With Apple set to hold its Worldwide Developers Conference conference in the next few weeks, attention of Apple fans worldwide is already turning to the next generation iOS 11 operating system. WWDC 2017 will be held on June 5 to June 9, 2017 at the McEnery Convention Center, in San Jose, California; the first time that this city has played host to the conference for 15 years. While iOS 11 will be a particular highlight of the event, other announcements expected include watchOS 4, macOS 10.13, and possibly tvOS 11.

iOS 11 app 64-bit compatibility

Important software

But the latest version of the iOS operating system is always a highlight of this software-focused conference, and this year will be no exception. The iOS 11 operating system will be particularly important for Apple, as it will be expected to play a key role in the tenth generation iPhone 8 release. Apple is expected to deliver an outstanding smartphone in order to acknowledge this landmark in the history of the iPhone, and this means that the iOS 11 system must be packed with some serious bells and whistles.

The latest revelation about iOS 11 then is particularly interesting. Bloomberg has revealed that the next iteration of the Apple operating system will feature a completely revamped music app. And this next generation Apple Music system will particularly focused on video. This won’t be a surprise to savvy Apple followers, as the corporation has explicitly stated that it intended to supplement Apple Music with a collection of music-oriented programming.

And the American record and film producer Jimmy Iovine – co-founder of Interscope Records and chairman of Interscope Geffen A&M – has spoken on the potential of the new Apple Music system. “A music service needs to be more than a bunch of songs and a few playlists,” Iovine explained. “I’m trying to help Apple Music be an overall movement in popular culture, everything from unsigned bands to video. We have a lot of plans. We have the freedom because it’s Apple, to make one show, three shows, see what works, see what doesn’t work until it feels good,” Iovine commented.

Those familiar with the music industry and the recent history of Apple will note the Interscope link of Iovine. Interscope published numerous Death Row artists such as Tupac Shakur, Snoop Dogg and, most notably, Dr. Dre. The latter is now entwined with Apple thanks to its acquisition of the Beats branding, and this will now seemingly strengthen the association between the two.

iOS 11 – Programming plans

The report on Apple Music expands further on in the intentions of the consumer electronics giant to expand its stable of programming. Carpool Karaoke and the Dr. Dre biopic Vital Signs have featured prominently previously, but it is suggested that Apple intends to have ten original series available by the end of the calendar year. These will include documentaries on Bad Boy Records founder Puff Daddy and Cash Money Records. An apparent sequel to R. Kelly’s Trapped in the Closet is also planned.

Apple also has intentions outside the sphere of music, with the intention of the company to eventually enter the video and movie production market. Iovine has apparently been in conversation with Brian Grazer and J.J. Abrams, suggesting that “Apple Music is nowhere near complete in my head”. The subscription service has made serious inroads into the market leading Spotify, but nonetheless has only 20 million subscribers, compare to the 50 million who are signed up to Spotify.

Siri update

A further raft of iOS 11 features are also rumoured to be on the horizon, and possibly the most exciting of these is a major update to the Siri personal assistant. This is particularly timely considering that Samsung has now moved into the personal assistant niche with the release of Bixby. According to reports, Siri will experience a massive overhaul, with tighter integration with various iOS apps and services, particularly Messages and iCloud, rumored strongly.

It is also believed that iOS 11 will feature some exciting new augmented reality content. Murmurings are multiplying which suggest that Apple will deliver significant augmented reality functionality in the iPhone 8, with Tim Cook having poured paraffin on the fire of these rumours by explicitly commending the technology. It seems that augmented reality will play a major role in the future of Apple, and iOS 11 and could begin this process by embracing the innovation.

iOS 11 is also expected to debut a group FaceTime feature, which has yet to become available in any previous version of the iOS operating system. This is perhaps surprising, as both Skype and Google Hangouts have already introduced the feature, placing pressure on Apple to match the pace of its competitors sooner rather than later.

Apple will also introduce a so-called ‘Dark Mode’ with iOS 11, although it is not known exactly what this will entail. According to leaks close to the Apple supply chain, Dark Mode will come complete with a dark background scheme, particularly suitable for late-night usage. This will obviously contrast with the default white background associated with Apple.

32-bit dead

It has also been confirmed that iOS 11 will only support 64-bit platforms, with the consumer electronics giant making the decision to permanently eradicate 32-bit support from iOS 11 and future operating systems. With this in mind, Apple will remove thousands of 32-bit applications from its app store, with reminders already being issued to developers that 32-bit software will not run with the iOS 11 system.

This will effectively enable Apple to completely reform the App Store, as all the leftover applications will be unaccounted for and permanently deleted. This will inevitably occur more aggressively over time, and will obviously be a major area of consideration for developers going forward.

With the beta version of iOS 11 likely to be available by June 12, we won’t have too much longer to wait to get our hands on this critical mobile operating system. Apple is still expected to unveil the iPhone 8 in September, with iOS 11 debuting at around the same time.