Apple has traditionally used its annual World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) to offer a sneak peek into the next version of its major software updates. That time of the year is here again and it starts on 4 June.
The June 4-8 event at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California, however, may spring some surprises as rumours of some hardware launches and upgrades are also making the rounds this year.
Among the biggest announcements at Apple's WWDC 2018 are expected to be about iOS 12. Given the flurry of issues that iOS 11 raised, the next big iOS update is likely to focus on improving reliability and performance, according to a report from Axios.
"From a developer standpoint, the biggest thing we're looking forward to is being able to build applications for iOS and have them be functional on the MacOS platform," Michael Facemire, Vice President and Principal Analyst at global market research firm Forrester, said in a statement.
Also, transformations in Apple's voice assistant "Siri" this year, remains a topic of speculation at WWDC 2018. Launched in 2011 on iPhone 4S, "Siri" is not as evolved as Amazon's "Alexa" and "Google Assistant," The Verge reported this week.
"Despite Siri's relative adoption among Apple consumers and more recently with Apple Business Chat, more brands plan to invest in Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant than in Apple's 'Siri,'" said Thomas Husson, Vice President, Principal Analyst serving chief marketing officers at Forrester.
"Beyond Siri, it is likely Apple will push a lot more innovation, for example by enabling AI features at the camera level, by deepening the integration between ARKit and Maps, or by powering near field communications (NFC) usage beyond payments," Husson added.
Refreshed versions of MacBook Pro with upgraded eighth-generation Intel processors and increased RAM and MacBook Air's 13-inch model with retina display are being speculated.
Expectations are also high about the introduction of iPhone SE 2 at the conference.