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Apple WWDC 2019: What to Expect…

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Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference is always packed to the brim with new announcements regarding the company’s software, including iOS and macOS. Hardware product announcements remain a toss-up.

Let’s break down what’s likely to grace the stage in San Jose on Monday, June 3, and what the rumor mill has been cooking up.

iOS 13

Apple iPhone XS

Apple has long used WWDC to preview the next version of iOS. And according to 9to5Mac, iOS 13 will arrive with a new dark mode that uses a true black background, which could help with battery life.

Earlier this month, Bloomberg also teased a Sleep Mode, which “turns on Do Not Disturb, darkens the Lock Screen, and mutes all notifications,” as well as multi-user mode for HomePod so several people can use it.

Expect other refinements to appear here and there across Apple’s built-in apps. According to Bloomberg, Apple is redesigning its Reminders and Health apps in iOS 13 for better usability. The company will also reportedly merge the Find my Friends and Find My iPhone services into a single app.

The updated mobile OS likely won’t officially launch until the fall alongside new iPhones. Next week, Apple will release iOS 13 to developers so they can tinker with it and make sure their apps are ready to go.

MacOS 10.15

MacOS

Apple’s big plan for macOS is for it to eventually run iOS apps. It took the first step last year by bringing apps like News, Stocks, and Voice Memos to Mojave.

Apple already confirmed that its new Apple TV app, through which people will access the upcoming Apple TV+ streaming service, is coming to the Mac this fall. We still don’t have an official launch date or pricing for Apple TV+, though, so perhaps we’ll hear more at WWDC.

The key to the plan is helping third-party developers migrate their existing iOS apps to macOS. Whether it can be done without degrading performance will be a major test. But we expect Apple to share more details about the whole undertaking at WWDC, and finally release software tools to developers.

Rumors also suggest Apple will start breaking up iTunes on macOS into three separate apps that focus on Music, TV, and Podcasts. However, the company reportedly isn’t retiring iTunes just yet; it will stick around during the transition.

WatchOS 6

WatchOS 5

You can also expect new enhancements coming to the software onboard the Apple Watch. According to Bloomberg, users won’t have to rely on their iPhone to download apps on the device, since the next version of watchOS adds the App Store directly on the software.

Another handy feature coming to operating system is the Voice Memos app, which will let users make audio recordings simply by speaking into their wrists when wearing the device.

Apple also likes to tout the medical benefits of using an Apple Watch, so don’t be surprised if the company introduces new health-related capabilities.

Gaming

 Apple Arcade 3

In March, Apple unveiled its plan to get into the game subscription market with Apple Arcade. However, the company omitted one big detail from the announcement: What will it cost?

Apple might decide to reveal that detail during WWDC, an event that gives the company a chance to pitch Arcade to prospective game developers. It’s slated to arrive this fall with more than 100 “new and exclusive titles,” but the full launch list hasn’t been revealed.

Still, the company has recruited a few big-name developers such as Sega, Konami, and Disney. Whether the company managed to recruit other high-profile game makers might be revealed at WWDC.

Privacy

Apple Privacy

Over the last year, Apple CEO Tim Cook has been talking up the need for privacy regulations to rein in the data collection of social media platforms and online advertisers. At the same time, the company itself has been advertising iPhones as devices that can protect your digital privacy. So it’ll be no surprise if Apple ends up talking about its privacy controls.

Earlier this month, the company proposed a new online advertising model that can let marketers learn whether someone clicked on their ads, but without tracking the user’s activity across every web page they visit. Apple’s solution relies on the browser to act as the middleman to store and then send the ad-click data to the advertisers while blocking all third-party tracking cookies.

Currently, the system is only an experimental feature in Safari, and it remains unclear if it’ll ever be adopted by the online ad industry. But Apple may talk it up at WWDC.

Hardware?

Mac Pro

Apple Watch and iPhone announcements are usually reserved for the fall, but Apple’s WWDC website may be teasing the arrival of a new Mac Pro, the company’s desktop product, which hasn’t been updated since late 2013.

An image on the site shows a cylinder-shaped device popping out of an animoji’s heads. Granted the object could be anything, but Apple has publicly said that the third-generation Mac Pro is slated to arrive sometime this year. So we’re hoping Apple will make good on that promise and offer a preview at WWDC.

PCMag will be in San Jose on Monday, so stay tuned for all the details.



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