Tomorrow at 10 A.M Pacific Time, Tim Cook and his trusted cadre of lieutenants will take the stage at Moscone West in San Francisco, where they will show us what the company has been working on over the last 12 months.
When it comes to Apple-related announcements, WWDC is undoubtedly one of the most exciting events of the year. Per usual, there's been a steady stream of rumors pointing to what we can expect to see from Apple tomorrow. To help you get acquainted with what some of the announcements may touch on, below is a broad overview of what Apple will likely discuss during tomorrow's highly anticipated presentation.
As a developers conference, iOS 9 will undoubtedly be one of the stars of the show. While typical iOS upgrades include hundreds of features, iOS 9 will reportedly slow things down a bit and focus more on under-the-hood performance. Previous rumors have indicated that Apple engineers, in working on iOS 9, have spent more time than usual ensuring that iOS 9 runs as smoothly as possible.
There have also been reports that iOS 9 will run impressively well on older devices, thereby ensuring that even more iOS users can enjoy the latest and greatest from Apple.
In what may very well be the biggest announcement from Apple tomorrow, expect the company to roll out its own streaming music service. With digital downloads on the decline and streaming music seemingly the wave of the future, Apple last year acquired Beats Music in a mega $3 billion deal. Since then, Apple has reportedly been working furiously behind the scenes as it prepares to take on more established streaming services such as Pandora, Spotify, and YouTube.
Rumor has it that the pricepoint for Apple's new streaming service will be $10 a month, which is the same as what Spotify charges. Notably, Apple's new streaming service, which will reportedly be called Apple Music, will not offer users a free tier option. It's also been reported that the service will offer users a free three month trial, a generous trial period, to be sure.
Transit Directions coming to Maps
It's somewhat jarring that Apple Maps in 2015 still lacks built-in transit directions. With iOS 9, that may finally change. Rumor has it that Apple tomorrow will at last announce that bus, subway, and train directions will be baked directly into iOS 9. Incidentally, it's been rumored that the number of supported cities will be disappointingly small at launch.
Dual-App viewing mode
According to 9to5Mac, Apple tomorrow will also introduce a new iOS feature that will enable users to view apps in either "1/2, 1/3, and 2/3 views." While this feature has long been believed to be a part of the rumored iPad Pro, it may also find its way into the regular-sized iPad as well. This is a feature Android tablets have supported for a while now, so it'd be nice to see Apple play catch-up in this regard.
Over the weekend, the Telegraph reported that Apple at WWDC will announce that Apple Pay will be coming to England in about two months. Apple hasn't been shy about its plans to broadly expand Apple Pay support in other countries, so it'll be interesting to see if there are any other Apple Pay-related announcements on the docket tomorrow.
A Google Now competitor
When it comes to machine learning, not to mention predictive and contextual search, Google Now is hard to beat. Apple, though, may have something interesting up its sleeve to compete with that. According to a recent report from 9to5Mac, Apple has been working on a new feature it's calling "Proactive."
According to the report, the new feature will leverage items such as Siri, Maps, Contacts, and applications to give users even more granular and useful access to information.
For example, if a user has a flight listed in her Calendar application and a boarding pass stored in Passbook, a bubble within the new Proactive screen will appear around flight time to provide quick access to the boarding pass. If a user has a calendar appointment coming up, a map view could appear with an estimated arrival time, directions, and a time to leave indicator based on traffic. Proactive will also be able to trigger push notifications to help the user avoid missing calendar events.
The report also claims that the software will be able to learn a user's habits. So, for instance, if a user uses Quora or checks the stock market every morning around the same time, the software will present fast access buttons to those activities.
Apple Watch SDK
WatchKit is certainly serviceable, but for apps on the Apple Watch to truly shine, developers will have to get their hands on a native SDK. Thankfully, Apple, will reportedly launch an SDK for the Apple Watch at WWDC this week. Whereas Apple Watch apps now essentially run on an iPhone and transmit data wirelessly via Bluetooth, native apps will run directly on the wearable itself, thus providing improved performance.
Notably, Apple executive Jeff Williams two weeks ago said that the Apple Watch SDK will give developers direct access to the device's sensors.
"At our developer conference we’ll release a preview so that developers will be able to write code natively and have access to sensors, and we're really excited about that," Williams told Walt Mossberg at this year's Code conference.
Not surprisingly, we haven't heard much about OS X 10.11 aside from maybe the addition of an iOS-styled Control Center feature and improved system-wide security.
What not to expect: No new Apple TV or subscription TV service
Unfortunately, WWDC was initially poised to be a blockbuster event, what with the introduction of new Apple TV hardware and an intriguing TV subscription service. Alas, recent reports have indicated that Apple's TV subscription plans have been delayed due to licensing issues. Consequently, we've also seen reports that Apple will be holding off on releasing a revamped Apple TV as well.