WWDC 2021 preview: iOS 15, new MacBook Pro models, and everything else to expect


Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference is just around the corner. The mega event will kick off on Monday, June 7, at 10:30 pm IST. The show will be digital-only thanks to the ongoing global pandemic. That being said, the company is still expected to unveil new versions of its operating systems for iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch and Apple Watch. The tech giant may also announce new hardware as well. Exactly what Apple has planned for this year’s opening keynote is a mystery, but we can take a few educated guesses. Here’s everything you need to know about Apple’s WWDC 2021.

WWDC 2021: Software

iOS 15 and iPadOS 15

No hard guesses here. Apple is indeed going to announce iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 — the company’s most important software platforms that powers iPhones and iPads. Details are scarce right now, but we can expect iOS 15 to focus on performance and stability. It’s being said that Apple will allow users to set different notification preferences. For instance, if you get an alert during the night, the sound might be disabled if you are sleeping. There are rumours Apple might be making changes to iMessage. And, of course, there will be a greater focus on privacy. There’s also a good chance Apple will introduce a new Home Screen for the iPad. The other big change is new accessibility features that are coming to iOS 15 and iPadOS 15.

macOS 12 and WatchOS 8

So far, there have been no leaks surrounding the next version of macOS. Last year, the new Big Sur version of its Mac operating system introduced big changes including a complete redesign. That said, macOS 12 could bring minor updates to Apple’s desktop operating system. Meanwhile, watchOS 8 is said to focus on health and fitness. One feature we expect Apple to add to watchOS 8 is the Notes app. What, exactly watchOS 8 will look like, however, is still unknown.

WWDC 2021: Hardware

Since this is a developer conference, hardware is not a priority. Still, Apple has used its big developer conference to announce new hardware. Rumours have been floating for some time around the arrival of 14 and 16-inch versions of the MacBook Pro. Both pro-level MacBook Pro models will feature a revamped design, introducing a flat-edged design. The new MacBook Pros are expected to come with physical function keys instead of a Touch Bar, and more ports including an SD card slot. We have also heard that new professional-level machines will charge overMagSafe. What about the processor that powers these new MacBook Pros? Well, Apple’s next-generation MacBook Pro models will be powered by an “M1X” chip. The upgraded chip offers a 10-core CPU with eight high-performance cores and two energy-efficient cores, 16-core or 32-core GPU options and support for up to 64GB of memory. Apple is also developing the all-new MacBook Air but that’s unlikely to launch before the end of the year. We also know that Apple is also working on a half-size Mac Pro (its design is apparently inspired by the Power Mac G4 Cube) with an Apple Silicon chip inside.

AirPods 3 is another reasonable candidate for the mega event. Leaks suggest the third-generation model will share some features with the expensive AirPods Pro. They may also have a shorter stem, interchangeable tips and a smaller charging case than the AirPods Pro. However, the AirPods 3 won’t have active noise cancellation. We don’t think we will see a new version of AirPod Pro at this event. There’s a chance we could be wrong, especially when Apple is introducing its Apple Music Lossless feature but we think it’s more likely the AirPod Pro 2 introduced at a special event later this year. Evidently, Apple is rumoured to introduce a lossless-over-AirPlay feature at its WWDC event. That feature is expected to bring lossless audio to the entire existing AirPods lineup.

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