What to Expect at the Apple WWDC Event in 2021

Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) is about to take place on June 7, and we expect some exciting reveals. Due to the pandemic, the event will be a virtual one; similar to the Apple April Event earlier this year. That being said, you’ll be able to follow the online conference from Apple’s website, Apple TV, or YouTube.

In addition to all the cool announcements, like the unveiling of iOS 15 and watchOS 8, WWDC includes the Apple Design Awards and a series of digital “lounges.” Developers will be able to ask questions and participate in special activities and join 1-on-1 lab sessions with Apple’s designers and engineers.

WWDC 2021 – What to expect

The yearly WWDC event is known for being about software. This is where and when Apple unveils new operating systems and major software updates. Sometimes, they also announce new hardware designs and products, but those are much more challenging to predict.

Below, you’ll find a list of updates and reveals we’re highly likely to see. However, keep in mind we’re talking about beta versions for most of them since full versions are expected later during the year.

iOS 15

One of the most exciting unveilings this year is iOS 15. Unlike last year when we had a significant amount of leaked information on iOS 14, Apple managed to run a tight ship this year, so we know very few details.

What we know so far is that Apple is possibly shifting its attention towards the notifications system. According to the Bloomberg report from April, we will be able to customize our notifications based on the user’s status: sleeping, working, and custom categories.

The report also specified that we’ll have a new menu for these controls, including the Lock Screen. On a side note, the Look Screen might get a complete makeover as well. We’ll find out at WWDC.

Furthermore, Apple is continuing to focus on developing and polishing privacy features. Rumors say that Apple is working on a feature that will tell users which application is collecting data on them in the background.

As for official announcements, we know that Apple developed a set of Accessibility features that include Background Noises and will be part of iOS 15. Perhaps we’ll see some of them in action at WWDC.

watchOS 8

expecting iWatch updates in wwdc
(Image Credit: Apple)

We don’t know exactly what changes Apple is bringing for the Apple Watch, other than the launch of watchOS 8. Fans have been requesting multiple features over the years, such as always-on support for Maps and Now Playing, but it remains to be seen what Apple has in store for us.

That being said, we expect to see new watch faces and perhaps the integration of the Health app that we have on iOS. This is all speculation, of course, so we’ll just have to wait for WWDC to learn more.

iPadOS 15

expected iPad updates in wwdc
(Image Credit: 9to5Mac)

The iPad is definitely in need of an OS overhaul, and if Apple has plans for one, we’re hoping it will be announced at this year’s WWDC. According to Bloomberg, iPadOS 15 is coming, and it will significantly change the iPad in a good way.

Now that the powerful M1 chip powers the iPad Pro, we feel that Apple isn’t as hardware limited as it used to be with the older iPads. We expect to see professional applications like Xcode or Final Cut Pro make it to the list of updates. We also hope to gain the ability to move widgets anywhere on the home screen, just like we do with iOS 14 on the iPhone.

We don’t know whether these changes are meant for this year, so keep your fingers crossed.

tvOS 15

Apple called out tvOS in the WWDC announcement they made earlier, so we expect tvOS 15 to be presented during the event. We’re hoping to see a fresher design with more management tools. We can’t be sure, but hopefully, Apple is introducing a customizable “children’s mode” to the platform.

macOS 12

There aren’t many clues that point towards the release of macOS 12 with the WWDC event or even this year, but there might be some kind of announcement.

Earlier this year, Apple updated their open-source WebKit code and left a few easter eggs for us. Inside the code, there are mentions of “macOS(12.00)” as well as “ios(15.0).” We already know about iOS 15 coming out soon, but macOS 12 is a surprise.

It’s unlikely for macOS 12 to be released this year, but we might receive some exciting updates or some insights on Apple’s goals for the new macOS.

The New MacBook Pro

Even though WWDC is usually a software-related event, Apple sometimes announces new hardware as well. For example, back in 2019, Apple presented the Mac Pro and its XDR display. That being said, some hints and unverified reports are floating around the Internet about the MacBook Pro being unveiled this year.

With Apple’s new M1 processor being at the core of most of their recent devices, it’s reasonable to expect the MacBook Pro update. Rumors say that the new design will be slimmer than ever, and it will come in two display sizes: 14-inch and 16-inch.

Bloomberg reported that this edition wouldn’t have the “MacBook Pro” logo on it, and Apple will offer users the chance to purchase two different setups. One is expected to have 16 GPU cores and the other 32.

Whether the rumors are true, we can’t say. But it’s reasonable to expect some news about the upcoming MacBook Pro.

More Hardware?

The hardware that Apple announced in the past at WWDC was usually in connection to developers. The MacBook Pro fits that profile, and that’s why we expect to see it unveiled at the event.

However, we know that Apple is also working on the Mac mini, a new iMac, and a MacBook Air. From all of these, the Mac mini is probably the most likely to be announced next to the MacBook Pro. The mini is supposed to be launched with the new M1X processor, making it an interesting product for developers.

Final Thoughts

Compared to any other Apple-related event, WWDC comes with the most exciting surprises. We expect a lot this year since Apple is working on many updates, overhauls, and new hardware designs, but all we have is mostly rumors. Stay tuned for the WWDC event to unfold and find out which predictions turn out to be true.