What to expect at Apple's WWDC 2016: iOS 10, iMessage for Android, revamped Apple Music, more


'Tis the season of developer summits! Just last week, Google hosted its I/O 2016 conference, where an abundance of new services, products, and features were announced. Some of these actually appealed to us very much! 

Well, it's now Apple's turn to show us what it's been brewing on the software front... and possibly on the hardware one as well! After all, its WWDC16 (Worldwide Developers Conference) is about to hit us in a couple of weeks' time. As usual, Apple's keynote will kick off on the first day of the conference, June 13, at 10:00 PDT. It will be held at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, California. The summit will last until June 17 and we are certain a handful of important new announcements will be made.

The cryptic code in the announcement is certainly hinting at what we might see at the event: "Hello yogi on my wrist" - a dead giveaway for WatchOS' improved fitness capabilities? "Hello workout in my living room" - improved HomeKit? "Hello rain in five minutes" - proactive weather forecasts heading to Siri? Here's what we expect to see at Apple's WWDC16:

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iOS 10



If our past experiences with iOS releases are indicative of anything, it's that we are about to be shown a preview of the next version of iOS. Indeed, we will be totally surprised (in an angry kind of way) if we don't get a sneak peek at the upcoming iOS 10. 

As usual, we can only speculate as to what features are about to get introduced with the new version of Cupertino's software pride and joy. That said, here are a few likely and logical improvements:


Improved 3D Touch functionality

With iOS 9.3, Apple's iPhone 6s and 6s Plus scored 3D Touch, a handy feature allowing users to access quick actions by applying different pressure to the display of the handsets. Currently, it allows you to execute numerous actions by pressing an app's icon hard and choosing the desired operation. The so-called Peek and Pop work with most of Apple's and numerous third-party apps. We suppose iOS 10 might further expand 3D Touch's functionality and allow us to do way more with a simple hard press on the screen.

Improved security

That's almost a no-brainer but we suppose that in line with the recent security clash between Apple and the FBI, Cupertino might show its determination to further make iOS as hard to break into as possible and improve the security. The message that will be conveyed? Apple will probably want to show the security of iOS users remains a top-most priority. Mark our words, there will be a whole segment at the keynote dedicated to this. 


Available as public beta

Last year, Apple released a public beta version of the operating system for the first time ever. Willing users were allowed to install an early preview of the mobile OS on their iDevices way before its official September release, which was previously only available to developers. Supposedly, the early beta has helped Apple's software team get better feedback for the various new features and additions to iOS, which is making us think that there will be an iOS 10 public beta as well. Hopefully.


Dedicated HomeKit app

We heard that Apple might release a dedicated HomeKit app alongside iOS 10. Allegedly named "Home", it will act as a hub for everything HomeKit-related, like controlling your house's lights, smoke detectors, locks, thermostats, TVs, and other connected devices you might have. This will be a nice addition since each of the aforementioned appliances is currently being controlled by a third-party app.

Hideable apps

We bet all of you have a folder with iOS apps they are not using on your iPhones. We know, that's a bit annoying, but this is how iOS is rolling. With iOS 10, however, Apple might allow us to hide or even uninstall its stock apps. We'll believe it when we see it. 

New emojis!

Whether you use emoji on a daily basis or not, it's no news that these are wildly popular among certain user groups. Google is adding at least 72 new emoji to Android and the recent talk on the block is that Apple will also do so - a grand total of at least 74 new emojis are expected to arrive along with iOS 10 later this year. We suppose that's cool.

Availability

Sadly, it is only logical to assume that iOS will not be available for any iPhones older than the iPhone 5. Yes, those who have held dearly onto their iPhone 4s devices are no likely to receive the new iOS iteratin. The same applies for iPad 2 users.

September release

Another no-brainer — we are expecting iOS 10 to roll out to the wide public in September, alongside the release of the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus/Pro.


iMessage for Android

Rumors fly around that Apple is about to launch iMessage, its own end-to-end encrypted IM service, for Android devices.

At the moment, only Apple hardware supports the handy feature, but making it available for Google's OS will mark a huge change in the strategy and phylosophy of the company. It will be yet another step in making Cupertino more open.

This will help iOS users who wish to move to Android to stay in touch with their iOS friends. At the same time, current Android users will be able to chat with their iOS pals with iMessage.

This will allow them to evaluate the pros and cons of the service. The end-game of Apple in this scenario? Well, enticing more users to switch to iOS, of course!


Apple Music, reinvented



We expect Apple to overhaul Apple Music from the ground up. We expect a brand new interface that will make the app way more intuitive and user-friendly. We admit that despite generally liking Apple Music, it is in a dire need of streamlining and scoring a friendlier interface.

For example, the "For you" section of the music-streaming service is rumored to get simplified and score new algorithms for better track recommendations. IN the meantime, album art will likely be highlighted more than before; black and white backgrounds are also expected to appear more often. Currently, Apple Music tries to match the background with the album art of the song you're listening to.

Finally, 3D Touch might be coming to Apple Music - it will likely give us easy song previews and allow for easier song sharing.


The future of Apple Watch


Market-wise, the Apple Watch is a successful device, having raked in more profits for Apple in its first year than the original iPhone did 8 years ago. We are pretty sure the gadget's slated for an update this year, though we are not sure whether a sneak peek at the new gadget will be given at WWDC 2016 or later this fall, alongside the announcement of the iPhone 7 & iPhone 7 Plus.

The rumors flying around have allowed us to paint a vague picture of what the Apple Watch 2 could be. Reportedly, it will feature slimmer design, new exterior, and a surplus of new watch straps. That's pretty vague, we know, but the amount of credible rumors hitting us is not actually that big.

As far as the software of the wearable is concerned, there could be a huge update slated to hit the Watch OS platform. Already at version 2.2.1, it has come a long way since its release, but there's always room for improvement. Indeed, some of the lines in the WWDC 2016 invitation could be teasers for new features - "Hello yogi on my wrist" and "Hello double tap heart" are the ones we are talking about. Probably improved fitness and health-related capabilities are about to arrive, as well as improved and more intimate ways to communicate? Remains to be seen!



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Siri - smarter, more open


Google introduced the beefed-up version of Google Now last week - Google Assistant seems to be improved on all ends and is coming this fall to a Nexus device near you. Truth be told, we have a hunch Apple will also show us an improved Siri in three weeks' time. The cryptic "Hello rain in five minutes" line in the code-centric invitation for WWDC '16 could be teasing us about some of its new functionalities. We would speculate that either Siri or iOS 10 will score the ability to notify iOS users about adverse weather changes in their immediate vicinity, similarly to what popular weather app Dark Sky has been doing for some time now.

More importantly, we recently heard that Apple will be opening the Siri SDK to third-party developers which will allow them to integrate their apps within Siri. This will indeed amp up Siri's functionality.


Amazon Echo / Google Home competitor


Apart from being in your pockets, the major tech companies now want to get a more prominent presence in our homes, too. First, we had Amazon Echo, then we got Google Home - both are voice-controlled, always-on home assistants that act as multimedia hubs for all your connected gadgets. Apple might want a slice of that pie, too - rumor has it Cupertino is prepping a similar gadget, and we think we know what voice assistant it could use. Unsurprisingly, that's Siri: apart from having its SDK open to outside devs, Apple's smart companion could also be the heart of the rumored Amazon Echo-like device.

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15 Comments

1. Mxyzptlk unregistered

My body is ready.

2. Wiencon

Posts: 2278; Member since: Aug 06, 2014

The only reason I'm waiting for WWDC are new MacBooks (maybe) and jailbreak, it's said to be released before the conference. And this article reminded me why Apple apps suck, you have to wait for new system update to have your music app updated. This is stupid, should be like on Android, app updates regular and not depending on firmware release

6. kiko007

Posts: 7493; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

I'm totally behind you there. Apple should take a hint from Google and update system apps through APIs (or whatever Apple uses). It would make transitions more seamless and offer functionality to older devices on iOS seven, eight, and nine.

10. Leo_MC

Posts: 7203; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

Although I'm inclined to think the same as you, I can't stop thinking that newer apps, with newer hardware requirements, will not function so good when installed on older device; this could be a reason Apple is so linear with iOS+system apps updates.

11. vincelongman

Posts: 5677; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Google has updated my Nexus 5 (both OS and system apps) for 3 years without degrading performance Apple should be able to do that as well They just need to put more effort into optimisation Or delay iOS updates for older devices e.g. iOS 9-9.1 were horrible But iOS 9.3+ is very close to iOS 8.4 Probably wouldnt have noticed a difference if it was 8.4->9.3

12. Wiencon

Posts: 2278; Member since: Aug 06, 2014

Nexus 5 was released in 2013, same year as iPhone 5s. Don't try to tell me that 5s runs slow on 9.3, it's actually on par with 6s/SE in almost every aspect except keeping apps open in background. It runs like a champ, 8/9 are horrible on 4s, 5 runs pretty good but on 5s you can't tell that it's 2.5 years old device

13. vincelongman

Posts: 5677; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

I forgot to mention that was on my iPad Mini 2 Same A7 as the iPhone 5S But the resolution is far higher, so it couldn't handle all the extra blur effects, which cause major performance issues in 9-9.1

4. AlikMalix unregistered

Seems like nothing new, at least Google brought some stuff that solved some core issues with Android... this year's WWDC seems like just improvements (or tune-ups) throughout the ecosystem... I mean, Apple lost me at Apple Music when they moved possible the BEST Radio to Paid Side... Now it's just a player for my music, with Apple Music DISABLED Completely!!! I have some excitement for more/new 3D Touch Features, but that's about it... Everything else: "meh"... Android N = Android 6.5 (seems to be) iOS 10 = iOS 9.5 (seems to look like it's gonna be) Time for windows to bring it while the competition is sleeping.... This was my truly honest opinion...

5. zunaidahmed

Posts: 1183; Member since: Dec 24, 2011

True, iOS has not changed much since ios7 while android has not changed mush since lollipop.

7. AlikMalix unregistered

Well, that really depends on what you see as change... and there's absolutely nothing wrong with your point of view on this. Some see certain AI improvements, animation speeds, and solutions that make navigation within the OS easier, faster, quicker as change. Other see the visual eyecandy as change. And there are a few that see ONE major feature changed/added and it reverses their entire view of the platform (either Windows, iOS, BB or Android). For example, now that I use a device with Fingerprint Sensor, I dont want to use another device without it, same for Forcetouch sensor - to me that's a Huge Change, because the things I do hundreds times a day like unlocking my device or opening certain app for taking a note - now is much more faster, and direct and going back feels like using a dumbphone. BUT!!! But the Eyecandy UI is the same so to some this means no change. Android M has added something that android needed and lack of it repelled me from Android: App Permissions and Doze - which are features I take for granted on iOS devices because it gives me full control over apps and nothing happens without my permission. This has lately turned my view about android into a positive one, because last time I tried an Android phone - I hated installing apps because they wanted my contacts info and it's all-or-nothing demand. And the same apps would run in background until the battery is dead - making me oversleep in the morning -because well the one thing I needed to run, the Alarm, wouldnt work on a dead battery. So, once again, it looks the same as Lollipop and no gimmicky, or eyecandy changes to Marshmallow - but the two key features are now reasons to try Android again.... This is why someone prefers one platform over the other is completely un-debatable, so people resort to just calling each other stupid or sheep or w/e.... just because their preferences are different from others...

8. AppleVersusAndroid unregistered

Windows 10 Mobile is barely managing to stay afloat as it is. Again, to reiterate, the only reason Windows 10 Mobile exists it because of Microsoft pouring money from other sources to keep it alive, again barely. I wouldn't expect anything from Windows/Microsoft in terms of mobile. I don't see how they can be developing the Surface Phone if there is close to no demand for one.

9. AppleVersusAndroid unregistered

I think that Apple may become the go-to home entertainment/media/mobile solution. The iPods, iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, etc. integrate so seamlessly I honestly cannot imagine going back. I tried Windows and the Windows phone, but it was severely lacking in its integration. Linking up and browsing a single email account on Windows 10, Windows mobile, and Outlook.com was a horrible experience. I'd have emails missing on the Windows 10 app, that could be found on Outlook.com, but then I'd delete one on the phone and it'd still exist on the PC, or a new email that would never show up on one platform. A total mess.

19. oozz009

Posts: 520; Member since: Jun 22, 2015

June 13th will be exciting! Can't wait for the good stuff ;)

21. mobiledigger

Posts: 110; Member since: Sep 24, 2015

I just wanted multitasking on the iPhone

22. darkkjedii

Posts: 30964; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

No split view, picture in picture, or slide over, I won't even consider it. True multitasking is a must for me.

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