WWDC 2016 kicks off on June 13, and Siri is expected to be in the spotlight with some major upgrades coming. Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference always highlights software, although it’s not unheard of for new hardware to make an appearance.
The Siri show at WWDC 2016
RBC Capital Markets analyst Amit Daryanani and team expect Siri to be the focus of WWDC 2016. In a report dated June 1, they set forth their expectations for the event, of which one is related to the expected SDK for Siri. Apple is expected to finally open up its digital assistant to third-party developers by unveiling a new SDK for it so that they can expand their usage of Siri in their apps. Although the iPhone maker hasn’t announced any sort of speaker device that would compete with the popular Amazon Echo device, it has been rumored to be working on one, and releasing an SDK for Siri could be an important part of the foundation for this.
Daryanani also expects Siri to become even smarter as Apple looks to more robustly integrate its various operating systems with the digital assistant. He believes Siri will finally go to the Mac operating system, which he expects to increase usage of it. Additionally, he believes Apple will talk up integration of VocalIQ, an acquisition it made late last year, to improve context for Siri.
VocalIQ integration would also be an important stepping stone toward a device that would compete with Amazon Echo. Although the initial rumors about an Apple device to compete with Echo pointed to a speaker, more recently, we’ve heard that the company is simply planning to add the functionality to the Apple TV set-top box rather than releasing a speaker that functions solely as a digital assistant.
New Macbook Pro, but no standalone desktop display at WWDC 2016
Daryanani also expects a new MacBook Pro at WWDC 2016, but little to no additional hardware. There were rumors that the Apple Watch 2 would be unveiled there, but the analyst thinks this is unlikely, and most other sources concur. Separately, we’ve heard rumors that Apple is working on a standalone desktop display with integrated GPU, and initially, they suggested that the display would be unveiled at WWDC. However, 9to5 Mac reports that this isn’t the case. The website’s sources emphasized that WWDC 2016 will be about software with little news on the hardware front.
Apple is also expected to unveil the newest versions of its operating systems: iOS 10, OS X10, OS 3.0 and tvOS.