see a series of more minor announcements, including the ability to temporarily snooze notifications, track changes on the stock market, and even sending Animoji creations over FaceTime communications. All of those predictions fall in line with the previous speculation that Apple is planning to use WWDC to introduce new versions of its software platforms, which focus on stability and overall enhancements rather than wild new features and the introduction of more chaos.
If so, Apple will introduce the larger features – which were originally penned for iOS 12 – during 2019. It’s unknown if they would form the basis of iOS 13 or whether or not Apple could introduce a feature-rich iOS 12 “point” release early in the year. For those who were going to tune in for any hardware announcements, Gurman predicts that they are coming but they will be later in the year and will include a refreshed iPad Pro with Face ID, a refresh to the 12-inch MacBook lineup, and a pair of Apple Watch models.
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