The world’s developers have descended on San Jose, California, in recent days to attend the week-long Worldwide Developers Conference. Rumours, as every year, have been flying.
Will we see an Apple-first home speaker? Will virtual reality get a reboot? Will Apple enable a revolutionary iOS interface? Will we get a brand new iPhone?
Apple’s annual conference usually faces the threat of a few leaks, but 2017 has been an almost scandal-free year. Most of what we know is informed by Apple’s past actions, and what would make sense in the current market. Although, what makes sense to the market doesn’t always align with the grand scheme of things. So let’s break down what we’re most likely to see, and aim to dispel some rumours.
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It’s easy to debate that a Siri speaker release would be unlikely, given Apple’s history of keeping product lines simple and distinct. However, given the recent expansion into HomeKit and the success of competing models including the Amazon Echo and Google Home, it makes perfect sense for Apple to release the Siri Speaker into the market.
An update to Siri, alongside the release of the Siri speaker, would perfectly play into the hands of developers converging on Apple HQ. Let’s hope there’s lots for them to create with.
Trusted Apple analyst, Ming-Chi Kuo, has given a “more than fifty percent chance” of Apple unveiling a Siri speaker.
“In our April 28 Insight report (“Apple’s first home AI product to see cyclical shipments of over 10mn units; main competitor is Amazon Echo”), we offered estimates for the new home AI/ Siri speaker line. We also believe this new product will come with a touch panel.”
iOS 11 design reboot
We said there had only been a few leaks from Apple, and one of them was the accidental scoop given about an official Apple file manager.
iOS 11 will have an “updated user interface”, according to Bloomberg, but it’s difficult to extract too much meaning from that. Apple’s core focus is the consumer, so a UX upgrade is always welcome.
A day after Gmail introduced a ‘payments’ option, WWDC could reveal an easy transaction platform for iOS.
The introduction of ‘dark mode’ would tip Apple’s hat toward the possibility of an OLED-enabled iPhone 8.
Or, to use the “secret” working title – ‘Mirrorshades’.
According to a yet-unverified source on Reddit, “the glasses consist of a “Kopin NED Acetate frame, Polarised or prescription lens with Zeiss smart optics, Bone induction modules Microphones (noise cancellation), Light sensor Accelerometer for step tracking and head movement, app navigation Magnetometer for navigation, Capacitive Pavel Ceramic battery, Apple chipset, [and] Charging circuit BL5 Induction module.”
BUUUUUUT remember Google Glass? *shudders*
I don’t think it’s gonna happen.
We’ve heard just about every rumour about the iPad – the new iPad will be bigger, smaller, and flatter all at once…apparently.
Ming-Chi Kuo has his suspicions about what the iPad updates will be – “We expect three new iPads (12.9” iPad Pro 2, new size 10.5” iPad Pro & low-cost 9.7” iPad) to be launched in 2017, though this may not drive shipment growth amid structural headwinds; 2017 shipments to fall 10-20% YoY.”
I know it hurts, but we’ve gotta let that one go, Internet. iPhone releases are traditionally withheld until Apple’s September/ October media event. We’ll be looking for clues about what tomorrow’s software updates will mean for the iPhone 8, but we’re not holding our breath for Apple to buck tradition and throw an iPhone into developers’ kits.