The Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2017 is scheduled for today, June 5. It will be held in San Jose, California. The company announces its software updates at this event every year and it is expected to do the same this year as well. Apart from the usual software updates for the range of Apple devices, the Cupertino-based company is expected to reveal a Siri-powered speaker to take on Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Home virtual assistants. Apple is also scheduled to announce a hardware refresh for its MacBooks and iPads bringing them up to speed with the times.
The main expected announcements for the keynote are as follows.
Siri-based virtual assistant hardware
Apple is expected to at least announce Siri-powered virtual assistant hardware at WWDC 2017. This would be a counter to Amazon’s Alexa powered Echo devices and Google’s Home Assistant. According to initial reports, apart from just being an assistant, the company has also focussed on the quality of the speaker used with support for ‘virtual surround sound’ hinted. Couple other reports also allege that Apple has already started manufacturing said ‘Siri Speaker’.
MacBooks, a product vertical that sorely needed some love is expected to be getting an internal hardware update. New models are expected to be announced with Intel’s latest 7th generation Kaby-Lake processors. It would be interesting if Apple continues with the 12-inch MacBook and older MacBook Air series notebooks or would it simply cannibalise them in favour of getting more traction for their Pro series iPads. Speaking of which…
The Cupertino giant is also expected to announce updates to its iPad line. Being the only major player in the premium tablet segment allows Apple to dictate the pace of evolution at that price. It is alleged that a new 10.5-inch iPad Pro is to be launched with a redesigned exterior and featuring an edge-to-edge display. The company might also choose to update its 9.7-inch and 12.9-inch Apple iPad Pro tablets as well.
And onto the software
Due to this being the decennial anniversary of iOS, it is expected that Apple has something special planned for the next update to its mobile operating system. There are also talks of Apple annoucing a redesigned OS at WWDC. With a new notifications look and what might be the debut of a ‘dark mode’. We could also see changes to Siri’s operations with more actions being added. Apart from this, we can safely assume updates to Apple Music, Apple Maps, Apple Photos and iMessage.The tablet fork of the OS is also set to get a couple of additional features like multi-user login and improved support for the Apple Pencil and what it can be used for.
While we are fairly confident about Apple bringing the hardware of the MacBook up to speed with the times, the same cannot be said about MacOS. On priority should be the company fixing iTunes functionality in MacOS 10.13, apart from this we might get to see tighter application integration between MacOS and iOS allowing seamless operations between the two OS.
Overall, it seems to be an exciting time for Apple fans and we would be relaying information as and when it becomes available to us. The WWDC 2017 keynote is scheduled to go live at 1000 AM PST (Pacific Standard Time) which translates to 1030 PM IST (India Standard Time). You can tune into the livestream by heading to this link, here.