WWDC 2021 Preview – iOS 15, macOS 12, and Next-Gen Apple Silicon

WWDC 2021 Memoji

The second all-online WWDC kicks off Monday, June 10, running until Friday, June 11. The keynote starts at 10 AM PDT and gives fans and developers alike important and exciting information on the features coming to our favorite devices.

iOS 15, iPadOS and macOS Updates

Come Monday, Apple will offer us the first proper look at iOS and iPadOS 15. Developers should be able to get their hands on beta versions pretty soon after the address too. MacRumors has been keeping track of the rumor mill, and it seems likely we will get new privacy features that go beyond App Tracking Transparency. For instance, there could be a menu telling the user which apps are collecting data. Lock Screen and notifications are also expected to be updated and there will be the ability to set a status that will let users send different automatic replies. Messages itself is likely to get an upgrade too. You’re probably going to need an iPhone 7 or later to access iOS 15 though.

Apple is also reportedly planning to introduce a new Home Screen to the iPad to bring it more in line with the iPhone. As part of this shift, users will be able to place Widgets wherever they want on the Home Screen. Furthermore, Robert Scoble has an interesting take on the new “3D Apple” that we could start to see.

macOS – Evolution Not Revolution

As the introduction of macOS Big Sur was such a big deal I find it hard to imagine that there will be a similar overhaul announced next week. Indeed, it was so major that we got a whole new name – macOS 11 instead of X. I suspect the naming convention has now changed for the foreseeable and whatever is revealed next week will be macOS 12, bringing macOS names in line with the other operating systems

watchOS 8

The centrality of health to the Apple Watch, something of personal interest to CEO Tim Cook, will be underlined in watchOS 8. The main thing I’d like to see is an increase in functionality independent of iPhone, building on what Fitness+ and ‘Time to Walk’ have started.

Next-Gen Apple Silicon

One of the highlights of WWDC 2020 was Mr. Cook announcing Apple silicon – what became the M1 chip. Surely we will hear more about the next generation of Apple silicon, whether it be the M1X or the full next-gen M2 chip, this time around.

Media Appearance

Obviously, WWDC is a developer event, but the keynote is watched by people outside of the developer community, but on this week’s Media+, Chuck Joiner and I discussed what part, if any, Apple’s growing media offering will play in the keynote. We will certainly not get a repetition of the ‘up front’ style event that happened when TV+ first launched, with star after star adorning the sage. However, I don’t think that media services will be forgotten entirely either. At the very least I’m expecting to see some trailers for the next seasons of Ted Lasso and The Morning Show. While I don’t think it will be extensive, the amount of time Apple dedicates to the likes of TV+ and even podcasts, both its original content and the platform, will give us some indication of the part media plays in the 2021 version of Apple.

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