Every year, Apple holds a massive event where it briefs developers from around the globe on its upcoming software upgrades. At this year's Worldwide Developers Conference, the tech giant will take the opportunity to showcase a number of updates to the operating systems behind its flagship hardware products, as well as improvements to its ever-growing list of services, such as the App Store and Apple Music.
Here's what we can expect to come out of the San Francisco event this year:
This fall, Apple is expected to bring the newest version of iOS to iPhones everywhere. Developers could catch a glimpse of the future operating system at WWDC. Its biggest improvement is expected to be stronger Siri support for third-party apps. By opening Siri up to interact with new apps, Apple would clear a path for a virtual assistant that could call for an Uber, search Yelp reviews or even control business applications. Beyond Siri, iOS 10 is predicted to feature a completely redesigned Apple Music platform. Plus, Apple Pay could expand to cover a host of in-app and mobile browser purchases, as well as peer-to-peer payments.
Even outside of iOS, Siri is expected to be a main focus of this year's WWDC. The digital assistant played a major role in announcing the event, and is expected to eventually jump out of Apple hardware altogether. If the Cupertino, California company decides to follow the likes of Amazon and Google and release a virtual assistant for the home that can control all of a person's connected apps, it could lift the curtain as early as this June. Other reports, however, suggest that we'll have to wait until next year to see such a product, but only time will tell.
Apple will almost certainly reveal its new design for the Apple Watch 2 at this year's WWDC, as the updated model is expected to come before the end of Q2. Some predict the second-generation wearable will be nothing more than a thinner, faster version of its predecessor, but others hope for a device that can run apps on its own without the support of an iPhone. While we aren't yet certain what the improvements will be, there are sure to be some on their way, as the watch was mentioned in Apple's announcement of the event ("Hello yogi on my wrist,…Hello double tap heart…").
By including a reference to the Maps logo in its announcement of the event, Apple has prompted speculation that it will release MapsKit, which gives developers the ability to incorporate Apple's map software in to their applications for the first time. Such technology has been available for Google Maps for some time, but Apple has not yet made a developer kit available to the public. WWDC could also be the stage where Apple announces a similar service to Google's Street View, which has been rumored ever since cars mounted with cameras and registered to Apple were first spotted cruising the California streets.
OS X 10.12
Presenting a new desktop operating system has become a staple at WWDC over the years, and nothing is expected to change at this year's event. In version 10.12, Siri is expected to finally make the jump to the Mac, where the digital assistant will be function similar to the way it does on the iPhone, opening and controlling native apps and answering questions. Plus, a redesigned iTunes is expected to match the Apple Music updates coming to iOS 10.
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