What We Expect From WWDC 2016: MacOS, Apple Watch 2 and More

By Aatif Sulleyman on at

Siri's only gone and done it, hasn't she? The digital assistant has spilled the beans about WWDC 2016, forcing Apple's PR team to actually do some work for once and confirm the details of its annual developer conference, which takes place this summer.

Here's what we expect from this year's show.

When Can the Devs Come Out to Play?

First off, dates. WWDC 2016 will kick off on Monday, June 13th, and come to a close on Friday, June 17th, so developers can look forward to a whole five days of sun exposure.  That’s right, WWDC isn't just a two-hour keynote -- other stuff happens after Tim Cook and Craig Federighi have had their fun on stage.

What’s Cracking?

A bit of developer stuff squeezed between innumerable incidents of back-slapping. While the world’s keenest devs will be able to meet with Apple engineers and crack hilarious jokes like this gem...

What do computers and air conditioners have in common?
They both become useless when you open windows.

… the rest of us who don’t really understand how apps are made will spend the entire week chatting about the new products Apple will tease during the opening keynote and debating the company's future.

It Won't All Be Boring Software Will It?

Don’t be upset, it won’t ALL be about software. Yes, Apple will dedicate most of the stage time to its operating systems, but that Federighi bloke’s a really good presenter with great hair and a winning smile. He’ll make it interesting, I’m sure.

We’re certain to get our first look at iOS 10 at the event (but not the new iPhone). Apple’s next mobile operating system will be demoed on stage, the audience will ooh and aah, and then the follow-up to El Capitan and the next versions of tvOS and watchOS will enjoy some time in the limelight too.

A couple of gossipers have been saying that OS X is set to be rebranded to MacOS, but we’ll find out for sure in due course. Fingers crossed the name tweak won’t be the most interesting piece of news we get from the event. There are also suggestions that Apple is planning to bring Siri to the Mac with the next major update, which would actually be great.

The other main talking point (name aside, of course -- Grizzly and Big Sur have been proposed) is the Photos app. It's understood that Apple's been trying to improve it, and will restore a number of features that were lost when iPhoto burst out of its cocoon as Photos. The operating system will likely land as a freebie in September.

Will There Be a New iPhone?

Haven't you been paying attention? No. Come back in September.

How About MacBooks?

That’s a better question. Apple usually outs its new range of MacBooks at its summer event, and reports suggest that this year will be no different. The company's said to be planning to release higher-spec 12-inch MacBook (more ports please) and MacBook Pro models in July, but thinner models have inevitably been suggested too.

It's also believed that the MacBook Air will be killed off this year, with Apple instead set to push the compact 12-incher as its ultra-portable model. We're praying that the touted Force Touch keyboard isn't a thing. That would be dreadful.

The Apple Watch is Still a Thing, Right?

Yeah, and I’m sure there’ll be loads of new straps to go along with the updated OS. Who knows, we may finally get to see the Apple Watch 2 too. With any luck, it will be a completely different device to the original, but we’re sure plenty of consumers would go mad for a slightly thinner version of what’s already out there.

We're almost certain that rumours of a FaceTime camera on the Apple Watch 2 are complete rubbish, but suggestions of a new model that could be used for basic communications when not paired with an iPhone sound more realistic and right up our street.

Can I Roll Up With My Boys?

Certainly, but you’ll need to already be a member of Apple's Developer Program and won’t be able to buy tickets on the door. Also, bear in mind that all of the action takes place in San Fran, so you’d want to plan your trip ahead of time.

As Apple’s fan base has grown, it’s become ridiculously difficult to get your hands on a WWDC ticket. The company introduced a lottery system a couple of years back, and it’s sticking to it this year. Unfortunately a ticket to this lottery costs $1,599. Let that sink in. Applications have already opened (HERE), and you’ll need to register your interest before this Friday evening to be in with a chance of attending.

OR you could save yourself the trouble and stay at home and watch the live streams and stuff on your computer while munching through endless bags of Doritos, as we’ll be doing.