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WWDC 19 Rumours: Will Apple 'blow minds' this year?

"Write Code, Blow Minds!" Blow Minds couldn’t be more apt as the WWDC tagline this year if the rumours we’ve seen flying around are true. From more Mac apps being 'Marzipaned' (if that’s a word?) to Dark Mode finally becoming a reality, all the way through to the iPad becoming a true second screener this is the WWDC we’ve wanted since last year’s event, where to be honest, it was more ‘blew’ than ‘blow’.  

OK, we know for certain that Tim Cook will show off the annual refreshes of iOS and MacOS next Monday, however it’s the murmurings of Marzipan being opened up to developers that has got us at Travelport Digital significantly hot under the proverbial collar. 

So, before we have to loosen our tie let’s go over the basics. 

What is WWDC? 
WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference) is - second only to the annual iPhone launches in September - the biggest event in Apple’s calendar. During the week-long developer conference Apple unveils its latest software and (sometimes) hardware that will shape the coming year including announcements on the upcoming versions of iOS, macOS, tvOS and watchOS. 

Where and when is WWDC 2019 taking place? 
WWDC 2019 will run from June 3-7 and will once again be at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California. The event will kick off with an opening keynote from Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, on Monday June 3rd at 10am PT (6pm BST) and will also include various developer workshops, training and networking events throughout that week. 

Where can I watch it? 
Apple will stream the keynote live from this link. 

Right, that’s the basics covered. So, what are we expecting from this WWDC this year?  

iOS Goes Dark

ios_goes_dark_1200Image Source: Betanews.com

Being a developer conference, we’re obviously going to see a ton of software updates on stage on Monday; watchOS 6, MacOS 10.15 and tvOS 13 will all make an appearance, however it’s the whispers around iOS 13 that have set tech blogs and twitter alight. 

‘Alight is probably the wrong word to use here as it’s Dark Mode that we’re expecting to see next week. After teasing us in 2018 with a dark mode for Mojave on the Mac, the time has come (finally!) for a system wide dark mode on the iPhone. Our Twitter followers couldn’t agree more. 

twitter_poll_1200

But it doesn’t stop there, with a focus on stability and performance in last year’s iOS 12 we’re expecting to see a slew of new functionality and apps coming to the 13th version of the phone OS:

  • The Reminders app looks like it will get a complete UI overhaul and Find My Phone and Find Friends may become one 
  • Sleep Mode is rumoured to mute all notifications and automatically put on ‘Do not Disturb’. Just don’t expect native sleep tracking finally coming to the Apple Watch, that’s next year apparently!
  • Updates to Home, Health & iMessages are all expected too   

Marzipan For Everyone 

It was the biggest WWDC 18 meme by miles and even though the answer was a resounding ‘NO’ to the question "Are you merging iOS and MacOS?”, we still saw a glimpse of a possible Mac app future last year. Admittedly it was only four ported apps (Music, Voice Memos, Stocks & Home), but this WWDC, maybe even more than iOS 13, all eyes will be Craig Federighi as he talks about the new version of the Mac’s OS, but more importantly Marzipan 

NO_1200Image source: YouTube

As well as the next set of Apple iOS apps being ported via Marzipan (Podcasts, TV etc) the thing that’s getting us most hyped in the office is the news that Apple is planning to open up the Marzipan APIs to developers like us. We may burst if this rumour comes true next week. After we put ourselves together again – watch this space!  

Hey Siri, Will You Be Any Smarter? 

I know we predict a smarter, better Siri every year, and there is no way that Apple is going to show us a Duplex style voice booking demo like Google did at I/O, but we live in hope of at least some movement on simple Siri. The first rumour surrounds Shortcuts coming to the Mac.  

Hey_Siri_1200
Image source: 9to5mac.com

However, a Mac version of the Shortcuts app is not expected until next year so will this just work for Marzipan style ported appsKnowing Siri development, we wouldn’t be surprised at all 

The other Siri whisper that does have us excited though is that new Intent Domains are reportedly being released for SiriKit. Just six were released in 2016 (Payments, Messaging, VoIP calling, Photos, Workouts and Ride Booking) and five more including Visual Codes and Restaurant Reservations were added in 10.3 and 11, but since then, nada, nothing, niente. That is until now... we think! Media Playback, Train Trip, Event Ticketing and… Flight, Airport and Seat Information are all rumoured for next week. Yes, finally, we can get our hands on SiriKit for flights!

iPad As A Sidecar 

I can guarantee (this final one is not a prediction) there will be quite a few companies that will have their eyes glued to the keynote stream on Monday, mainly to find out if their second screener apps are about to be deleted from people's devices come Tuesday! 

If the ‘Sidecar’ rumours come true we may all be using our iPads as secondary displays come September, natively rather than using those 3rd party apps.  

And if the above wasn’t enough there are many more exciting whispers ahead of the event on Monday:

  • ARKit, which has been a huge focus at Apple for the past few years gets its own companion app for the iPhone
  • watchOS will see a standalone App Store come to the Apple Watch so maybe Watch apps will become a thing again?
  • Core NFC will be expanded with more ‘read tags’ functionality being released to devs
  • iTunes may be put to sleep with an all new Music app
  • Screentime comes to the Mac

And knowing Apple, they will announce a whole load more that we don’t even know about yet...and I haven’t even mentioned tvOS!  

See You on Monday… 
We’ll be keeping you up to date with all the big announcements from the keynote on the night as they happen so be sure to keep an eye on our Twitter feed to see which of our predictions come true! 

 

Glenville Morris, Product Director - Digital Insights

Glenville has over 12 years experience as a digital & mobile professional in the travel, entertainment & retail sectors. Prior to joining Travelport Digital Glenville worked at easyJet across analytics, mobile marketing & was the product owner for easyJet mobile. At Travelport Digital Glenville heads up the Digital Insights team looking at market trends, operating system updates and how new mobile technologies will affect the travel industry.

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