What to expect from Apple WWDC 2017: iOS 11, watchOS 4, new iPads, Apple's smart home speaker

Time really does fly — as if we just welcomed 2017 a few days ago, and lo and behold, the time is already nigh for Apple's first major keynote event for 2017. 

As most iOS users and Apple fans are aware, the special event we are talking about is none other than WWDC '17, the annual developer summit that usually marks the official announcement of the next version of iOS, often gives us a sneak peek at new hardware products in Cupertino's pipeline, and always sparks lots of interest for users and media outlets alike.

This year's WWDC will take place between June 5 and June 9 in the McEbert Convention Center in San Jose, CA, with the official opening keynote scheduled for 10 AM PT. What announcements to expect from this one? Let us summarize everything we know so far.

iPhone 8?

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.

New iPads

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

iOS 11

Needless to say, the star of the show will be iOS 11, which is powering the breath and butter of Apple's portfolio - the iPhone. While rumors about upcoming features of the software are way harder to come by than hardware leaks, the scene hasn't been tight-lipped for iOS 11.

The most groundbreaking rumored feature of iOS 11? Your iPhone will reportedly default to a free FaceTime audio call when attempting to call other iPhone users, which seems like it could be another successful reiteration of the iMessage formula. Aside from that, there's also gossip for group FaceTime video conversations which will allow up to 5 people discuss the squad's plans for the night.

The Wallet app is also slated for a major overhaul. First of all, it will likely get renamed to Pay and will score peer-to-peer payments, an extension for iMessage that will let you send money to your pals through chat, as well as a... social feed. 

Another minor feature will be a smarter and context-aware low-power battery mode that will automatically kick in if certain conditions are met. There's a pretty big chance this one will be location-aware and will take the unique usage patterns of each user into account before enabling itself.

Siri supercharged

Although it was among the first smart assistants to land on a phone near you, Siri has been a bit neglected in the past few years, which let its competitors make big strides in the field.

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

Apple's own answer to Google Play Music and Spotify has been updated a lot ever since it arrived on the scene less than two years ago, but it seems we could be in for yet another visual overhaul in 2017 as well.

This year's update will reportedly be focused around video and will put more emphasis on Apple's unique video content, like Carpool Karaoke.


iOS is no longer the only mobile software offering Apple has in the pipeline - watchOS is here to power your Apple wearable. We expect Apple to unveil watchOS 4, but sadly, we've heard nothing specific as far as features are concerned. Regardless, we expect the Apple Watch experience to be vastly improved with a trove of new features and functionalities.

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.

Story timeline



1. twens

Posts: 1180; Member since: Feb 25, 2012

Hurry up my 7 plus needs some ui changes. I'm bored already

2. abdoualgeria

Posts: 928; Member since: Jul 27, 2015

You will always be bored with iOS , ios ui didnt changed much since ios 8 ....

4. AmashAziz

Posts: 2934; Member since: Jun 30, 2014

iOS 7*

6. Settings

Posts: 2943; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

iOS UI customization is boring in the first place.

15. IT-Engineer

Posts: 566; Member since: Feb 26, 2015

This is one of the many reason i don't buy iphones.

21. piyath

Posts: 2445; Member since: Mar 23, 2012

Better to be bored than hacked by some asshole and robbed in day light.....lol Android is very prone to be hacked and thus being blackmailed by hackers.

8. Bankz

Posts: 2550; Member since: Apr 08, 2016

Hoping they finally release a landscape mode for the music ui, make siri a lot better then a little bit of ui refresh. This plus the iphone 8 should be a crazy combo.

3. jimjam unregistered

bring back swipe to unlock

7. KingSam

Posts: 1472; Member since: Mar 13, 2016

Swiper noooo swiping. Lol

9. NoToFanboys

Posts: 3231; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

They have to make money from all of them broken home buttons you know. Just kiddin'

16. submar

Posts: 713; Member since: Sep 19, 2014


5. qolamreza

Posts: 61; Member since: Jul 01, 2015

No chance for new iPad?

22. aegislash

Posts: 1517; Member since: Jan 27, 2015

Well, considering some of the most major WWDC rumors have focused on completely redesigned iPad Pros with super slim bezel...I'd have to say, yes, there's a good chance we'll be seeing new iPads. Edit: This was directed at #5 Qolamreza...stupid broken comment system.

10. cmdacos

Posts: 4264; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Now, if you have a spouse, you can have two female voices in your house stating that they dont understand you.

11. darkkjedii

Posts: 31308; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

The iPhone 8 needs multi window, slide over, picture in picture, themes, an app drawer, and Pencil support.

12. GMS85

Posts: 217; Member since: Sep 26, 2012

FaceTime service blocked in Saudi Arabia! So this is kinda useless feature to the people who lives in the kingdom.. LMAO!

13. guests

Posts: 196; Member since: Jun 19, 2016

WWDC is like history channel.....of android.

14. darkkjedii

Posts: 31308; Member since: Feb 05, 2011


17. PSAfromThisGuy

Posts: 146; Member since: Jan 16, 2017

DGAF!!! :-P lol

18. dmitrilp_

Posts: 330; Member since: Sep 12, 2016

So... nothing? Apple is running out of ideas.

19. Tabby_Tiger

Posts: 305; Member since: Jan 23, 2017

New iPad Mini please....not just an increases in storage space.

23. aegislash

Posts: 1517; Member since: Jan 27, 2015

Tabby_Tiger, I think the Mini will be phased out in due time. It was a great device for someone who didn't want a huge tablet...but now that Apple's iPhone screens are getting bigger, there's really no need for a smaller tablet. Also, why are my replies showing up above the comment I'm trying to reply to? Please, for the love of everything, PhoneArena, just switch to the Disqus comment system.

20. refillable

Posts: 1071; Member since: Mar 10, 2014

Pass... Apple will soon be dead if this is their trend. Barely any radical changes for the past six years. Perhaps if you count them port removals as a radical change, that could be an exception.

24. path45th

Posts: 406; Member since: Sep 11, 2016

I find Android more boring than iOS

25. YoJerms77

Posts: 15; Member since: Apr 25, 2017

I was one of the lucky ones to get to download IOS 11 early. It's beautiful but it is buggy as crap! I have a 7 plus and 256MB, so that isn't a problem. The problem is that first of all, text messaging freezes up all of the time, siri won't do anything half of the time with my texting, she will say she doesn't have an app to do that and tells me to download one, the task manager won't clear out items when you swipe them, it takes about five tries, siri can't find the correct contacts even if it spells out correctly when you say it, and the most frustrating of all is that it won't let me do a reset and erase iphone. it won't do anything at all on this screen. I'm going to take it to the apple store and make them restore it and then I'm not touching any updates until they're officially released and I hope and pray that they're working correctly then. This has been one major headache and ruined the first four hours of my Saturday.

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