Friday, Jun 04, 2021, 14:33 Events

WWDC 2021: A Quick Preview & Expected Topics

The Worldwide Developers Conference is one of the most important events of every Apple year. Since 1990, the event has taken place under the acronym "WWDC", as opposed to the previously chosen "DevCon" and "Apple World Conference". Interestingly enough, Apple hosted its first "developer conference" in 1983 – before the release of the first Macintosh. The "Apple Independent Software Developers Conference" took place in Monterey, California, took 4 days and was focused on "Catalyst" (the UI for the Apple II) and software development for the Apple Lisa.

As the years have continued, the events have grown larger, although the corona pandemic has led to the event now being forced to take place online for the second time. In the rest of this article, we'll give you a quick preview of 2021's WWDC and expected topics.



Already Indicated: System Updates
Although Apple hasn't yet provided any details about new features in upcoming system updates, the company has directly communicated that there are several "major releases" queued. macOS 12, iOS/iPadOS and tvOS 15, as well as watchOS 8, are expected to bring many enrichments to their various platforms. So far, the rumors have been relatively far and few between concerning macOS 12. On the other hand, iOS 15 is expected to receive a new "food tracking" feature, reworked lockscreen, and situational notifications. In addition, a new homeOS for the HomePod and smart homes is rumored.

A New MacBook Pro?
Especially exciting is the question of the MacBook Pro. There's been speculation for quite some time now as to whether or not Apple will announce a new and reworked MacBook Pro with Apple Silicon at this year's WWDC. In this year's teaser graphic for the WWDC, a tiny clue was found in the reflection present on the glasses of a person using a computer, the teaser? The unicode for the notebook emoticon. Some have taken this little clue as an intentional indication of an announcement of the new MacBook Pro from the infamously detail oriented company, while others have also mentioned that unicode for the emoticons "food" (maybe a clue concerning food tracking?), and "sleep" can also be seen. However, this could be a coincidence and Apple could simply be referencing the "Eat, Sleep, Code, Repeat" meme.

The MacBook Pro 16" with Apple Silicon is an especially important step for Cupertino to make. Most importantly, it denotes the arrival of Apple Silicon performance class chips for the upper spectrum of Apple products – meaning even greater performance expectations than those accomplished by the already technically impressive M1. According to reports, performance in comparison to current M1s should double and even triple in terms of graphics performance. Bloomberg has already provided some expected specifications for the upcoming MacBook Pro's processor, while well-known Apple leaker Jon Prosser has stated that the device should arrive in June. There are, however, currently two variants of the MacBook Pro being discussed, firstly the highest class 16" variant as well as the 14".

Mac Pro Not Expected
It'll likely be a while longer until the release of a Mac Pro with Apple Silicon. The same also applies to a 27" iMac and a performance version of the Mac mini. Although Apple is planning these models for the end of the year or early next year, the devices won't be the focus of this WWDC.

The AR/VR Spectrum
There's absolutely no question as to whether or not Apple is currently working on a new product categorie including AR glasses and a VR headset. According to multiple sources, an optimistic release could be seen in 2021 in the most optimal of cases. Other sources see 2022 to be more likely. A few weeks ago, Mark Gurman from Bloomberg voiced an argument that seems likely. Apple insn't likely to present or announce AR glasses or a VR headset at an event where they can't be demoed for the press, and since the current WWDC is exclusively online – it's unlikely that we'll see them this year.

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