Apple’s massive WWDC conference kicks off June 8 in San Francisco, giving iOS andMac OS X developers the first official glimpse of the company’s latest software. But what can people actually expect to see? Although Apple is famously secretive about its products before the big reveal, enough has leaked over the past few months to give us a reasonably good guess about what’s coming:
iOS and Mac OS X
The next versions of Apple’s smartphone and PC operating systems, iOS 9 and Mac OS X 10.11, won’t feature many radical new features, if you believe the blogosphere chatter. In response to months of complaints about its current platforms’ stability and speed, it seems that Apple has ordered its engineers to focus on improving the next versions’ performance. That’s not to say there won’t be cool new features, or backend tools and tricks for developers; but don’t expect any radical changes.
No Apple TV
For months, rumors have persisted that Apple planned to use this year’s WWDC to roll out a new version of its Apple TV set-top box. But the latest scuttlebutt suggests Apple won’t actually roll the updated device out, largely because the accompanying service—meant to bundle together content from various providers—remains a hairball of rights and pricing issues.
Once the next Apple TV makes its debut, it’s likely that third-party developers will have increased access to the platform; imagine building apps and games for a television screen, and you can understand why some tech pros are so excited about that concept.
Apple could reveal more about HomeKit, its Internet-of-Things platform. According to 9to5Mac, users will be able to control enabled devices throughout their home via Siri. Apple may use this WWDC to show off an ecosystem of devices and appliances that support HomeKit Integration.
Apple Watch Tool Kit
Now that the Apple Watch is available for sale, Apple needs to make sure its developers and partners build an app ecosystem to match the hardware’s potential. To that end, Apple will almost certainly use this WWDC to unveil an expanded developer tool kit. The big question is, how much access will Apple give to the device’s various components, such as its heart-rate sensors?
People forget that, when Apple acquired Beats last year, it didn’t just nab an overpriced headphone maker; Beats also had a streaming-music service, which Apple has been busy retooling into a robust “Spotify killer.” While there’s likely not a whole lot of interest here for developers—at least from a work and productivity standpoint—those tech pros who work in media or streaming should probably take close note of whatever Apple announces in this category.