Apple’s annual development event, the Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) kicks off in a week. While we didn’t score a media invitation to this event, we’re keeping tabs on what’s coming and that means a few rumours are starting swirl. So, what can we expect?
Updates for all operating systems
Apple traditionally announces new versions of their four operating systems at WWDC; iOS, macOS, tvOS and watchOS. This year won’t see a change to that. Developers will get access to the first betas with a public beta program launching a little while later.
While a significant update to a very tired looking iOS 11 is needed, we won’t get it this year. Most rumours expect iOS 13 to come with a substantial update to the home screen and other parts of the user experience.
macOS will get some refinement but Apple seems committed to adding incremental improvements. With macOS now in its 14th version and updated annually, I expect we’ll see macOS 10.14 released with further alignment to the iOS interface. I expect the macOS App Store will get a facelift and there will be some performance and stability improvements.
Developers will get more access to NFC
The Information reports that developers will get getting access the NFC chips in iPhones, opening up options for some smarter apps. That means hotels could let you open your room door with your phone, hopefully negating late night trips to reception when the keys they code don’t work. It may even allow public transport networks with smart cards to build better apps. I doubt that will include the ability to develop third-party payment platforms that compete with Apple Pay.
Siri to get smarter
Apple might have been one of the first companies to bring an AI-powered assistant to the masses but they have been overtaken by several competitors.
In April, Apple hired John Giannandrea from Google. The AI specialist jumped ship and it’s possible we’ll see some early fruit from his move. With the HomePod seeing lucklustre sales a showing in Siri’s arm might be just what it needs to boost its credibility.