So what exactly will Apple reveal at WWDC? First up, Siri is all set to get a boost in iOS 10, and yes it will be making an appearance on Mac OS X too.
According to a report in The Information, Apple will open up the software development kit (SDK) for Siri, and it will be made available to third-party apps. The report adds that the Cupertino-giant is working on an Amazon-Echo/Google Home style speaker device, which will come with Siri and the ability to stream music, get news headlines, etc.
While the device is unlikely to make an appearance at WWDC, Siri’s open SDK is coming for sure and will give developers access to Apple’s voice-assistant. Siri hasn’t quite kept up with rivals like Amazon’s Alexa or even Google’s voice-assistant in terms of the kind of features it offers. Now it would appear that Apple wants to make sure that Siri is not left behind in the AI-race.
So why has it taken Apple so long to get Siri to be more open and interactive? Privacy might be the reason.
In a podcast NYT’s Farhad Manjoo spoke to Mark Gurman, the former Senior Editor at 9to5Mac known for his Apple scoops, and according to Gurman, the reason Siri wasn’t given such a free-hand across iOS was due to privacy fears.
In the podcast, Gurman says Siri will be a significant part of the keynote. “First Siri is coming to the Mac, and it will be able to do anything that it does on iOS. Siri SDK will be released,” he says. He adds that Apple was “heavily considering it last year.”
According to Gurman, the reason they’ve taken so long to do this is “almost exclusively” with “privacy issues,” as Apple wants to make sure the data collected by Siri is allocated to the right application. He also hints users might be able book an Uber or a table (in US) via the Hey Siri command.
Gurman’s podcast also says there will no hardware news at WWDC 2016, something which is not surprising, given WWDC is more about software.
On the iOS 10 front, don’t expect too many design changes, although the photos app might be new features like the ability to draw on photos (a feature available in the Mail app), adds Gurman.
Apple Music is likely to get a design upgrade. Bloomberg had reported that Apple Music’s UI will be altered to “make it more intuitive to use” after the original version of the streaming service faced criticism in some quarters. With iTunes sales stagnating, and music streaming services like Spotify growing, Apple wants to regain lost ground with its new music-streaming service.
On the Apple Pay front, there could be support for payments via Web browsers, according to a report by Re/Code. The report says, Apple told its partners the payment service is expanding to websites later this year, and will work on Safari on its iPhones and iPad devices.