Apple's annual WWDC developers conference is about to begin in a few hours. The keynote will kick off at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco at 10am PST (10.30pm IST), where the tech giant is expected to unveil a host of software updates. You can follow live updates from the event via our live blog.
As already reported, the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference will be live streamed on Apple's event website through all iPhone and iPad devices running iOS 7.0 or above, and on Mac devices with Safari 6.0.5 and OS X v10.8.5 or later. The WWDC 2016 live stream can also be seen on second and third-generation Apple TV boxes running version 6.2, apart from fourth generation Apple TV boxes. The WWDC iOS app will also live stream the event from Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. And just like last year, Windows 10 PC users with the Microsoft Edge browser will also be able to watch the WWDC live stream.
As it normally does at its software-focused developer event, Apple is expected to make announcements around iOS, OS X, tvOS, and watchOS - revealing their next versions. Siri is also widely anticipated to receive an expansion. There have been a lot of leaks running up to the launch, and we take a comprehensive look at what can be expected from Apple's WWDC event this year.
Possibly the biggest headline grabber will be the release of Siri SDK to third party developers. This will enable apps and websites to integrate Siri into their platform, inadvertently making Siri more useful. It is rumoured that this move by Apple is to further its effort into making an Amazon Echo-like rival. It is reported that Apple is already tying up with third-party services like Yelp to get the ball rolling.
Furthermore, Siri is also expected to be introduced on the Mac or OS X platform. Brian Romelle wrote on Medium that while experimenting with the voice assistant on its phone, Siri would start giving the 'Finder' app in its responses. While the Finder app is not on the iPhone, it does exist on the Mac. Siri on Mac is expected to work just in the way it works on iOS devices.
Apple Music revamp
The music app unveiled last year may see a major design overhaul. There have been several reports pointing to the revamp, and speculations of a black and white UI are rife. This design template is to put more emphasis on the album art, and artist images.
Furthermore, the company is expected to get rid of the Connect section that enabled users to connect with musicians. The feature did not snowball as hoped, and Apple might just kill it for what its worth. There are also rumours of a new 'For You' section that is aimed at helping people find new music.
As the tradition goes, Apple will lift the curtain on the new version of its iOS mobile and tablet operating system at WWDC. The biggest changes that are already anticipated, are those that we've already mentioned, the opening up of Siri SDK, and Apple Music revamp.
However, there might be some design changes to the OS, and Apple may make it more colourful with new app icons and logos. The Photos app is said to get an upgrade with new editing tools like the ability to draw, write texts, and place images on pictures.
New name for OS X
Apple is largely expected to rename the Mac operating system to macOS, in order to build uniformity in its OS naming scheme. The new name will now be similar to the way other platforms are written - iOS, tvOS, and watchOS.
In 2012, Apple had changed the name of the operating system from Mac OS X, to just OS X. The new OS is said to be the biggest upgrade yet, but there hasn't been much leaked on that front.
watchOS and tvOS
Although there hasn't been many leaks for these two operating systems, Apple is certainly expected to release updates for the two OS' as well. Notably, Apple released new guidelines to app developers stating that new apps launched after June 1 on the watchOS will have to be native apps built with the watchOS 2 SDK.
In order to give it more relevance, Apple Pay payments may now expand support from just apps, and work on mobile websites as well. It will eliminate the need to enter credit card and billing information every time a purchase is made on websites, and is expected to arrive at the end of the year. There are also separate reports that suggest Apple Pay might arrive on iMessage in order to enable person-to-person payments.
iMessage for Android
Another big announcement expected, is that Apple may announce the arrival of its iMessage service on Android. This is reportedly Apple's way to take on Google's new Allo app which also comes with end-to-end encryption, and additionally comes with inbuilt Google Search.
The reported move will open up the niche service to a huge audience, and the integration of Apple Pay is just to give it a bit more leverage.
Apple Watch 2
Interestingly, the new Apple Watch 2 is also tipped to launch at WWDC. The new watch is expected to be 20 to 40 percent thinner than its predecessor. It is also expected to sport a significantly better battery life, and come with cellular connectivity.
Other details on the smartwatch remain scarce at the moment. To be noted is that recent rumours anticipate there to be almost no hardware launches at WWDC, making the possibility of an Apple Watch 2 unveil low.
Apple is working on an upgraded version of its Thunderbolt Display which are running out-of-stock at Apple Stores. It is said to be working on an external 5K Display which will feature a dedicated GPU integrated on board. Online reports claim that the new Thunderbolt Display will sport a screen resolution of 5120x2880 pixels. Furthermore, Apple has taken the decision to integrate the GPU into the display to make the new Thunderbolt Displays future ready. once again, it is uncertain if Apple will indeed use WWDC as the platform to launch the new monitor.