Unlike Google and several other tech companies, Apple is pushing forward with its all-digital Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
As always, we expect to get a first look at new versions of Apple’s various operating systems, including iOS 14, iPadOS 14, macOS 10.16, watchOS 7 and tvOS 14.
There’s also a possibility there might be a few surprises, including a long-overdue revamped iMac, the entire Mac lineup making the monumental shift to proprietary ARM-based chips and maybe even a glimpse of Apple’s often-rumoured over-ear headphones.
WWDC 2020’s ‘Special event Keynote’ is set for Monday, June 22nd at 1pm ET/10am PT.
While we won’t be on the ground at this year’s WWDC given the event is all-digital, we’ll be covering the conference extensively from the comfort of our homes.
Below is everything we expect to see at WWDC 2020:
Switching to ARM-based processor for Macs
Rumours regarding Apple making the switch from Intel to ARM-based processors for its entire Mac line have been circulating for years, but it looks like WWDC 2020 could be the first official confirmation of the shift.
If this report is accurate, announcing the jump to ARM at WWDC makes sense given the event’s focus on developers. App creators will need to optimize their software for ARM processor architecture, which could prove difficult for some app creators. Bloomberg says Apple decided to make the shift to its own ARM chips due to Intel’s recent slow performance gains with the company’s new generations of processors.
Apple will likely start the move to ARM with a thinner, lighter MacBook — possibly with a MacBook Air-like laptop — before eventually bringing the chip to the rest of its Mac line. That said, the move to ARM processors for all of Apple’s Mac lineup will take several years.
Along with the shift to ARM, there are rumours circulating that Apple finally has plans to completely refresh the look of the iMac for the first time since 2012. Rumours point to the all-in-one computer’s design looking more like the Pro Display XDR or the newer iPad Pro.
Along with a much-needed new aesthetic, Apple’s new all-in-one desktop is also tipped to feature AMD’s well-received and powerful Navi GPUs. Further, all configurations will reportedly feature an SSD.
iOS 14 and iPadOS 14
Apple is expected to reveal both iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 at this year’s WWDC. Regarding new features, several things have been rumoured, with most reports being based on leaked beta builds of the mobile operating system.
Features like built-in call recording are rumoured to be coming to iOS 14, while Safari translation could be coming to both iOS 14 and iPadOS 14. There’s also a possibility that iOS 14 might get a new page where you can see a full list of every app you’ve installed and filters for finding specific apps. Apple Pencil support for certain websites could be coming to Apple’s iPad operating system as well.
Finally, there are also rumours an iPad-like widget system might be part of iOS 14, and that the same cursor and trackpad support currently available in the latest version of iPadOS is making its way to iOS 14.
watchOS 7, tvOS 14 and macOS 10.16
watchOS 7 could finally see Apple bring sleep tracking to its wearable operating system after several years of rumours. Another reported feature is a ‘Kids Mode’ that aims to make it easier to restrict what children are able to do on the Apple Watch.
Though unlikely, there are also some rumours watchOS 7 could bring blood oxygen monitoring to Apple’s smartwatch. Of course, we’re also likely going to get new Watch Faces.
On the tvOS 14 side, it’s likely the update will only consist of minor user interface tweaks. That said, rumours have been swirling for months Apple is preparing to release a 6th-generation Apple TV that features an A12X chip, 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage.
If the updated Apple TV does make an appearance, we’ll also probably see some sort of big-name console video game being ported to Apple’s set-top box.
Finally, macOS 10.16 will almost certainly be revealed, though not much is known about the upcoming desktop OS update.
Other less likely new devices that could make an appearance include AirTags, Apple’s Tile-like Bluetooth tracker, as well as the often-rumoured over-ear headphones Apple is tipped to be working on.
AirPods Studio will reportedly be heavily customizable through magnetic attachments that easily pop on and off the headphones.
There’s also a possibility Apple could show off a successor to the HomePod at this year’s WWDC, given rumours regarding a cheaper, smaller HomePod have been swirling for months.
Source: Digital Trends, MacRumors, Techradar, Gizmodo