WWDC, Apple’s annual developer conference, is a virtual-only event this year. This is both good and bad. Good, because now it’s free to attend instead of the usual $1,600 asking price. Bad, because the change is due to the deadly pandemic that keeps people from gathering in large groups. You know, that thing.
While Apple’s usually bombastic and sweeping presentation style might feel a little weird without a live audience, the keynote event is still expected to contain new software and hardware news that will lay out the company’s vision for the rest of the year.
How to Watch
The keynote event starts at 10 am PT this Monday, June 22. You can stream it on Apple’s homepage, the Apple Events app on Apple TV, or on the Cupertino company’s developer website and app. We would embed a video of it here, but Apple isn’t allowing that this year. (For even more Apple activities, check out the full WWDC schedule.)
Thanks to the usual spate of rumors and leaks, we do have some idea of what might be announced on Apple’s special day. As always, there’s plenty of room for surprises, but in the meantime, here’s what to expect:
There’s bound to be some twists in the details, but broadly speaking this one is pretty much a given. New iOS versions are a staple announcement of WWDC. None of the new features of iOS 14 have been confirmed, but rumors point to enhanced multi-tasking features, new layouts on the home screen, and revamped workout and augmented reality apps, among other changes.
Another notable development is that Apple is rumored to be changing the name of iOS to iPhone OS, according to speculation fueled by a single tweet from Apple leaks extraordinaire Jon Prosser. So, you know, exciting times for all you nomenclature-heads out there.
At last year’s WWDC, Apple announced a new direction for the iPad with iPadOS 13. For the first time, iPad would be running on an OS intended for the tablet, rather than the same software used on the iPhone. The move emphasized Apple’s desire to assert the iPad as more than a middle child, squished between the iPhone and MacBook.
While specific features of iPadOS 14 have yet to be officially revealed, it’s expected that they’ll aim to further solidify the iPad’s newfound independence.
Other software updates
A new iMac
Rumors suggest that Apple plans to release a newly designed iMac computer sometime this year, though it's not a given that this will happen at WWDC. Regardless of when it emerges, the new iMac is anticipated to come in 21.5-inch and 23-inch options, with slim bezels and other design features borrowed from the iPad Pro.
A processor switcheroo
After years of rumors, Apple is expected to switch to making its own ARM-based processors for Mac computers. According to Bloomberg, the new chips will be based on the as-of-yet unreleased A14 processor that the company plans to use in its upcoming line of iPhones. The move away from Intel processors would be a sizable shift for in Apple’s development strategy. It could give the company tighter control over its hardware development and a potential boost to the power and speed of its laptop and desktop lines.
Other hardware rumors