What to expect from Apple’s 2019 developers conference

Apps ahoy.
Apps ahoy.
Image: AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez
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Apple is hosting its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Jose, California, from June 3 to June 7. Developers for Apple’s iOS, Mac, TV, and other products will descend from around the world to hear the latest updates to the company’s software (and occasionally, hardware). It opens with a keynote from CEO Tim Cook and other executives setting the tone for the week’s sessions.

Here’s what we’re expecting to learn more about:

iOS 13

The next iteration of Apple’s operating system (for iPhones, iPads, and the revived iPod Touch) will likely be shown off at WWDC. Last year, Apple introduced grouped notifications, new digital wellness tracking, the “Memoji” digital avatars, and updates to the augmented reality software built into the device. This year, Apple is expected to unveil a dark mode for iOS, an updated health app that notifies you when you’re listening to music too loudly, and a keyboard that lets users swipe to write letters instead of typing.

Bloomberg has an extensive run-down of just about everything else it expects Apple to update with iOS 13, including refreshes for Apple’s built-in apps like Maps, Mail, Home, and iMessage. Safari could also get a download manager—so you might finally be able to find where things you’ve downloaded from the web live on your iPhone or iPad.

There’s also expected to be a host of iPad-specific updates to complement the wonderful iPad Pro, namely the ability to share your Mac’s screen onto an iPad, and, possibly, mouse support.

The next macOS

Last year’s macOS update, Mojave, was pretty minimal—and it doesn’t seem like this year’s will be much different. The biggest change for this next version of macOS is expected to be the ability to allow iPad apps to run on Mac computers, if that’s a thing you’ve been dying to do for some reason. There’s also likely to be refreshes to the Mac Music, Reminders, Books, and Messages apps. It’s not clear yet which natural wonder of California the next operating system will be named after, but we’re going to guess “Sequoia.”

watchOS 6

Apple’s software for the Apple Watch has always been tied to the iPhone—you need to use the smartphone to download updates and new apps. And app developers have always had to build an iPhone app to go along with their watch apps. This will reportedly be changing somewhat with watchOS 6 so that users will be able to able to download apps directly from their wrists, and developers can just submit standalone watch apps to the App Store.

There will also be updates to the Health app to help people keep track of their menstrual cycles and any medications they take.

tvOS 13

Earlier this year, Apple redoubled its efforts to dominate the living room with the introduction of Apple TV+, a new streaming service featuring original content produced by the company. Apple recently introduced updates to the software for its Apple TV streaming devices for the new service, but it’s entirely possible we could see further updates onstage at WWDC.

HomePod updates

Much likes its competitors, Google Assistant and Amazon Echo, Apple is reportedly working on the ability to allow Siri to recognize multiple voices on one device. There’s also speculation that Apple plans to release a new HomePod at some point this year.

One more thing?

While WWDC is primarily focused on software, Apple has used the event to introduce new hardware products in the past, such as the HomePod and iMac Pro in 2017. There’s been talk that executives may show off an updated Mac Pro desktop, and a new external monitor, according to Bloomberg. Apple hasn’t sold a self-made display since 2016, and it hasn’t really introduced a new model since 2011.