When Tim Cook takes the stage and delivers the keynote address at the annual World Developers Conference (WWDC) on June 6, everyone from enterprise developers to investors will be looking for signals about where the industry is headed. company. At a time when tech layoffs and hiring freezes have investors panicking, with many predicting a tech downturn, everyone is watching Apple and how well-positioned the Cupertino company is to survive in the post-pandemic world.
The challenge for Apple is not only to ensure healthy iPhone sales throughout the year amid market uncertainty and global chip shortages, but also to build developer confidence to maintain its crucial application ecosystem. On Monday, like every year, Apple will give its developers who create apps for its most popular iPhones, iPads and Macs a glimpse into the future.
New features will also be introduced in iOS 16, although the expected changes are incremental. The lock screen could be undergoing a major makeover, according to a report from Bloomberg. Apple’s iOS 16 would support an always-on display, which would provide basic information such as date, time, and notifications by glancing at the screen. Samsung’s Galaxy phones have had this feature for years, but Apple might market Always-On Mode on some iPhones as a premium feature. Apple could also bring “social” features to the Messages app and even update the Health app on the iPhone, as well as “big widgets” on iOS.
“I would be surprised if Apple made too many sweeping changes with iOS,” said Andrew Cornwall, senior mobile technology analyst at Forrester Research. indianexpress.com. “They’re competing with Android, and Android hasn’t forced a lot of changes,” he adds. But Cornwall expects Apple to bring new privacy-focused features to iOS 16. “I think a lot of iOS changes will focus on that.”
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The only operating system that could get a major update will be iPadOS 16. Under the leadership of Tim Cook, Apple has always marketed the iPad as a replacement for the computer, but iPadOS is holding it back from its true potential. Although Apple has already made it clear that it wants to separate iPadOS from macOS, there is growing pressure to make iPad work more like a laptop and less like a phone. At WWDC, Apple is likely to update the iPad operating system with a redesigned interface that makes it easier to switch between tasks and see what apps are open. Apple would also introduce the ability to resize app windows and manage multiple apps simultaneously at its online-only developer conference. Currently, iPad apps can only run in full-screen mode or two apps side-by-side.
Over the years, Apple has beefed up the hardware capabilities of the iPad (the iPad Pro with the M1 chip is as powerful as the MacBook Air), but it hasn’t made many changes to the software or the experience user. iPadOS needs more macOS functionality, and Apple can do that without making iPad a Mac. One way to augment the capabilities of iPadOS is to allow developers to bring iPhone apps to the iPad. Doing so would be a way to bring the Calculator and Weather apps to the iPad. This would also solve the lack of Instagram and WhatsApp support for the iPad.
“For many years, there has been an ongoing trend to make the iPad a little more macOS-compliant without trying to do everything, forcing a touchscreen on a Mac or forcing complicated multitasking on an iPhone,” analyst from Gartner David says Mitchell. “These are not likely scenarios, but they are trying to do what they can to bring [these] devices together. Cornwall, too, agrees that Apple is making progress in turning iPadOS into something that can replace a laptop operating system, but it also faces this double dichotomy, where the iPad Pro and MacBook Air are competitors.
There’s no such thing as either, and that’s exactly what’s stopping Apple from making iPadOS as powerful as macOS. Despite iPad OS, not macOS, Cornwall predicts that Apple will focus more on the iPad Pro in the future, with only incremental changes reserved for the MacBook Air.
Apple is also expected to announce a new version of macOS at its developer conference. Although the next version of macOS does not hold any new surprises, Apple will focus on making macOS and apps work natively on its ARM-powered Macs. “Apple will continue to innovate with its silicon,” Cornwall said, adding that “we will see more AI-specific processing capabilities.”
With Intel’s two-year transition to its silicon complete, Apple would like developers to know how the second generation of M-series processors could help them optimize their applications for the next wave of hardware. There could be a new version of the MacBook Air and the Mac mini with the second generation of its processors. But given chip shortages and lockdowns in China, Apple could also delay the launch of new Macs until September or October.
Analysts don’t expect big changes for watchOS and tvOS this year. Apple is the biggest smartwatch company in the world, but it has been slow to bring new health sensors to the Apple Watch due to technical and regulatory challenges.
It’s also been difficult to sell a $179 Apple TV box to consumers who already have a smart TV at home or rely on cheaper streaming sticks from Amazon and Google. “I don’t see Apple going into the smart TV business on its own, but we may hear about a strategic partnership with a smart TV vendor,” Cornwall says.
This year’s WWDC is expected to be all about software, although Apple may surprise fans with the launch of a new MacBook Air with an all-new “retro-inspired” design and the successor to the M1 family.
Additionally, Apple fans are clamoring for a mixed reality headset, which many believe is closer to an official reveal. “There’s a good chance something will happen, whether it’s next week or not. [WWDC] nobody knows,” Mitchell says. Apple’s board got a preview of the headphones last month, according to Bloomberg, suggesting the device could be ready for the reveal. “I think they will, although they won’t announce dates or details,” Cornwall predicts, but whether a mixed reality headset is the right device for Apple to enter remains to be seen. in a new product category.