Apple fans are eagerly awaiting the forthcoming World Wide Developers Conference, with the consumer electronics giant set to announce its latest releases. While this event has been dedicated to software in recent years, there is increasing anticipation that Apple will choose to unveil a major hardware product in San Francisco this year, with the Apple Watch 2 tipped to feature.
But the highlight of the World Wide Developers Conference is usually the release of the next iOS operating system, and WWDC 16 will be no exception to this rule. As usual, Apple’s keynote will kick off on the first day of the conference, June 13, at 10:00 PDT, and iOS 10 is expected to be a major focus of this presentation at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco.
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It is usual practice for Apple to reveal a preview version of iOS at the World Wide Developers Conference, and make it available to developers early. Usually the final version of iOS is released in conjunction with the latest iPhone device, and there is no reason to suspect that Apple will dispense with its customary September release date for the iPhone 7.
One of the most prominent suggestions for the iOS 10 upgrade is that there will be significant Apple Music improvements built into the system. It is expected that the consumer electronics giant will massively overhaul its streaming service ahead of the World Wide Developers Conference.
The Beats 1 radio station will be expanded, and there is also expected to be a significant redesign of the Apple Music user interface. Streaming will also be more satisfactorily integrated into the program, and the downloading elements of the service will also be improved. Apple is aggressively targeting Spotify with these upgrades, as it attempts to convince consumers to subscribe to its Apple Music service. Spotify still outranks Apple Music by 30 million paid subscribers to 11 million.
It is also anticipated that Apple will improve the 3D Touch system when iOS 10 is released. There is a general move towards providing more functionality via these systems, with some reports having suggested that Apple will eventually phase out the Home button on the iPhone module completely. With the corporation having introduced 3D Touch last year, it is now expected that further features will be integrated into the system with the next major iOS operating system release.
Security is becoming increasingly important for mobile phones, and considering the recent brouhaha between Apple and the FBI, the California-based company is likely to make iOS even harder to break into. Reports already indicate that there will be an entire section dedicated at the keynote speech to the issue of security, with Apple expected to announce a major upgrade to the iOS 10 system.
Reports have suggested that Apple will release a dedicated HomeKit alongside the iOS 10 operating system, acting as a central hub for everything related to the software. Smart home technology is becoming more mainstream, and it seems certain that Apple will want a slice of this potentially lucrative pie.
Apple is also expected to ensure that iOS 10 is more flexible than previous versions of the operating system, and this could involve enabling users to hide or even uninstall stock applications. However, this would significantly go against the ethos of the corporation in previous iOS releases, so this suggestion must be filed under rumors.
Apple is expected to release new emojis when the iOS 10 operating system is released, with 74 new icons having been created according to reports on the matter.
A major overhaul of Siri is expected for the iOS 10 operating system, particularly as Google announced the latest version of Google Now just last week. Personal assistants are becoming big news in the technology sector, and Apple is not likely to let itself be left behind in this department.
In addition, it has been hinted in the media that Apple will be opening the Siri SDK to third-party developers, effectively enabling them to integrate software within Siri. This would massively open up the functionality of the personal assistant, and would represent something of a revolution in the capabilities of the software.
Amazon Echo / Google Home rival
It is also predicted that Apple will unveil a new rival piece of software to the already released Amazon Echo and Google Home at the World Wide Developers Conference. These voice-controlled, 24/7 available home assistants effectively act as multimedia cores for all connected and smart gadgets within a home. Apple is reportedly preparing a similar system, and it is expected that this Siri-operated device will be unveiled at the San Francisco event.
Apple made the iOS 9 operating system available as a public beta for the first time ever last year, and reports from sources close to the consumer electronics giant have suggested that Apple benefited significantly from this process. This could motivate Apple to release a public beta version of iOS 10, ensuring that the general population gets its hands on the next-generation operating system ahead of the final release date.
Release date and availability
Anyone with an older smartphone than the iPhone 5 can probably forget about iOS 10 compatibility, while the same probably also applies to users of the iPad 2. There is no reason to expect iOS 10 to roll out at any other time than opposite the iPhone 7, iPhone Plus and iPhone 7 Pro in September.
Apple Watch 2
Finally, although there is some disagreement on this issue in the analyst community, Apple may very well unveil the second generation Apple Watch at the San Francisco conference. The Apple Watch 2 will be tasked with building upon the solid foundation that the original Apple Watch set by reportedly dominating 95% of the existing smartwatch marketplace.
Apple will know that the Apple Watch 2 will need to be considerably more standalone and present a more compelling reason for purchase in order to receive a superior critical reception to the initial Apple Watch in the series.