WWDC 2020: What we might see from Apple

Every year, hundreds of press, developers and fans gather at the World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) held by Apple to see what new things are coming from Cupertino and what the future might hold for the brand. Not this year though. As result of the current global pandemic, Apple sensibly opted to hold WWDC in a purely digital setting. This doesn’t mean we can’t expect some exciting announcements. We’ve trawled the rumour mill to see what new things Apple have up their sleeve.


Hardware

A new iMac

One of the most exciting rumours is the reveal of an all-new iMac. The current iMac hasn’t seen a redesign in the best part of a decade and the front view is much older than that. iMac fans have been crying out for an updated design and a more modern approach to the internals.

The new design is reported to appear similar to the current iPad Pro and feature thinner display bezels and a new Pro Display XDR. It is also expected to ditch the old and slow Fusion hard drive in favour of SSDs which will massively improve performance across the board.

Thanks to the new SSDs, the new iMac will include a T2 chip for security and controller functions, plus it will use the new AMD Navi GPUs. It is also expected to be powered by Intel’s “Comet Lake” range of CPUs.

This will be big news for people looking to upgrade their iMac but are put off by the current model’s ageing design and weak base specs.

ARM-Based Macs

If you’ve never heard of ARM processors then you’re not alone. Many people have no idea what they are but chances are you have one in your pocket.

Many years ago Apple pivoted from their own CPUs to Intel as they couldn’t compete on performance. Today though Apple makes a range of very fast and efficient mobile processors for the iPhone, iPad and several other devices. They are considered by many to be desktop class and often outperform the chips from Intel.

Not only are they fast but they are able to operate in devices that do not have a large, noisy fan. This is ideal for small laptops. A big plus for Apple is that Intel chips are expensive, much more than their own chips. This would allow them to manage costs or pricing for their consumer products far easier. Not only that but Apple are shackled by Intel’s development and release schedule which doesn’t always tie in with Apple’s plans. New chips from Intel rarely see decent performance improvements and a new ARM-based range of Macs would be able to offer genuine reason to upgrade for many users.

This also ties in with Apple’s plan to have more iOS/iPadOS apps on the Mac. Apps for their mobile devices could easily work on an ARM-powered Mac and vice-versa. The benefit for developers is the ability to create one app that runs on all platforms.

Don’t expect to see a new device though. Apple is only expected to announce plans to start developing these new ARM Macs so that developers have time to adjust and build compatibility.


Software

iOS 14:

According to leaks, here are a few of the expected updates.

  • Home Screen – A list view on the home screen so you can see every app installed in one spot.
  • Fitness App – Watch guided workout videos on iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and Apple Watch via a new dedicated app.
  • Messages – A big update to take on apps like WhatsApp. @mentions in group chats, retracting iMessages, typing indicators for group chat, and an option to mark messages as unread are all expected.
  • AR – Proper Augmented Reality (via LIDAR) recently came to the iPad and is expected to appear on the next iPhone (Pro models). Expect to see some AR related stuff in the next iOS.
  • Third-Party Default Apps – This is a long awaited update. We might finally be able to select third party apps in favour of Apple’s own as the system default.

There will no doubt be more but these are the bigger changes we expect to see.

watchOS 7

According to leaks, here are a few of the expected updates for the Apple Watch OS:

  • Watch faces – Users will be able to share their watch face configurations with others. There are also a range of new watch faces expected to be revealed including an Infograph Pro face and an international watch face that will display the flags from different countries.
  • SPo2 – Apple are expected to announce that watchOS 7 will be able to monitor blood oxygen levels. Another health benefit for users with long term health concerns such as COPD or Asthma.
  • Parental Controls – Parents will have more control over their Child’s Apple Watch as well as control over what apps they can acmes during school time.

Everything else:

We expect to see new versions of tvOS and macOS revealed as well. These will most likely be small incremental updates but we’ll have to wait until June 22nd 2020 to find out.

What are you most excited for from WWDC? Let us know in the comments.