WWDC 2020, Apple’s most high-profile developer-focused event of the year, kicks off later tonight (10:30PM IST).
WWDC 2020, Apple’s most high-profile developer-focused event of the year, kicks off later tonight (10:30PM IST). Due to the ongoing pandemic situation, Apple isn’t holding any on-ground event this year. Instead, WWDC 2020 will take on an entirely new online format, which is a first for Cupertino.
Apple will host a keynote on the opening day of WWDC (June 22) where it will talk about all things software, from iOS to tvOS, from watchOS to macOS. Hardware announcements are rare at WWDC though you can’t strike them out completely (at WWDC 2019, Apple had announced the Mac Pro refresh).
The floor will be then opened up, for the next few days (until June 26), for developers and enthusiasts to gain insights into Apple software and lay the groundwork for how they can make the best use of all this through their apps and services.
Apple WWDC 2020: when and how you can watch live
WWDC 2020 opening keynote, which will be spearheaded by Apple CEO Tim Cook, will be live-streamed directly from Apple Park via the Apple Events page on Apple.com. Apple will also live-stream the keynote on its YouTube page. Or you can watch it here.
Apple TV owners can access the WWDC 2020 opening keynote live-stream through the Apple Events app.
WWDC 2020 proceedings will be also accessible via the Apple Developer app and on the Apple Developer website for free for all developers.
In India, the WWDC 2020 opening keynote will start at 10:30PM IST.
Apple WWDC 2020: what to expect
Apple brought system-wide dark mode among other things to the iPhone with iOS 13 but it also tagged along many bugs. Apple has spent the greater part of last year (and even this year) fixing these bugs. With iOS 14, Apple will be looking to focus a great deal on all-round performance and stability — many reports seem to suggest that.
At the same time, rumour has it that Apple may add a list-view to its home screen in iOS 14, which if true, would be one of the biggest overhauls to the iPhone software in years. This would be similar to what Google offers in Android. Like Android, iOS 14 will reportedly also allow iPhone users to sort apps in multiple ways, including one through Siri suggestions. Third-party wallpaper support may also be on the cards (yes, finally). Apple may also finally allow iPhone users to add proper widgets to the home screen in iOS 14. iOS 14 is further said to give iPhone users the flexibility to set third-party apps as system defaults (over Apple apps).
As is usually the case, we may see some new apps introduced in iOS 14. Some of the rumoured ones include a standalone fitness app (which is apparently codenamed Seymour) and an augmented reality app (apparently codenamed Gobi). iOS 14 is also said to add some new features like CarKey (to allow using iPhone to unlock your car) and enhancements to iCloud Keychain. Taking cues from Google’s Android, Apple may also allow iPhone users to try out certain apps without even installing them through a new Clips API in iOS 14.
Lastly, there are also rumours that Apple may rename iOS 14 as iPhoneOS (14) to possibly make it stand out from iPadOS 14.
Apple gave the iPad its own dedicated operating system with iPadOS 13 last year. iPadOS 13 was iOS 13 with iPad-specific features like desktop-class browsing on Safari with a native download manager, support for external drives, mouse support and more. iPadOS 13 also brought deep-down integration of the Apple Pencil with the iPad. This year, with iPadOS 14, Apple is expected to build upon those things and add features like automatic conversion of hand-written words into text, something that Samsung offers in the Galaxy Note 10 and Galaxy Tab tablets.
Apple gave the Apple Watch its own dedicated app store with watchOS 6 last year. This year, with watchOS 7, it is expected to add more apps to the platform plus the long-rumoured sleep tracking feature may be finally coming though whether or not Apple announces it at WWDC 2020 or alongside new hardware in the fall is something only time will tell. Another rumoured feature is blood oxygen tracking, though again, this is something we will have to wait and watch out for (chances are Apple may wait for the next Apple Watch announcement to reveal this feature as well).
tvOS 13 brought support for multiple profiles, third-party game controllers and Apple Music integration to the Apple TV. Rumours around tvOS 14 are scarce though Apple may introduce a kids mode to the Apple TV with the upcoming update. Since the same software also powers the HomePod, rumour has it that with tvOS 14, Apple may finally allow apps and services (third-party) like Spotify to work with Siri on its smart speaker.
macOS Catalina famously (or infamously depending on how you see it) killed iTunes. Apple also introduced Project Catalyst with Catalina to bring iPad apps to the Mac. Just like tvOS 14, rumours around the next major update to macOS are scarce, but also, it could mark the biggest update in the history of Apple because this is the year Cupertino is expected to part ways with Intel.
Apple will reportedly announce that it is “almost” ready with its ARM-based custom processors for the Mac at WWDC 2020 though actual Mac computers powered by the new chips aren’t expected to be launched before next year. Remember, Apple had similarly announced its plans to switch to Intel processors (from PowerPC) for its Mac computers at WWDC 2005.
The project is internally codenamed Kalamata, and Apple reportedly has three ARM-based Mac processors in development at least. These processors will be based on the next iPhone’s (iPhone 12) A14 chip but specifically tailored for MacOS. Apple is said to bring its entire Mac portfolio under the ARM umbrella, ending its long reliance on Intel going forward.
One more thing
Apple is also expected to put forth its stance around how it does (or doesn’t) deal with third-party apps and developers behind those apps inside the App Store, especially when it comes to earnings and subscriptions. Apple has been under fire for its seemingly restrictive App Store policies with third-party developers like Spotify. One of the areas of concern is the 30% cut Apple charges from app purchases (and 15% from subscriptions) through the App Store.