WWDC 2017 - When, where and what can we expect? Travelport Digital predicts

Posted by Phoebe Collison - Digital Insights Analyst on May 31, 2017

In MOBILE TECH

WWDC 2017 kicks off on June 5th, but what can we expect from this years conference? Travelport Digital predicts...

What is it?
WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference) is Apple’s annual week long event for developers (and of course Apple fans worldwide). This years will be extra special too as 2017 marks the 10th anniversary of the iPhone and whilst we don’t expect to see the much hyped iPhone 8 at WWDC, Apple will be sure to celebrate this major milestone in the life of the world-changing device. The opening keynote, which will be given by Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook on Monday June 5th at 10am PT (6pm Irish / UK time) will cover all the big OS announcements including new forthcoming versions of iOS, macOS, tvOS and watchOS. The rest of the week will consist of developer workshops, guest speakers and training sessions.

When is it?
WWDC 2017 will take place at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California on June 5th - 9th.

Where can I watch it?
You can view the live stream of the keynote right here. 

What can we expect?
This year, Travelport Digital will once again send developers to WWDC to see how we can best leverage any software updates and new technologies that are announced into our own products and customers’ apps. We will be tweeting throughout the keynote next Monday so be sure to follow @tvptdigital for our live take on the announcements.

But ahead of the event and with the rumor mill in full swing we’ve rounded up the key predictions for WWDC 2017 and also shared which ones Travelport Digital employees would most like to come true.

We asked all of our colleagues from Travelport Digital which WWDC prediction they’d most like to see come true. As the results below show, a Siri Speaker came out on top, followed by a wish for new hardware on the MacBooks line.

WWDC prediction poll.png

We also conducted a poll on Twitter, asking our followers the same question. In contrast to the above,  our Twitter followers would most like to see Dark Mode (iOS) announced on Monday.

Software predictions
Predictions about software announcements center around updates to iOS, macOS, tvOS and watchOS.

iOS 11
There is much hype around what the next version of iOS will bring to the table. Some of the more likely suggestions include the below;

  • Social networking app: One of the most talked about predictions is a new social networking app that emphasises video sharing, similar to Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram
  • Siri 2.0: An updated voice, integration with iCloud and iMessage and Siri gets contextual
  • FaceTime to get a Facelift: Rumored improvements include a new group chat feature which will allow up to 5 people to chat simultaneously. FaceTime is also set to become the default for making standard iPhone-to-iPhone calls
  • Peer to peer Apple Pay: There is talk of a new Apple Pay feature that allows users to send money to each other, similar to the services offered by the likes of Square and Venmo
  • Dark Mode: It seems likely that a dark mode will finally arrive, adding to other light-related iOS features such as True Tone and Night Shift

macOS 10.13
There is much less speculation as to what the next macOS version will reveal. Suggestions include design changes and also improvements to some of the features introduced in macOS Sierra (the most current version) such as Apple Pay, Siri and cross-device integrations. There are also predictions as to what the new macOS will be called, although there have been no concrete reports as to what this might be.

tvOS 11
The main rumors for the tvOS include a multi-user feature with account switching, picture-in-picture video and an Apple subscription TV service.

watchOS 4
Predictions for watchOS 4 suggest the addition of more health tracking features, a new sleep tracker and a longer battery life via a new modular watch strap.

Hardware predictions
Siri Speaker
In terms of predictions for hardware announcements, the main focus has been around the introduction of a Siri Speaker or home assistant. The speaker will apparently play music, control smart home products and respond to voice commands and queries, leveraging the rumored AI improvements to Siri in iOS 11. Sound quality is said to be the main differentiating feature setting the speaker apart from the likes of Google Home and Amazon Echo, with Beats technology and AirPlay support. It is also suggested that the speaker will include facial recognition technology, a touch panel display and allow for 3rd party integration via an SDK.

Other rumored hardware announcements include the launch of a 10.5 inch iPad Pro and new MacBook and MacBook Pro models with upgraded processors.

Our Developers’ Take: New Swift IDE
As for our iOS developers, who eagerly await next Monday’s announcements, the possibility of a new Swift IDE is what excites them most.

“We love Swift, and everyone knows that Xcode was not made to work with Swift. So one of the biggest expectations for this year’s WWDC is a new IDE release, for the following reasons;

  1. Playgrounds aren’t finished yet. Apple is always releasing updates but we still can’t do much, like archive and export a project.
  2. Xcode isn’t accessible. Apple wants to enhance the developer community, with a focus on encouraging students and children to start developing iOS apps. To do so, they will need something lightweight, fast and brand new.
  3. 3 years on and Xcode still can’t rename Swift classes and methods.  
  4. We believe that Apple has a real chance to be disruptive in the world of IDEs. They’ve already done this with smartphones so maybe now is the time for Xcode.”

Stay tuned for our live Twitter updates on Monday 5th of June (@tvptdigital) and throughout the conference to see which predictions come true and which are merely hyped up rumours.