Whether it is a new line-up of OS or new tools for developers, Apple’s virtual Worldwide Developers Conference 2021 is grounded in the Cupertino tech giant’s computing services
If you are a developer, chances are you will not be sleeping this week as Apple goes virtual yet again for Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) that kicks off on June 7 (tonight) and runs till 11.
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The all-online conference that used to take place every spring at Apple Park in California, is catnip for all developers, offering insights into the future of Apple’s operating systems such as iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS. Developers can also learn about the new technologies, tools, and frameworks they rely on to build innovative and platform-differentiating apps and games.
Apple had also announced this year’s Swift Student Challenge, an opportunity for young developers to demonstrate their coding skills by creating a Swift playground, Apple’s educational tool and development environment for the Swift programming language. This application was initially announced at WWDC 2016. The WWDC 2021 Student Swift Challenge winners announced on June 1, members of Indian origin include U.S-based Abhinaya Dinesh, Hyderabad-based Sai Ranga Reddy, Delhi-based Yugantar Jain, Chennai-based Swapnanil Dhol and Bengaluru-based Muhammed Sahil Arayakandy.
So, what can we look forward to the hour-long keynote event tonight?
Surely, there will be a focus on operating systems. We are looking forward to what a new macOS could look like since macOS Big Sur offered a considerable leap in terms of UX. Just as many users are getting used to iOS14, we wonder what iOS15 could possibly offer; perhaps a better notification and widget systems, where Android thrives. Most importantly, netizens are keen on more transparent conversations on the app tracking features across operating systems.
What of watchOS? Last year, we welcomed new features in watchOS7 such as handwashing among sleep-tracking. Perhaps Apple will finally upgrade the far-too-simple Breathe app and under-delivering sleep tracking feature to meet competitor features.
Developers are looking forward to new offerings in SwiftUI, potentially kits which offer more than 2,000 lines of coding and stronger and more coherent framework to further empower app-making and app review processes.
Last year, the AirPods were given their own segment which propelled a lot of talk around Apple’s investment into sound tech. After tonight’s keynote, Apple has a dedicated event on Apple Music’s upcoming spatial audio feature. It is likely that this event — now incognito on devs’ calendars — will go into detail about Apple’s inclusion of lossless audio, which made headlines last week.
In terms of hardware, many are certain about the launch of new MacBook Pros as well as a new Apple CPU. Last year, Apple’s native SoC for computing, M1, was announced but this year, leaks have been certain of not one, but two chips for the rumoured MacBook Pros. But personally, we would like to see better port availability for Pros.
We are also sure that Apple will announce a new line-up of original films and series for its own OTT service. AppleTV+ has launched favourite award-winners such as The Morning Show and Ted Lasso.
And speaking of entertainment, Apple Arcade is also expected to release new gaming partnerships and, of course, a fun new set of experiences ahead which are likely to be heavy on the Augmented Reality.
And the rumours…
The rumour mill has been fuelled by social media over the past few days, with talks of Apple Glass launching. Claimed to be the company’s mixed reality headset, social media threads are alive with debates around whether people are reading too much into the artwork for WWDC21 keynote.
Also, Apple made news on June 2 with a job listing including responsibilities around homeOS. This compounded with the HomePod speaker range being expanded over the last year and AirTag being announced at the April 20 Spring Loaded keynote, fuelled talk of a new OS altogether. However the listing has now been amended and excludes mention of homeOS.
Apple’s WWDC21 virtual keynote kicks off on June 7, 2021, at 10.30pm IST at https://www.apple.com/apple-events/.