What to Expect at WWDC 2016

Image Courtesy of Apple

What is WWDC?

Next month is Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, an annual event where the developer community gathers to hear the latest announcements directly from Apple. Held in San Francisco at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium from the 13th June to the 17th, WWDC already promises plenty of big reveals. In addition to a look at upcoming software updates from Apple, there will be workshops and sessions for developers to get a hands-on experience with the new operating systems.

Tickets to the event costed $1,599, and were distributed through a lottery system. Since the dates for WWDC were set, there’s a lot of expectation and speculation as to what Apple is going to announce, so we’ll run through what these might be and what they would mean for developers like us.


The Big Expected Announcements

The website for WWDC 16 promises more information on the future of Apple’s four platforms – OS X, iOS, watchOS, and tvOS. At the very least, we are all expecting to see iOS 10 and OS X 10.12, but there is also the chance for new operating systems for Apple Watch and TV to be revealed too. There are plenty of other in-house apps which Apple could well be unveiling updates for – Apple Music, Apple Pay, Siri and Photos, to name a few.

iOS 10, the next version of the iPhone’s operating system, is expected to be opened up to developers first via beta, before the rest of us are able to update – coinciding with the highly anticipated release of the iPhone 7. We’ve been following several of the rumours over the past few months, and one we picked up on was the ability to hide the default apps for the Home Screen that may come with iOS 10.

As for OS X 10.12, the biggest rumour is that Siri integration is on the way for your Mac and MacBook. Since you can already interact with Siri on your iPhone, Apple Watch and Apple TV, this would make the most sense. It was also teased that Apple was testing the ability to unlock your Mac PC via your iPhone’s Touch ID.

With regards to new hardware announcements, we don’t think any are likely. The focus WWDC is traditionally on software and developers, though there is the chance Apple will surprise us with something new.


Some Other Rumours We Like

The third major update for the Apple Watch is on the cards, which will seek to add new features and improve performance. Back in March, Apple showed off the new CareKit framework for ResearchKit, meaning that a continued focus on health apps with the Apple Watch is likely.

There has been speculation that, much like with Apple Music, there will soon be a TV streaming service offered with Apple TV that rivals Netflix and Amazon Prime. Whether this comes to fruition or not is another matter, and it may be a market where Apple struggles to get a foothold.

We also wonder, with recent rumours that Apple is becoming more involved in developing it’s own electric car, whether there will be any mention of it at WWDC. It seems highly unlikely that there will be any concrete details given, though with continued support for CarPlay we could see more hints as to the future of Apple’s line of products.


What These Rumours Could Mean for Developers

For developers, WWDC is always a great way to glean insight into the future of Apple and see the direction which the company is taking developers for its products. It will be interesting to see what direction they take Swift in. Earlier this month it was revealed that the first preview version of Swift 3.0 was to be released to developers, meaning that we shouldn’t be expecting a release at WWDC. Though we won’t be attending WWDC in person, we’ll definitely be looking forward to watching the livestream of the Keynote here at Appitized on the day.