Tuesday 6 December 2016

WWDC 2016: what to expect from Apple iOS 10 and OS X 10.12

Rhiannon Williams

Published 07/06/2016 | 11:15

Apple's first store in Singapore will be powered solely by solar energy, it has been reported
Apple's first store in Singapore will be powered solely by solar energy, it has been reported

Apple annual worldwide developers' conference (WWDC) is almost upon us, where we can expect to hear further details of the latest software updates for its products, from iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch, to Mac and Apple TV.

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What is WWDC?

Apple has been hosting developer conferences since 1983, and 2016 marks its 27th.  Although we primarily think of it as a launchpad for annual software upgrades, in the past devices including the iPhone 4, Mac Pro and Power Mac have been launched there. Last year, Apple used the keynote to announce Apple Music, its radio and streaming service with a little help from stars Drake and The Weeknd.

Read more: Apple says all services resume after outage

When is it?

The keynote speech will take place at 10am PDT (18:00 BST) on Monday June 13, in the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, San Francisco, the venue used to reveal last year's iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus and iPad Pro to the world. Further events on Tuesday and Wednesday will be held at Moscone West, the nearby convention centre which has hosted WWDC in recent years. Around 5,000 developers are expected to be in attendance.

How can I watch the event?

You can tune in to Apple's website to watch the presentation live here, or through the WWDC iOS app. The Telegraph will be liveblogging throughout, covering the announcements surrounding iOS, OS X,  watchOS and tvOS.

The majority of the two-hour or so presentation tends to be dedicated to the latest version of iOS, Apple's software for iPhone and iPad. Last year saw the introduction of iOS 9, so we can almost certainly expect iOS 10 to make an appearance, which is likely to be ushered in by Craig Federighi, the senior vice president of software engineering.

The beta version of the software will be opened up to developers in June, before being rolled out to the general public in autumn with the release of the iPhone 7.

Details of iOS 10 have have been unusually scarce this year, but reports suggest digital assistant Siri may be updated to handle your voicemails, transcribing them to read without having your ring your inbox and select the message you want to listen to.

iOS 10 could also be the first time we see HomeKit fully realised - Apple's connected home framework first released as part of iOS 8. Now that more smart devices exist which support the platform, now could be the time Apple chooses to tie up loose ends with a redesigned Home app.

Another interesting rumour is how iPhone owners may soon finally be able to hide Apple's default apps for good.

The 32 apps, including Apple Watch, Stocks and Compass, are currently undeletable, as chief executive Tim Cook has previously said getting rid of them could render the handset unusable as some are linked to other native apps.

For example, deleting Apple Maps could hinder Siri's ability to give accurate directions, and getting rid of the phone app could leave you unable to make calls.

Apple appears to have recently added keys to iTunes metadata, suggesting the apps could be hidden on a more permanent basis than just storing them in folders. The lines of code read "isFirstParty" and "isFirstPartyHideableApp," and are currently set to "false", according toAppAdvice.

Cook has previously acknowledged how frustrated users are at not being able to adequately hide the defaults, saying: "I recognise that some people want to do this, and it's something we are looking at."

"We’ll figure out a way [for you to remove them]. … It’s not that we want to suck up your real estate; we’re not motivated to do that. We want you to be happy," he added.

Apple News is also rumoured to be given an overhaul, while multi-user support for enterprise and education iPhone and iPad users is also expected to be a key focus of the presentation.

Apple Music update

A new, more intuitive version of Apple Music will be revealed, including an expanded version of radio service Beats One among other significant changes, according to Bloomberg. Design chief Jony Ive and Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor have reportedly stepped up their involvement with the platform, which Apple is likely to be banking on as a future money spinner as iPhone sales slow.

This could result in a design overhaul, focused on simplicity and ease of switching between tabs.

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