What to expect from Apple WWDC 2017: iOS 11, watchOS 4, new iPads, Apple's smart home speaker
There's this hard-to-believe rumor that Apple will be announcing the iPhone 8 at WWDC 2017. We highly doubt that this will be the case as Apple is unlikely to announce such a high-profile device at the developer summit, but there's always the chance that this anticipated phone gets previewed or at least teased on stage given that 2017 marks the 10th anniversary of the iPhone lineup.
Although WWDC is mostly a software-centric event, new hardware makes the cut from time to time. Rumor has it Apple is preparing four new iPads for WWDC 2017. Alas, don't expect four different iPads; we are most likely going to get two new slates, each of which will be coming in two variants - with and without cellular module on deck. We deduced that from their codenames—A1670, A1671, A1701, A1709—which are grouped in pairs. We expect one of the new iPads to be an all-new 10.5-inch iPad Pro, while the other one could be a refresh of the huge 12.9-inch iPad Pro.
There are certain rumors that Siri is about to get a lot smarter as it will score deep contextual learning abilities and better integrate with iMessage and iCloud.
Apple Music to land a revamp
This year's update will reportedly be focused around video and will put more emphasis on Apple's unique video content, like Carpool Karaoke.
Amazon Echo/Google Home rival?
Finally, rumors have it that Apple will unveil its own hardware alternative to the Amazon Echo and Google Home smart home hubs. Supposedly powered by Siri and a forked variation of iOS, this one will let you surf the web and control your smart home appliances.
A recent report from Bloomberg stated that Apple has started overseas production of the device. According to an anonymous insider familiar with Apple's plans, in order to differentiate its product from the Amazon Echo and the Google Home, Apple will reportedly offer surround sound and deep integration with Apple's other devices. The speaker will reportedly allow consumers to control smart appliances. As a result, the product will be able to turn on or turn off Apple's HomeKit devices with a verbal command from the user. Apple also is rumored to include Apple Music support with its smart speaker. Former Apple analyst Gene Munster says that the device will be used to help Apple develop its services business. This is a segment of Apple that Tim Cook expects to see double from now through 2020.
This story is part of:Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2017 (13 updates)
19 September iOS 11 vs iOS 10 first look: A visual comparison of all the new features
5 June Missed Apple's WWDC 2017 press conference? Watch the recording right here
5 June Meet HomePod! Apple's new smart speaker aims to rock the house and reinvent home audio
5 June Monument Valley 2 puzzler announced at WWDC 2017, up for purchase for $4.99
5 June The new Apple iPad Pro 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch models are now official