Summer is upon us, and with that season comes Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC), which takes place at San Francisco’s Moscone West conference center on June 8. We’ve got our invite, the WWDC 2015 app is out on the App Store, and we’re ready for the big event.
Apple will likely reveal its future plans for iOS and OS X at the event, but there may also be a few surprises. Now Apple has dipped its toes into the wearable market with the Apple Watch, it seems probable we’ll hear about designing apps for the wrist-worn device, as well. So far, the rumors have mostly been about iOS 9, but reports on Apple’s upcoming music streaming service are also heating up. Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the big day.
Updated on 06-08-2015 by Andy Boxall: Added in new rumors, and apparent confirmation Apple’s streaming music service will be revealed at WWDC
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How to watch
If you’re not one of the lucky few who will be attending the event, you can watch the keynote live on Apple’s website. The official stream is limited to Macs, iPhone, iPads, and Apple TVs, and you’ll have to use Safari as your browser. You’ll need iOS 6 and up, Apple TV version 6.2 and up, Safari 6.0.5 and up, or OS X v10.8.5 and up to watch.
Whether you tune in live or not, stay with Digital Trends, as we bring you live updates from the event, in-depth news on the announcements, and our analysis of Apple’s big keynote.
iOS 9 and Apple Pay
Since WWDC is a developers conference first and foremost, we expect Apple to show off a preview of iOS 9 during the keynote. We’ve heard a lot of buzz about iOS 9 in advance of the event, thanks to rumors online. Although iOS 9 isn’t expected to change much in terms of design or style, there will be key functional changes.
The most exciting rumor has to do with Proactive, a Google Now competitor that aims to anticipate your needs in advance. The contextually aware feature will pull up relevant information from both Apple-made and third-party apps, based on your location and the time of day. For example, if you’re traveling to San Francisco from New York, Proactive could show you the weather in both locations, your flight info, and things to do while you’re in town. That’s just the basic functionality, and hopefully, Apple will reveal more at WWDC.
Apple’s iOS 9 is also expected to bring a new keyboard, public transit directions, improvements to the beleaguered Maps app, a split-screen app feature, more security, better support for older models, and more. The company may make some announcements about Apple Pay, too, including a possible rewards program, and its introduction in other countries, including the UK.
OS X 10.11
Apple’s PC operating system OS X will also likely get a big update, in the form of OS X 10.11. More iOS-like features will make their way over to Apple’s Macs, including the control center, which will house music controls and more in a sliding menu that comes from the side of the screen.
Other update rumors center around increased security. Apple may add a kernel-level security system called “Rootless” that would curb malware and protect sensitive data by preventing access to certain protected files. OS X 10.11 will move Apple’s IMAP apps such as Notes, Reminders, and Calendar to an iCloud Drive back-end for improved security and performance. There will also be a “trusted Wi-Fi” feature, and the possible introduction of the Force Touch system seen on the Apple Watch, only used here on compatible trackpads.
Apple’s Jeff Williams recently stated that a native SDK for the Apple Watch will launch at WWDC with a wider rollout to follow in fall. Developers will finally have access to the Apple Watch, and the ability to make dedicated watch apps. Right now, third-party Apple Watch apps can only stream information to the Watch from a paired iPhone via Bluetooth. All that’s about to change.
Additionally, developers will be able to incorporate the digital crown, speaker, plethysmograph, gyroscope, and heart rate monitor into their apps at a much higher level than before. The Apple Watch experience is about to get a whole lot better.
There’s an elephant in the room, and it’s name is Beats. Apple bought Beats Music for $3 billion last year, but so far, nothing has come of the acquisition. However, WWDC may be the stage on which Apple launches the future of music-streaming on iOS. We’ve heard so much about the new service that we have a huge roundup post about all the latest rumors, and with just hours to go before the event, Sony Music CEO Doug Morris has seemingly confirmed its arrival in an interview.
Apparently, there will be celebrity DJs, exclusive content, and a $10-a-month fee for the service. There are some reports of delayed deals with the biggest record labels and other problems, though, so it’s unclear how much Apple will say at WWDC about the future of Beats.
HomeKit debuted last year, and we’ve barely heard about it since then, until Apple announced the first 5 HomeKit compatible products. Apple is still very quiet on how HomeKit will work, but it seems that there’s a Home app that will control all your smart home appliances. Voice commands with Siri will make turning the lights on and off a very vocal experience, and you may be able to watch home surveillance videos remotely on your iPhone or iPad.
A recent report predicts that you’ll need an Apple TV to use HomeKit devices. The Apple TV will reportedly act like a hub that facilitates communication with all your devices. We expect to hear much more about HomeKit at WWDC 2015.
Apple TV and other things we probably won’t see
Apple TV is old. The last model was released in 2012, and it’s in dire need of an upgrade. Tons of rumors leading up to WWDC hinted that the next-generation Apple TV and a new TV streaming service that pairs with it would launch at the developers conference this year, but the most recent report says that we won’t see the device until later this year or next.
Updated on 06-04-2015 by Malarie Gokey: Added news and rumors leading up to the event.
Updated on 05-27-2015 by Malarie Gokey: Added news that press invites to WWDC have started to arrive. Apple also released a new version of the WWDC app with the schedule.