Apple will be holding its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) for 2015 in San Francisco next month. The four-day conference officially starts on June 8 at 10am Cupertino time, 1pm Eastern, and will run for four days this year. Central to the entire event will be the keynote speech of Apple CEO Tim Cook, who will take to the stage wearing an Apple Watch this year. Rumors only indicate that Cook will be pushing new operating system revisions to the smartwatch which launched in April.
But what else can we expect from Apple at this event? Here is a rundown on some of the likely and not so likely inclusions in WWDC 2015.
WWDC 2015 – iOS 9 beta
Traditionally, this annual Apple event yields the latest version of the iOS operating system; Apple’s key software which is utilized by mobile platforms. And iOS 9 was certainly expected to be unveiled at this year’s event. But there are a few rumors circulating which suggest that the latest version of the Apple operating system may not be ready for the Worldwide Developers Conference. Apple plays its cards so close to its chest that it is impossible to confirm or deny this at this point in time, but it is possible that we may see an updated version of iOS 8 instead discussed in San Francisco.
This would unquestionably be a big disappointment to some Apple fans and developers were this to be the case. But Apple will unquestionably be wanting to avoid the sort of buggy release which iOS 8 was considered by many people when iOS 9 releases. If iOS 9 is dropped at the event then expect new Maps updates, a smarter Siri, improved smart home and in-car functionality, and perhaps some new Apple Watch features.
It is widely expected that Apple will announce the official unveiling of its Beats Music service at the WWDC. This new streaming service is intended to compete with the likes of Spotify and the recently announced Tidal. It has been reported that Apple has been working hard behind the scenes to courage some artists to sign up exclusively to his new service, most notably Taylor Swift who has recently taken her music of the market-leading Spotify.
There will likely be two items of note related to Apple’s smartwatch at the San Francisco conference. Firstly, Apple is likely to reveal the sales information for the Apple Watch in the first couple of months of its existence. This will be extremely critical on several levels, with Apple’s short-term share price to some degree reliant on it. Apple had promised the city at the beginning of 2014 that it would create viable new revenue streams, and the Apple Watch is the most obvious example of this strategy thus far.
Aside from the bare bones of its financial success, Apple Watch could also be getting some new functionality as well. There are rumors of some interesting new features being released at the WWDC conference, with the ability to control Apple TV from your wristwatch being one of the most intriguing and practical. A Find My Watch app and new custom watch faces have also been mooted.
This Apple Watch functionality will go hand in hand with an updated version of the Apple TV service. Unfortunately for those Apple fans wanting to see something spectacular and out of the ordinary, this will not entail a physical television set. Apple will instead focus on its entertainment device that can receive digital data from a number of sources and stream it to televisions for broadcast.
There is increasing competition in this field, with Amazon Fire TV and Google Nexus Player just two of the services competing with the consumer electronics giant. So Apple may look to produce something outstanding for its set-top box that makes it stand out from the crowd. This could include 4K support, more realistic TV content streaming, and support for the likes of Siri and HomeKit.
Apple may not have dropped the bombshell of a physical television set just yet, but this could be a critical release in laying the foundations for such a hardware device in the future. Certainly Tim Cook has gone on record as stating that he believes Apple could significantly improve upon existing television architecture. On the other hand, recent reports have suggested that Apple has shelved such plans, although the corporation has not confirmed this.
The final outside possibility for the WWDC conference is that Apple may finally unveil the extremely poorly kept secret which is the iPad Pro. This 13-inch tablet has been rumored for many months, and Apple could choose to reveal this piece of major hardware in order to really grab headlines at its Worldwide Developers Conference.
However, Apple fans shouldn’t hold their collective breath waiting for this particular announcement, as WWDC has been largely focused on software releases in recent years.
The items mentioned previously can be considered relatively solid prospects for the Apple event, or in the case of the iPad Pro at least a distinct possibility. But there have been numerous other murmurings regarding other devices which could appear at the conference, even if this is ultimately pretty unlikely.
Possibly the most prominent of the gossip has surrounded a new range of iMacs. Apple released a 27-inch iMac with a 5K retina display just last year, but declined to update its 21.5-inch range of desktop computers at that time. Rumors have been doing the rounds which suggest that Apple could decide to announce a 4K iMac with a 21.5-inch display in the near future, and that the WWDC conference could be the venue for this announcement.
Apple could also tease the iPhone 6s at the WWDC conference, and even a brand-new iPod touch has been linked with the San Francisco event. More likely is that Apple will limit itself to software-related announcements, and continue its policy of unveiling hardware at separate events.