As always, it’s almost an exercise in futility to guess what Apple has up its sleeve ahead of any event much less the big one that is the World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) held annually in San Francisco and set to kickoff with the keynote address on Monday June 13.
WWDC generally a software showcase
The WWDC is first and foremost a developers conference, it’s right there in the name. Consequently, it’s here where Apple usually puts its new efforts with software forward as the star of the conference. This year it’s near certain that Siri is set to play a big role at the WWDC. It’s been widely rumored that Siri is set to make its debut outside of mobile devices and make its way to the new version of OSX, which is rumored to get a name change itself and many are suggesting that new moniker will be MAC OS. Siri is also rumored to be destined to be a part of the new Apple Watch (whenever that’s released, perhaps next week?) but it’s nearly certain that the OS that runs the Apple Watch is set for a its third generation build.
Lastly, nearly everyone expects that iOS 10 will make its debut next week with Siri getting a serious upgrade as well to compete better with Google Now and Amazon’s Alexa voice service. It’s been rumored that Apple intends to launch a standalone speaker that features Siri. Amazon already has its Echo on the market powered by Alexa while Google has announced and released a video of its new product Google Home that offers more and less than the Alexa devices on the market including the first Alexa powered third-party hardware that is a supercool speaker that doubles as a kitchen magnet, telephone and personal assistant made by Invoxia. While most doubt the hardware is ready or that it will be debuted next week, it is Apple so you never know.
Apple Music and other services are set for an overhaul next week and there will surely be a number of surprises as well. But in addition to questions about the possible Apple Watch 2 debut, one of the biggest questions is whether or not the new MacBook Pro will make its own debut, or for that matter whether any laptops will make an appearance. They are not so much overdue as highly anticipated.
New MacBook Pro next week?
That’s the question at the end of the day. Rumors have it that when it does make its debut it will be both more powerful and one of the thinnest, if not the thinnest laptop on the market. Rumors had its release set for Q4 but more recent rumors are leaning toward an August release and if that’s the case it’s possible that a new MacBook Pro could be called on to demonstrate the new MAC OS.
Japanese Mac blog Macotakara claims that it as learned from reliable supply chain sources from China that Apple’s new MacBook Pro laptops will be unveiled in June (presumably at the WWDC), and begin shipping in August.
The blog is also calling for Apple to finally abandon USB-A, Thuderbolt 2, and MacSafe 2 ports with the replacements coming in the form of a combination of USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 ports. All of this of course is speculation.
While some are calling for the MacBook Air line to go to the graveyard others see a rebuild in progress. However, if the MacBook Pro does get considerably thinner, what’s a MacBook Air to do?
Designer conceptualizes the MacBook Pro with an OLED Touchscreen bar
Martin Hajek is well known in the Apple community for is conceptual rendering of products he would love to see from the company. The rumored MacBook Pro that he’s just put his design skills to is fantastic and I for one want one already, now its simply up to Apple to build it. Hajek has gotten rid of the function keys that lay above the keyboard and just beneath the display and has replaced them with an OLED touch panel that could be set up to be status bar, Spotify controller, or whatever your heart desires.
Hell, the OLED touch panel could even be set to continue its life as a row of function keys, the idea is that it would be completely customizable. While some have suggested that the whole display could become a touchscreen but these rumors have gained no traction and nothing from the supply chain suggests that this holds any water or gravitas.