Apple World Wide Developer’s Conference (WWDC) 2016 starts on June 13 in San Francisco, which is tomorrow. The keynote starts at 10.00 am PST, which is around 10.30 pm IST, and Apple will have a live-stream available.
WWDC is more about the software side of things, and new hardware is not expected. What’s certain is Apple will give us a preview of iOS 10, OS X, and new versions of Apple Watch and TV OS.
Here’s a look at the top things to expect from WWDC 2016
iPhone sales might have slowed down for Apple, but news of the mobile OS is still a big deal to millions of Apple users across the world.
iOS 10’s first preview will be at Apple WWDC, and not too many changes are expected on the design front. Reports say,Apple might introduce an ability to draw on photos in the app, just like the Skitch app.
Apple Music is expected to get a design upgrade. Bloomberg reported, Apple Music’s UI will be altered to “make it more intuitive to use.”
Also Apple might finally allow users to delete some pre-installed Apple apps, for which many of us have no use. Think Find Friends, Stocks, etc. According to a report on AppAdvice “metadata keys added to App Store apps” suggested that Apple is working on the feature.
Apple Pay could get support for payments via Web browsers, says 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 iPhones and iPads. New 3D Touch features are also expected.
But the big change in iOS expected is around Siri, Apple’s voice-assistant. In iOS 9, we saw Apple introduce proactive assistance to its mobile operating system, and Siri getting some boost. In iOS 10, Apple is expected to take this further, and yes Siri will finally be making appearance on OS X as well.
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 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. Whether we get a glimpse of this device at WWDC, remains to be seen.
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, Apple wants to make sure Siri is not left behind in the AI-race.
In a podcast NYT’s Farhad Manjoo spoke to Mark Gurman, the former Senior Editor at 9to5Mac known for his Apple scoops. Gurman explained the reason Siri wasn’t given such a free-hand across iOS was due to privacy fears as Apple wants to make sure the data collected by Siri is allocated to the right application.
He also hinted users might be able book an Uber or a table (in US) via the Hey Siri command.
MacRumors points out Apple is also looking at an iCloud Voicemail service to let Siri answer missed calls, record and transcribe messages for users. Plus Apple’s recent acquisitions of AI-based companies like VocalIQ, Perceptio could give Siri new capabilities. Perceptio is a start-up to boost AI systems while limiting cloud storage dependence, which might be more suited for Apple given their privacy obsession, notes the report.
OS X 12.1
Of course the big update for OS X 12.1 will be Siri on desktop. Microsoft’s Cortana is already available on Windows 10 desktops, and Apple is late in bringing its voice-assistant to its iMac, MacBooks. Siri is expected to have the same functions on OS X as it does on iOS.
Apple might also be working on an OS X feature to let a user unlock their MacBook or iMac via their iPhone when the two are in proximity, reports MacRumors.
Again we could see Apple make changes to the Music app on OS X. With 2015 not seeing a major overhaul for OS X, we’ll have to see if this year, Apple introduces some big new changes.
We’ll have live updates from San Francisco for the Apple WWDC 2016 keynote, so watch this space for more.