WWDC 2016 Keynote Predictions
Apple’s second keynote of 2016 takes place on the 13th of June. Apple’s first keynote of the year focused on hardware but as this is WWDC, this keynote is going to focus heavily on software but what exactly should we expect to see?
Now that Swift is being developed in the public eye, you shouldn’t expect to see any Swift revelations at WWDC this year, but obviously it will dominate all of the sample code and have numerous sessions dedicated to it. One thing that Apple could have been kept under wraps is improved support in Xcode support such as refactor tools, and the rumoured Swift IDE for the iPad.
Siri is destined to become the focal point at this years conference, with it receiving a major update and making its way to the Mac. More importantly for the WWDC crowd, Apple is also set to (finally) unveil a developer API.
There is also an outside chance that Apple may launch a speaker akin to the Amazon Echo and Google Home, but with iOS having Hey Siri I’m not sure that it’s needed.
iOS is unlikely to get an equivalent to Android’s Instant Apps feature this year due to Swift 3.0 not being ABI compatible, thus meaning that the (30MB) runtime and standard library has to be bundled into every app that uses it.
iOS has been destined to gain the ability to pick the default apps (e.g. email, web browser, calendar and reminders) for the last few years, so this would be an obvious feature to debut alongside Siri.
A lot of iOS apps have started to include a Dark Mode recently and OS X gained an official Dark Mode last year. One thing that Apple could introduce is a system wide Dark Mode that apps could detect, and be automatically enabled alongside Night Shift.
iOS 9.3 introduced Multiuser iPad support for education, so I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see this rolled out to all users allowing families to share an iPad. Moreover following on from iOS 9 I expect to see improved Multitasking support on the iPad, such as drag and drop between apps.
tvOS is the youngest of all Apple’s OS’s even though it shares its major version number with iOS.
It’s hard to predict what changes will be made to tvOS, as the biggest improvements will simply be access to more content (Amazon Prime app anyone?). One thing we may see unveiled at the event is an official Apple Game Controller, which will prove that Apple are serious about making Apple TV a gaming platform.
watchOS still being young has lots of room for improvement, so I would expect watchOS to see some substantial changes in terms of both usability and APIs. I expect Apple to abandon the honeycomb springboard and address the functionally of the Apple Watch’s only button.
OS X 10.12
OS X, Mac OS, MacOS or macOS, who knows what it will be called after this event (bets are on macOS)! but it will certainly receive its annual update.
As mentioned OS X will finally get Siri support, the most interesting thing will be to see if Siri and Spotlight are unified allowing you to either talk or text Siri.
iOS Developers can hope for UIKit or at least UXKit be announced for the Mac, but this is probably unlikely.
The MacBook Pro is set to get a major update this year having a thinner and lighter design, OLED function row, Touch ID support and the migration to USB C/Thunderbolt 3.
The OLED function row will allow the (virtual) keys to be context aware e.g. Showing volume and playback controls when in iTunes. This is the exact same pitch that Steve Jobs made with the iPhone’s virtual keyboard in 2007.
Although the unveiling of the new MacBook Pro is imminent it looks like WWDC has come a couple of months too early, but we me see it unveiled for shipments at a later date.
iPhone will stick to its pre holiday schedule and won’t get an update at WWDC, even then it’s looking increasingly likely it will be the 3rd revision of the iPhone 6’s design and not a true iPhone 7.
The only iPad that is due an update this year is the iPad Air, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see the iPad Pro 12.7 updated to have a True Tone display, but these won’t see an update until the fall.
The Apple Watch has been available for a little over a year now so for any other Apple product you would assume that it is destined for an update soon, but not at this event.