Come Monday, Apple will host its annual Worldwide Developers Conference – WWDC 2018 – in the Bay Area. In keeping with tradition, the event will kick off with a keynote address from the company executives. We expect them to lay out Apple’s software policies for the coming year, and there are rumors some new hardware could be launched as well.
Like we said, the primary focus for WWDC 2018 will be the macOS 10.14 and iOS 12; the software powering Macs, iPhones, and iPads. We expect Apple to give details of the upcoming new features and upgrades on both operating systems. Though most experts say for this year, there will not be a radical haul on both systems; just some few minor tweaks here and there. There are rumors Apple is holding off major features and redesigns for the WWDC 2019 release. This year, it will focus mainly on stability and performance.
The Cupertino company is usually very secretive about upcoming features and hardware, but some experts are making educated guesses, and here is a list of some of that:
The mobile OS features and tweaks will likely be the star of the WWDC 2018. Like we said earlier, there will be no major UI overhauls and features. Instead, Apple will reveal minor features upgrades geared towards making the mobile OS more stable and improve its performance.
For the record, iOS 11 was somewhat of a let down for most Apple fans. It was marred by several bugs, and some features were delayed for months, as Apple struggled not to look like they released a half-baked OS.
Though there were reports that Apple will introduce a home screen overhaul, I won’t hold my breath over it, as it might be pushed to next year. For iOS 12, we mainly expect improvement in stability and performance, but the following are some of the new possible features that will be introduced.
Apple is rumored to be working on releasing a new version of ARKit – the ARKit 2 – the software development framework for making AR apps. The ARKit 2 will supposedly support multiplayer shared AR experiences across multiple devices within the same physical space.
Tim Cook was quoted in the past saying AR is an extremely significant and important part of the digital future. In reality, however, it seems most consumers are not warming to AR and VR as expected. Apple designed both the iPhone 8 and iPhone X with AR in mind. The WWDC 2018 will be yet another platform Apple will use to try and convince developers to brainstorm on AR application.
It has become pretty obvious that you and the rest of the world are becoming addicted to your smartphones. You keep your eyeballs glued to applications such as Facebook, Clash of Clans, Tinder, and YouTube among others.
Then again, mobile apps are designed with the goal of driving up engagement and keeping you hooked up. Apple publicly stated recently that it will work to counteract such addiction in future. There are reports that the company’s engineers have come up with a new iOS feature called Digital Health, as a new section in the Settings app, which will enable you to track your smartphone usage. You will see your general and individual apps usage.
There are rumors Apple will loosen up its tight grip on iPhone’s NFC capabilities (just a bit) to third-party applications. Currently, NFC in iPhone is strictly used for Apple Pay. Though we don’t expect Apple to make it as entirely accessible for all third-party applications as we see in Android, the iOS platform is nonetheless set to have some of the third-party apps we see in Android smartphones.
For instance, you could soon start using your iPhone to make payments for fare in public transit turnstiles.
The revamped MacBook Pro 2018
8th Gen Intel CPU – It is almost a guaranteed that the new MacBook Pro to be launched on Monday will come with the new generation of chips from Intel. The most likely choice will be the quad-core Kaby Lake R Core i5 or Core i7; the double the number of cores from the 2018’s chips with noticeable increases in performance.
Another possible option is the Intel Kaby Lake G CPU, with integrated AMD Radeon Vega chip on board. That will be a big graphics improvement for the Pro users who want to run graphics-heavy apps like Photoshop, and some light video editing and gaming. This chip is the same one running on Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the HP Spectre 15t.
No more Butterfly Switches Keyboard?
Apple’s butterfly switches in MacBook have been criticized for being too fragile, with many users lamenting they have to press multiple times to register keystrokes. Hopefully, the company will do away with these horrible switches.
An earlier report showed Apple patented a new keyboard design, one that is crumb-resistant and won’t have you blowing air through the keyboard to try make them work again.
It’s time Apple hit the refresh button on their computer design; year after year they pretty much stuck to one design, which has now gotten super stale. There are rumors the MacBook 2018 will come will less bezel, and there is a publicized patent showing Apple is working on ‘Living Hinge.’
These hinges will allow the display to be placed inside one metal casing as the rest of the laptop so that the entire computer is within on metal casing that bends in the middle.
There are not many rumors out there about the new macOS features, save for deeper Siri integration, redesigned Mac App Store, and APFS support for Fusion Drives. There were earlier reports that Apple could be routing for designing apps that are iOS/macOS interoperable, but Tim Cook came out refuting these claims saying Apple is not interested in merging the iPhone with the MacBook. Like what Microsoft has done with its Windows 10 devices and Google with Chrome OS and Android.
Perhaps the only thing we can bet our money on is that Apple is ending the 32-bit support. Details on how on when will emerge tomorrow, on Monday.
At the WWDC 2018, Apple is expected to launch the new watchOS 5, but its accompanying new hardware will be launched somewhere in September. There is not much information out there about the watchOS. Though there are rumors, there will be third-party watch-face support and new workout type.