What to Expect:
WWDC is Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference where developers can attend sessions and meet with Apple engineers. Apple's 2021 event...
Round-up via the link above @ Mac Rumors:
What We Expect
SoftwareApple is working on new versions of iOS 15, iPadOS 15, watchOS 8, tvOS 15, and macOS 12. We don't know a lot about these operating system updates as of right now, but we have heard a few details about iOS 15.
According to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, iOS 15 will include an updated Lock Screen, plus new privacy and notification features. We've also heard less reliable rumors about iOS 15, and many of the features remain a mystery. What we do know is outlined below.
Notification UpdatesUsers will be able to set different notification preferences based on current status, so if you're awake for example, you may get notifications with sound, while sound might be disabled if you're sleeping.
Users will be able to choose categories like driving, working, or sleeping, plus there will be an option to create custom categories for handling notifications in different ways. The menu options for choosing a mode will be available on the Lock Screen and in the Control Center.
Apple is also adding new options for setting automatic replies to incoming messages based on these statuses. The only currently available auto-reply option works when driving but not in other situations.
iMessageThere are updates to iMessage in the works, though specifics are not available at this time. Apple is said to be aiming to better compete with WhatsApp.
PrivacyApple will add a new menu that shows which apps are silently collecting data from users, with Apple aiming to increase device privacy even further.
Food TrackingAn unconfirmed rumor suggests that Apple plans to add a new food tracking feature to the Health app, but it is unclear how expansive this feature might be. It could potentially allow users to log the food items that they consume, providing nutritional details and calorie tracking functionality. It is not known if users will need to manually enter all info or if Apple is working on some kind of food database.
Settings App UpdatesWe could see minor user interface changes that were spotted in screenshots of Accessibility features believed to be coming in iOS 15, unveiling inset cells and merged navigation bars in the Settings app.
iPadOS AdditionsFor the iPad, Apple is planning to introduce a new Home Screen for the iPad. Users will be able to place widgets anywhere on the Home Screen, and an entire app grid will be replaceable with widgets.
Other New iOS FeaturesThe Wall Street Journal's Joanna Stern said on the Friday before WWDC that she's heard Apple will introduce improvements to Safari, iMessage, Maps, and Health, but she did not provide additional context.
HomeOS?In the days ahead of WWDC, Apple posted a job listing that mentioned "homeOS," an operating system that does not exist at the current time. The name was later removed from the job listing and Apple updated it to say "HomePod and tvOS" instead, but it is a hint that Apple could perhaps be planning to rename tvOS to homeOS as both the Apple TV and the HomePod run a version of tvOS.
It's also possible that Apple will introduce a new homeOS operating system in addition to tvOS.
HardwareLeaker Jon Prosser claims that Apple plans to introduce new 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pro models at the Worldwide Developer's Conference. It's not unheard of for Apple to unveil new hardware at WWDC, but it hasn't happened since 2016.
Analysts from Wedbush and Morgan Stanley have also said that new Apple silicon Macs could debut at WWDC, but a recent DigiTimes report said that redesigned MacBook Pro models won't be shipping to customers until late 2021, so it's unclear what's going to happen. Other reports have also previously pointed toward a launch date later in the year.
Ahead of WWDC, MacRumors did discover evidence of the next-generation 16-inch MacBook Pro in a Chinese regulatory database. Apple supplier Sunwoda Electronic shared details on a battery with the Apple-style model identifier A2327 rated at 8,693 mAh/11.45V, which is similar to the battery of the current MacBook Pro (8,790 mAh/11.36V).
This doesn't necessarily suggest an imminent launch at WWDC, but it confirms that a new MacBook Pro is in development and could potentially be nearing completion.
The new MacBook Pros will feature the most radical redesign to the MacBook Pro lineup since 2016. Apple is planning to reintroduce the MagSafe port, and the 2021 MacBook Pro models will feature an HDMI port and an SD card reader in addition to a trio of Thunderbolt/USB-C ports, and multiple color options are a possibility.
There will be no Touch Bar included, with Apple returning to a traditional row of function keys, and there will be a redesigned thermal system to accommodate the upgraded Apple silicon chips that the machines are expected to include.
The new MacBook Pro models will feature 10-core Apple silicon chips with eight high-performance cores and two energy-efficient cores, along with 16 or 32-core GPU options and support for up to 64GB RAM.