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The 5 biggest things missing from WWDC 2024

A person holding the Apple iPhone 15 Plus and Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max.
Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max (left) and Apple iPhone 15 Plus Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Apple kicked off WWDC 2024 with a bang by introducing big updates to iOS 18, iPadOS 18, watchOS 11macOS 15, and visionOS 2. It even revealed Apple Intelligence, which is its on-device AI across multiple platforms that gives users a much improved Siri and other helpful AI tools. But for as much as Apple did announce, there were plenty of things the company didn’t announce. Here are the five biggest missing announcements from WWDC 2024.

An iOS redesign

Screenshots of new features in iOS 18.

Prior to WWDC 2024, there were talks that Apple may bring a significant redesign to iOS 18 to bring it more in line with what visionOS looks like. That would have meant a UI with more transparency and blur throughout the system menu and navigation.

This did not come to fruition, unfortunately (or fortunately, if you weren’t a fan of an entirely new look). However, Apple is giving users the opportunity to customize iOS 18 even more to their own tastes.

With iOS 18, Apple is allowing users to quickly arrange apps and widgets around easily and letting them be placed anywhere on the home screen. So, you can have your apps on the bottom near the dock for easier access or frame it so that your wallpaper shines through.

Your app icons will even have a new look when in Dark Mode. They can have a new tint color to match your wallpaper or just whatever color you like. It’s up to you.

So, while we didn’t see a new look for iOS 18, we will be able to make it more unique for each individual, which is still pretty cool.

Third-party Apple Watch faces

Snoopy watch face on the Apple Watch Series 9.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

This was never rumored, but it’s always been a request for many Apple Watch users. Unfortunately, watchOS 11 did not make third-party Apple Watch faces a reality.

Though Apple has a plethora of watch faces available for users, they can be quite limited in terms of appearance. Some apps can run on the Apple Watch to give it a more custom look, but they are basically just the app running in full screen on the Apple Watch. It’s not quite the same as having a native third-party watch face.

Many people have requested this for years now, and it’s a little disappointing that Apple still hasn’t made it a reality — especially when competing smartwatches work with third-party watch faces just fine. Maybe we’ll get this one with watchOS 12 next year.

iPhone 16

iPhone 16 Pro Max dummy unit next to a iPhone 15 Pro Max.
An iPhone 16 Pro Max dummy model (left) next to an iPhone 15 Pro Max ZONEofTech

It’s not surprising that we didn’t get any announcement of the next generation of iPhone, the iPhone 16. Typically, Apple holds a separate event for new iPhone hardware in the fall, so we can expect that sometime in September.

This year, the iPhone 16 lineup will undergo some major changes. According to the latest rumors, the standard base models will have a new vertical camera layout. There will also be a new Capture button across all models, including the iPhone 16 Pro and Pro Max. The Capture button is rumored to act as a camera shutter button, though it may also be customizable.

The iPhone 16 Pro could see a better camera upgrade this year, as the Pro models are getting a slight size bump. The slightly larger size of the iPhone 16 Pro would allow Apple to fit in a periscope camera lens, giving it the ability to do 5x optical zoom for the first time. Currently, only the iPhone 15 Pro Max has that capability.

Apple Watch Series 10/Apple Watch X

Someone wearing an Apple Watch Ultra 2, showing the Modular Ultra watch face.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

Similar to the iPhone hardware, Apple did not make any announcements for the next generation of Apple Watch. We only got a sneak peek of what’s to come for watchOS 11.

This year will be a major milestone for the Apple Watch hardware, as it will be the 10th anniversary of when the original Apple Watch was first announced in 2014 and then launched in 2015.

Some of the biggest rumors for the Apple Watch X include a new magnetic band attachment system, which would render the past decade of Apple Watch straps useless. There may also be a complete overhaul of the Apple Watch case itself, though we have no idea of what it could look like.

We can expect to see a new Apple Watch Series 10/Apple Watch X in the fall, alongside the iPhone 16.

New iPads

Stage Manager on M4 iPad Pro.
Nadeem Sarwar / Digital Trends

After over a year of no new iPad updates, Apple finally refreshed the iPad Pro and iPad Air lineups a few weeks ago. However, we still don’t have a new iPad mini or base model iPad. We don’t have a solid estimate of when we could see the next generation iPad mini or iPad. However, there are some rumors floating around.

The next iPad mini might see an upgrade to an OLED display, though it may not happen until 2025 or 2026. It’s also likely to get a faster processor, but we’re not sure if it will continue to be an A-series or M-series.

As far as the regular iPad, it would be more of an iterative update since the 10th generation iPad had some big changes. We should expect a faster processor, of course, and maybe better cameras, but other upgrades are not known at this time.

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Christine Romero-Chan
Christine Romero-Chan has been writing about technology, specifically Apple, for over a decade. She graduated from California…
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