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WWDC 2020: What to Expect at Apple’s Annual Developer Conference Next Week
Apple is hosting its 31st Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) next week. Due to the coronavirus outbreak globally, the Cupertino giant is for the first time hosting WWDC as an online-only event with free entry for all. It will take place between June 22 and June 26, beginning with a special event keynote. Apple is expected to announce new versions of iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS at WWDC 2020. Further, the event will host over 100 engineering sessions and one-on-one developer labs to help developers build their new range of apps for Apple devices. But what all is expected to launch at WWDC 2020?
New Apple hardware launches
Generally, Apple showcases its next-generation software developments at WWDC. But in the last few years, we’ve seen the company unveiling its new hardware alongside announcing software updates. It brought the HomePod and the new Mac Pro at WWDC in 2017 and 2019, respectively. Thus, Apple has evidently used WWDC to launch its new devices. It is likely to continue that trend by bringing some new hardware launches this year. The new hardware-focussed announcements are likely to take place during the special keynote that will be held at 10am PDT (10:30pm IST) on Monday, June 22.
At WWDC 2020, Apple is rumoured to unveil a new iMac desktop that would feature an iPad Pro-like design and thin bezels. The iMac 2020 is rumoured to have a T2 coprocessor and AMD Navi GPU. Although Apple hasn’t yet made any official confirmations towards its new iMac model, some evidence reportedly appeared through Russia’s Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC).
ARM-based Mac announcement
Alongside the new iMac, Apple is reported to have plans to announce its anticipated shift towards ARM-based Mac computers at this year’s WWDC. The company may reveal the development of its own ARM-based chips that would power its new Mac desktops and notebooks in 2021. There are rumours that Apple would unveil “several” ARM-based machines next year. Having said that, Apple isn’t likely to showcase any of its new Mac models powered by its in-house chips at the developer conference.
In addition to the new hardware-focussed developments, Apple will preview its new software updates at WWDC 2020. It is likely that the company would unveil iOS 14, iPadOS 14, tvOS 14, watchOS 7, and macOS 10.16 aside from showcasing its new development tools. Furthermore, there would be some Augmented Reality (AR) centric announcements taking place at the forthcoming conference.
As per an early development code of iOS 14, Apple seems to offer the new software update on all iPhone models that run iOS 13. This means that the next iOS version would be compatible even with the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus that both were launched with iOS 9 back in September 2015. The iOS 14 update is also rumoured to bring a new AR app called Gobi that will be able to scan Apple-branded QR codes alongside their traditional counterparts. There would also be an updated Find My app that is rumoured to include new sound and vibration cues to help users find their lost Apple devices through fresh experiences. Further, the new iOS version is said to include a new fitness app with guided videos and improved messages app.
Apple is likely to bring iOS 14 with the ability to let users set third-party apps as the default browser, mail, and music apps. There would also be an option to allow developers to create wallpapers that would be applied through the Wallpaper settings directly. Additionally, the new iOS version would include support for Apple Tags aka AirTags that are speculated to debut later this year.
Except for different compatibility, iPadOS 14 is likely to have all the new features that are heading to iPhone users through iOS 14. This means you would get the Gobi app and the updated Find My app as well as the options to set third-party apps as the default system apps and the fitness app with guided videos. Further, the new iPadOS would bring an OCR function for the Apple Pencil. You can also expect a full mouse cursor functionality through the next-generation software.
Apple is expected to deliver an all-new interface on tvOS 14 to provide a fresh feel to Apple TV users. There would also be some content upgrades and performance enhancements. Further, users would get a dedicated Kids Mode in the new tvOS version to help them restrict certain content from their children. The new platform is also expected to bring a Screen Time feature that’s already there on iPhone, iPad, and Mac devices for some time, as reported by Apple Insider. Moreover, Apple TV users are expected to receive the fitness app that’s also rumoured to make its way to iOS and iPadOS.
An early code of watchOS 7 has hinted at parental controls and an updated control centre. The new version would also bring the ability to share your watch face configuration with your friends. Further, Apple watch users will get a new Infograph Pro watch face that would come along with a tachymeter, reports 9to5Mac.
At WWDC 2020, Mac users are expected to receive macOS 10.16 as their new software. The next-generation macOS is likely to include some features that would be a part of iOS 14. These include a translation feature that could work similar to Google Translate. Apple may also detail what all the benefits and changes macOS developers would get on ARM-based Mac machines.
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