At WWDC — Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference — the company showcases its latest innovations to thousands of developers. While the conference runs over the course of a week, Apple kicks off the festivities with its traditional keynote on June 4 at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California. Whether you’re attending or not, Apple’s official WWDC app is also available for download — providing you with the event schedule, latest news, access to the livestreamed sessions, and more.
While WWDC does tend to stick to new software, we could see a few new pieces of hardware make appearances as well. From its latest operating systems for the Mac and iPhone to new features on WatchOS, tvOS, and more, here’s everything we expect to see at WWDC 2018.
While the official lineup for WWDC is unclear, we know one thing is for sure — the software-focused event will unveil the latest operating system for the iPhone. Rumors about iOS 12 have already started to surface, and there are a few features we could see. While iOS 11 set out to provide more customizability and accessibility options — complete with a redesigned Control Center and App Store — Apple is most likely using iOS 12 as a way to provide a smoother experience with more stability and fewer bugs.
For starters, iOS 12 is said to include a new functionality that allows you to unlock car, office, house, and hotel doors if you own an NFC-enabled handset. Even though users are already able to manage smart locks using Bluetooth, NFC provides a more secure system. There are also new features for security on Apple’s hardware itself, with the addition of even more parental controls on the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. In addition, iOS 12 might include extra parental control features, such as the ability to monitor how much time their kids spend on their devices
Other features include a redesigned Stocks app, support for multi-person augmented reality gaming, and an improved Do Not Disturb feature with more options to choose from. Those who use FaceTime often may also have the ability to video chat with multiple people at once rather than strictly one-on-one. Those with TrueDepth cameras (available on the iPhone X) could even have the option to use iOS 11’s Animoji while on FaceTime calls.
Improvements to HomeKit may be announced as well. Apple reportedly has plans to add its Home app to MacOS, which would allow those who use Mac computers to control HomeKit accessories. Since the Home app is already available on the iPhone, this would give users control from more devices.
Of course, there are also features that were originally supposed to be included in iOS 12 but have been delayed. This includes an improved Photos app, a revamped Home screen, and multitasking features — such as tab support for apps on the iPad, spilt-screen view on the iPhone, and more.
Ahead of WWDC, a user on Reddit spotted a June 5 delivery date for a 13-inch version of Apple’s MacBook Pro. that’s a day after the keynote. While that could be an indication to the debut of a new Macbook Pro, Apple’s web store does say both the base 13-inch and 15-inch models are available immediately for in-store pickup in the San Francisco area. It also gives a ship date of June 1.
Regardless, it could still be possible that a revamped model will be announced seeing as how Intel’s 8th Generation Core i Series processors are currently available. While there are PCs on the market that include the 8th-generation chips, Apple has yet to release a new MacBook Pro with better performance and battery life than its current rivals. Apple might also address the butterfly key switch design — which users reported as having a high failure rate — and whether the company plans on revamping it for a better user experience.
Other reports claim the company will announce an entry-level MacBook that could ship by the end of the second quarter of 2018. It will be the same price as the current MacBook Air models or could even be a bit lower. According to reports, it could include 13.3-inch amorphous silicon panels that pack 2,560 x 1,600 resolution — similar to what the current 13.3-inch MacBook Pro offers now.
Watch OS 5
While we won’t hear any news about a next-generation Apple Watch, we’ll learn what Apple has in store for its next rendition of Watch OS. Rumors are scarce around Watch OS 5, but users can expect to see additional watch face options, along with upgraded customization options. There is also speculation the new operating system will include a native podcast app. After debuting its Face ID unlocking technology on the iPhone X last September, some predict Watch OS will integrate the same functionality, allowing users to unlock their timepieces using their facial features rather than entering a password.
We can also expect to see improved health-tracking features on the OS. Following reports March, KGI Securities industry analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed the Apple Watch Series 4 will have “enhanced health sensors,” but gave no other additional information. This could mean anything from sleep tracking to even female health tracking (a feature that Fitbit introduced on its Fitbit Versa and Fitbit Ionic earlier in May).
There aren’t too many rumors surrounding what we might expect for tvOS 12 — but we do expect to see some type of announcement, whether it’s big or small. A few weeks ahead of WWDC, Apple released tvOS 11.4. It includes support for AirPlay 2, which is designed to bring multiroom audio where music can be played on a variety of devices in your home. With the latest tvOS update, AirPlay 2 is now included in the Home app for HomeKit devices. allowing users to control AirPlay 2 playback through Apple TV, iPhone, or Siri. It could be possible that Apple’s announcement is related to the latest update.
iPhone SE 2
Even though Apple always saves its next-generation lineup of iPhones for its fall event in September, rumors claim the iPhone SE 2 will be revealed at this year’s WWDC. The original iPhone SE launched about two years ago and was the more compact, less expensive iPhone option. According to recent leaks, this year’s version could sport an iPhone X-like design complete with a glass back and will be smaller than its predecessor. Other rumors point toward an iPhone SE 2 that looks more like the original, with more of an iPhone 5 type look — Touch ID included.
As for specifications, a glass back on the iPhone SE 2 would allow for wireless charging. Under the hood, it could also come complete with Apple’s A10 Fusion chip, 2GB of RAM, and the option to choose between 32GB or 128GB of storage. In terms of the camera, it’s said to have a 12-megapixel rear-facing camera and 5-megapixel front-facing camera.
The biggest rumor swirling about the MacOS update is the possibility of “universal apps,” which allow you to sync up apps on iOS and MacOS. That way, if you start a project on Pages or even a conversation through iMessage on your iPad or iPhone, you’ll be able to pick up right where you left off on your Mac. There are also signs that Apple plans on moving all apps to 64-bit APIs for iOS and MacOS — if not this year, then in the coming years.
Other potential announcements could be related to Siri and its capabilities. It’s possible there could be more app and email management, along with full integration with Spotlight. It’s also highly likely we’ll see improvements to the Dock. Rumors have surfaced claiming that Apple is planning on creating a control panel — similar to the one already on iOS. This will combine the notification bar, Dock, and Launchpad to make it easier for you to control apps and documents you use often.
A smaller, cheaper HomePod
At last year’s WWDC, Apple previewed the highly anticipated HomePod — which many found to be too expensive at $350. Recent rumors claim that Apple plans on releasing a cheaper version under its Beats brand for $200. To allow for a smart speaker at a lower price point, Apple could be releasing a smaller version similar to the Google Mini or Amazon Echo Dot. If the company decides to go down the same path as both Google and Amazon, then the smaller HomePod would still have the same capabilities as the original device. But the chances are still slim, seeing as how the original HomePod is still fairly new and Apple typically waits for more than a year before making any updates.
Since the iPad Pro wasn’t announced at Apple’s education-focused event in Chicago in March, it’s likely it could make its debut at WWDC. Based on rumors, the 2018 iPad Pro could have a similar look to the iPhone X — no home button and minimal bezels. It’s also possible the new model will use Face ID to unlock the device for security. According to an anonymous source, the Apple Pencil may get an upgrade that could include new software features and tools.