Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) will take place this afternoon. The annual event typically involves a number of key software announcements and updates (after all, it’s really an event for developers), but Apple usually squeezes some hardware news to get Apple fans around the globe hyped. For example, at last year’s WWDC, Apple announced that it was officially killing iTunes, the iPad was getting a standalone OS (iPad OS), the iPhone was getting a Dark Mode, and it officially announced the Mac Pro and its Pro Display XDR.
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This year’s event is going to be a little bit different, namely because it’ll be a digital-only event because of the current pandemic. That said, we’re still expecting a string of software news about the next-generation operating systems for iPhone, iPad, Mac and the Apple Watch. On the hardware side, there have been rumblings around a newly redesigned iMac, a MacBook with an ARM processor and even Apple’s first over-ear headphones. Maybe even a HomePod mini?
Here’s what we think you can expect to see at WWDC 2020.
The iPhone might get a built-in translation app.
Apple will announce the next generation of the iPhone’s operating system, iOS 14. It’ll be available for beta testers shortly thereafter, and will roll out to the general iPhone userbase this fall. The big expected news is that iOS 14 will have a built-in translator app. Not a lot is known about it, but it’s clear that Apple is trying to find a way to compete with Google Translate, which is now deeply integrated into Pixels and most other Android smartphones.
For the first time, Apple may design its own microchips for Mac.
Apple has proven over the years that it’s able to make really powerful and efficient processors. It integrated its chipsets in most of its products, most notably iPhones and iPads, but with one big exception: its Mac line. However, that seems likely to change. Apple will likely announce that it’s going to part ways with Intel and instead integrate its upcoming Mac line of laptops and desktops with its own ARM-based processors. The biggest effect this could have on the company’s MacBook line? Extra battery life.
Apple could finally release its own sleep-tracking app for the Apple Watch.
There are already a number of third-party sleep tracking apps for the Apple Watch (we’ve highlighted our favorites, here), but Apple has yet to release its own. The most obvious reason is that the battery life of all Apple Watch models isn’t that great, less than 24 hours, and adding a tracking sleep app would deplete it even faster. But it appears that Apple is going to acquiesce to popular to demand and, thankfully, release its own sleep tracking app for the Apple Watch.
A new Apple TV remote?
The Siri Remote for the Apple TV might just be one of Apple’s most polarizing products. Some people love it. Some people hate it. That said, this could be the year that we finally get a new one with a totally different design. 9to5Mac has reportedly seen new code within iOS 14 that suggests a new Apple TV remote. Little is known about how it will look, but given that the current remote is pretty expensive (and drives up the cost of the Apple TV), the new remote might be simpler and cheaper.
We might get Apple’s first over-ear headphones.
It seems like a longshot for WWDC, but Apple will eventually announce a pair of over-ear noise-canceling headphones that will reportedly be called StudioPods. There have been too many reliable reports for the rumor not to be true. The headphones will reportedly have a modular design with interchangeable ear pads and headbands, and they’ll have built-in sensors to automatically tell if each earcup is on the left or right side of your head, and then the headphones play the appropriate channel. (Read: there will be no way of wearing the headphones backwards.)
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