Apple’s 31st WWDC kicks off tomorrow: Here's what to expect from iPhone-maker’s first-ever virtual developers conference

Cupertino-based tech company Apple is going to dive into the future of iOS, iPadOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS, and devices at this year's online-only WWDC event.
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iPhone-maker Apple will be kicking off its 31st annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) virtually, beginning tomorrow (on June 22). The much-awaited conference looked forward to by iPhone lovers, analysts, markets, among others, will be the company’s first online-only event due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Apple CEO Tim Cook (File image | Source:Apple)



Apple’s WWDC, which is usually held in California, marks the unveiling of the company’s latest product offerings. Its CEO Tim Cook, and other top executives reveal new versions of iOS, iPadOS, macOS, tvOS, as well as new iPhones, iPads, Macs, and Apple Watches.

Due to the pandemic, this time, the key presentation and launches will be streamed online, and anyone can attend the virtual event.

“WWDC20 will be our biggest yet, bringing together our global developer community of more than 23 million in an unprecedented way for a week in June to learn about the future of Apple platforms,” Phil Schiller, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing, Apple said.

He added, “We can’t wait to meet online in June with the global developer community, and share with them all of the new tools we’ve been working on to help them create even more incredible apps and services.”

The week-long WWDC20 will host over 100 engineering sessions and one-on-one developer labs to help developers build their new range of apps for Apple devices.

Before you join, here’s what you can expect from the global tech event.

Free entry and reward-based challenges

All the sessions and keynotes are free for developers who are part of the Apple Developer app and on the Apple Developer website. Besides, student developers can also check out the challenges going on at the event.

For instance, WWDC20 has already announced the Swift Student Challenge – an opportunity for student developers to showcase their love for coding by creating their own Swift playground. 

Apple devices

Developer’s conferences are usually events where software launches are announced, but Apple has been showcasing its latest devices as well.

Earlier, it unveiled the HomePod smart speaker and gave a peek into the new Mac Pro. The new device-focussed announcement is expected during the special keynote which will be held at 10:30 pm IST on Monday, June 22. 

iMac 2020

According to various reports, Apple will announce a new iMac desktop that would feature an iPad Pro-like design and thin bezels. The iMac 2020 is expected to have a T2 co-processor and AMD Navi GPU.

While we cannot comprehend the price for the new iMac, the current model of the 21.5-inch version starts at $1,099. Apple has not updated its iMac design for years, so it will likely announce this in the event.

ARM-based Mac announcement

Further, Apple is expected to announce its much-anticipated shift towards ARM-based Mac from Intel-based Mac at present. The shift will give Apple a little more control over the hardware.

The company is likely to showcase several ARM-based machines by 2021. Apple, in its presentations, may reveal the benefits and changes macOS developers would get on ARM-based Mac machines. 

Software

The core of WWDC, Apple, will preview its new software updates, and unveil iOS 14, iPadOS 14, tvOS 14, watchOS 7, and macOS 10.16, aside from showcasing its new development tools.

The new iOS 14 update will reportedly have a new AR app called the ‘Gobi,’ which will allow users to scan Apple-branded QR codes. The update will also include upgradation in ‘Find My app’ with sound and vibration cues to help users find their lost Apple devices.



In the iPadOS 14 updates, users are expected to get the ‘Gobi’ app and the updated ‘Find My’ app. as well as the options to set third-party as the default system apps. iPad users may also see a new fitness app for guided videos. Further, the new iPadOS will reportedly bring an OCR function for the Apple Pencil.

Some blogs by Apple developers reveal that an early code watchOS 7 hinted at parental controls and an updated control centre in the various apps, and it is expected to be announced in this year’s WWDC. The Apple Watch will have more capabilities such as tracking oxygen intake, sleep sensors, among others.

Reportedly, there would be some Augmented Reality (AR) centric announcements as well at the conference.

Third-party apps

Some Apple experts say that this year Apple may announce the iOS 14 will have the ability to let users set third-party apps as the default browser, mail, and music apps. Additionally, the new iOS version would include support for its Bluetooth-based tracker Apple Tags.

Apple TV and Kids More

With tvOS 14, Apple is expected to deliver an all-new interface on its TV with content and performance enhancements. Users will reportedly see a dedicated Kids Mode and the multiple-user profile interface in the new tvOS version.

The new software layer is also likely to add Screen Time feature on the TV, which is already available on iPhone, iPad, and Mac devices. Moreover, Apple TV users are expected to receive a fitness app which is going to make its way to iOS and iPadOS.

Airpods Studio

Some reports say that apart from the new iMac, Apple may announce new AirPods Studio – a high-end pair of over-the-ear headphones. AirPods Studio will have features like noise-cancelling, magnetically-attached band, cup padding, and premium sound. 

 

Edited by Suman Singh