The rumor mill is still churning as we’re less than 24 hours from Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), which kicks off in San Francisco at 10 a.m. PT Monday. A number of reports have rounded up what to expect when it comes to new versions of iOS, OS X, tvOS and watchOS.
We won’t know what’s for real and what was just wishful thinking until Apple makes the official announcement, but that shouldn’t stop us from sharing what’s out there. The highlights:
There are a couple big changes coming for Apple’s voice-activated assistant. The biggest appears to be that Siri will be opened up to third-party developers, allowing Siri to interact with more apps in more ways. This will make Siri a lot more powerful and useful. Just ask Alexa. Earlier this month, Amazon’s virtual assistant surpassed the 1,000 third-party skills milestone after less than a year.
It looks like Siri may be bringing her skills to the Mac as part of the OS X 10.12 update, MacRumors reports. Siri will reportedly be able to perform many of the same tasks she handles on iPhones and iPads such as answering questions and sending messages.
To bring the Mac operating system name in line with other devices — iOS, tvOS and watchOS — it looks like OS X is going to get a name change and possibly be called macOS. The Verge reports that this is the second name change for the operating system which used to be called Mac OS X. In 2012, Apple dropped the “Mac” and began calling it “OS X.” Now they’re bringing back the Mac and dropping the X.
Bloomberg reported last month that Apple’s streaming service was due for an overhaul. The user interface will reportedly be redesigned and, according to 9to5Mac, it will “ditch the current colorful and translucent look in favor of a simpler design that emphasizes black and white backgrounds and text.” Apparently album artwork is going to get a lot bigger, too, to punch things up a bit.
Apple’s payment service, which lets users complete a purchase on mobile apps, is going to expand to websites, according to Recode. The report said “the service will be available to shoppers using the Safari browser on models of iPhones and iPads that possess Apple’s TouchID fingerprint technology.” The move would allow Apple to compete more directly with PayPal.
iMessage for Android
Apple is going to bring iMessage encrypted text messaging to Android users, according to a report last week from MacDailyNews. MacRumors isn’t too keen on MacDailyNews rumors, and writes “the simplicity, convenience, and security of iMessage is one of the major perks of the iPhone, however, so it is unclear if Apple would want to expand such a key feature beyond its own devices.”
tvOS and watchOS
Nobody seems to have much to say about what to expect in regard to updates to the Apple TV and Watch operating systems, even though changes are most likely coming. MacRumors simply says Siri improvements and design tweaks to match whatever happens with iOS are its best guesses.
The focus will remain on software at WWDC, according to 9to5Mac, as no new external displays will be shown off. Any hopes for a new MacBook Pro or Air should be put on hold until the fall.
Keep an eye on GeekWire on Monday as we report on how much of this stuff — and anything else we didn’t see coming — turns into reality.