Apple WWDC 2018: what we want to see

By on Feb 7, 2018 in Mobile Design | 0 comments

The Apple WWDC 2018 date hasn’t officially been confirmed yet, but the keynote is likely to happen in early June and it’s already highly anticipated to include big announcements. 

For developers, it offers a chance to get an idea of what they’ll be working with in the coming year, so they can start planning. For everyone else, it’s a glimpse at a lot of the software, hardware, and content that is on its way – ahead of the iPhone X sequel.  

Last year’s WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference) saw the announcement of the HomePod and new iPad Pro 12.9 and iPad Pro 10.5. This was also when Apple revealed iOS 11 and watchOS 4

For WWDC 2018, we expect a range updates. Read on to learn about everything anticipated this year, and check back for updates as we learn more from rumors and official Apple news.

iOS 12 reveal:

Apple WWDC will be the first time we see iOS 12 features giving us a preview of the next mobile operating system update for the iPhone and iPad. It only makes sense as WWDC attendees are mostly software developers. 

iOS 12 was due to see an intriguing home screen redesign and tweaks to core apps like Mail, Camera and Photos, but that’s said to have been shelved in favor of stability improvements. Yes, iOS 12 is due to have a less bombastic security and performance focus.

It’ll still have some new features, including the continued push of Apple’s Augmented Reality (AR) ambitions and the still-surface-deep Health app. Parental controls will probably also be in the spotlight, especially after recent concerns over childhood phone addiction.

With security and performance taking the lead roles in iOS 12, we may see the company push the other more exciting features to iOS 13 in 2019. It’s going to be a long wait.

watchOS 5 unveiling:

The Apple Watch 3 just came out a few months ago with a focus on the LTE model and running, but it should take its wellness-focused features even further in 2018.

That’s why watchOS 5 and WWDC may be the right update and venue to show off a possible sleep tracking feature for the smartwatch. After all, Apple did buy Beddit in May of last year. We also hope to see more customizations come to Control Center, new watch faces, and software that makes room for an always-on watch face in the Apple Watch 4.

A cheaper iPhone X?:

A new iPhone X, or an iPhone XI, with a lower price tag might be a long shot for WWDC. Apple is likely to save any phone reveals for September when it historically launches new iPhones. That said, any new features Apple mentions for iOS 12 could give us hints about what it’s planning for future phones.

Today’s rumors suggest that there will be two or three new models of iPhone later this year that follow the bezel-less stylings of the iPhone X. And, if that’s the case, one may cut a few corners to come in at a lower price. A version lacking 3D Touch and using a cheaper LCD display could be that cheaper iPhone X, but we’ll probably be waiting a few months after WWDC to find out.

The redesigned Mac Pro – finally:

We’ve known a redesigned Mac Pro is coming eventually, and Apple even recently made a point of reminding everyone when it said the following in a press release

“In addition to the new iMac Pro, Apple is working on a completely redesigned, next-generation Mac Pro architected for pro customers who need the highest performance, high-throughput system in a modular, upgradeable design, as well as a new high-end pro display.”

It’s been a long wait, but a Mac 2018 could finally debut at WWDC. The conference has introduced updates to Apple’s computer lineup in the past, and what better group to tout a new, powerful desktop computer to than a bunch of developers. The new Mac Pro may also be one of the computers to come installed with Apple’s new, custom co-processors.

New Apple display to go along with it:

With the redesigned Mac Pro expected, WWDC would also be the perfect time for Apple to reveal that “new high-end pro display” it has mentioned. Anyone who goes for the new Mac Pro will be looking for a quality display to use with it, but the 5K LG monitor that Apple currently sells may feel dated by June. It’s far more likely is Apple revealing the new display. 8K perhaps?

New MacBooks and Mac mini?:

While Apple is updating its lineup for computers, new MacBooks and an at-last updated Mac Mini could be revealed. The MacBooks may only get minor updates, with upgrades to some of the internals and an increase to the maximum supported RAM. Updated MacBooks may also come with those new co-processors expected to show up in a new Mac Pro.

The hope is for the Mac Mini at long last to see an update as well. It’s been over three years since Apple last updated the Mac Mini, and it will be closer to four years when WWDC rolls around. 

Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, brought it up last year, saying “The Mac mini is an important product in our line,” but not suggesting an update was imminent. Similarly, MacRumors reported in October that a reader received an email from Tim Cook which stated, “while it is not time to share any details, we do plan for Mac mini to be an important part of our product line going forward.”  All the same, the small and affordable desktop option is still running on Intel Haswell processors (which are a few generations old), and is at least as due for an update as any other computer mentioned here.

New iPad 9.7 and iPad Pro 2018 hints?:

There’s likely going to be iPad Pro 3 news this year, even if the next tablet  doesn’t actually get called the iPad Pro 3. The last update to the iPad Pro landed in June of 2017, so a refresh at WWDC doesn’t seem like a stretch. 

Rumors suggest it will come in 12.9-inch and 10.5-inch varieties, include Face ID and have design inspired by the iPhone X. With any luck, Apple will also take steps to make the new iPad Pro in 2018 more of laptop replacement than earlier models have managed to be.

Apple’s iPad 9.7-inch was introduced last March with little to no fuss, and it was built with an outdated chipset that has only gotten more outdated. It’s possible Apple will breathe fresh life into the 9.7-inch form factor at WWDC while it updates other hardware lineups. 

Of course, given the out-of-the-blue nature of the previous update, a new 9.7-inch iPad could even come this March. It’ll be 15 months old by the time WWDC rolls around.

Get ready for Apple TV content:

The news surrounding Apple’s push into original TV content has been mounting, and WWDC 2018 may be when we get some more info. At last year’s WWDC, Apple didn’t talk much about its television programming plans, simply revealing the addition of Amazon Prime Video to its Apple TV app offerings. But, with original content on the way, there could be a fair bit more to talk about this year.

Apple has already started toying with original content, with Carpool Karaoke as an example. And it has also put $1 billion toward original programming, according to The Wall Street Journal

What kind of content can a billion dollars create? Well, it can get Steven Spielberg and Bryan Fuller (of Starz’s American Gods) involved, and it’s gotten Breaking Bad showrunners Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg on board. While Apple is busy highlighting other cool stuff it has coming at WWDC 2018, why not top it off with exciting new TV shows?

Stay tuned as we update our expectations for WWDC 2018 with more Apple news and rumors as we hear them.

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