The same week that Apple sent out invitations for its March 25 product launch it also announced the dates for its Worldwide Developers Conference. WWDC 2019 will all go down at the McEnergy Convention Center in San Jose, California starting on June 3, confirming earlier leaks about its dates and location.
It’s widely expected that the company will showcase updates to all of its operating systems, including iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS. Though as Apple shifts toward a subscription service centric business strategy by debuting a Netflix-like platform and a premium news app, the lines between its product and software launches are beginning to blur.
Apple’s first product launch of the year is widely expected to not include any hardware. There’s some speculation that a new iPad mini, lightly upgraded pair of AirPods, and the ever-expected AirPower could make appearances, but the spotlight will be on its new services. As Apple leans on subscription payments to offset lagging hardware revenue we could begin to see some changes in the way Apple introduces its products to the public.
In fact, last year’s WWDC 2018 Apple confines its software announcement to a single event. Here’s what we know about the agenda for WWDC 2019.
WWDC 2019: iOS 13
This year’s WWDC won’t be entirely unfamiliar, and of course, the headlining operating system will still be iOS 13. Internet sleuths began spotting hints about the plans for Apple’s next suite of iPhone software as early as March 2018, seven months before iOS 12 was even released.
The biggest reveal? Apple’s iPhones and iPads may get a redesigned Home screen after years of keeping it largely the same, according to a Axios report from January. It’s unclear exactly what this could look like, but changes to native apps — like Mail — and improvements to photo editing and sharing are expected. Hopefully, Apple’s devs will also figure out how to tone down the volume control notification that still takes up all of your screen. But one can only hope.
Another likely improvement? iPhone and iPad users have been clamoring for a Dark Mode for years now, and WWDC 2019 might finally be when it happens. The Bloomberg’s Apple reporter Mark Gurman wrote in January that iOS 13 will come with the longed-for feature, which is supposed to help reduce screen glare at night. Apple brought dark mode to macOS Mojave last year, so there’s little reason to think they won’t be bringing the same feature to iOS.
The other big crowd-pleaser is likely to be a new app multitasking feature that’s more geared toward. This would perhaps include an option to have multiple apps opened at once, say, or to run two versions of the same app side-by-side. Apple kind of positioned the 2018 iPad Pro as a laptop killer, this addition would go a long way toward closing the gap between desktop and mobile as far as productivity goes.
WWDC 2019: macOS 10.15
Only one major feature has been leaked about the upcoming macOS 10.15 update: macOS to iOS compatibility. In a February report, Gurman noted that Apple is in the midst of rolling out a product codenamed “Project Marzipan,” that would allow developers to write a single piece of code capable of running apps on both mobile and desktop interfaces.
The full product isn’t expected to be finished until 2021, but Gurman thinks that Apple will partially roll it out in 2019, which likely points to WWDC. This new feature would immediately benefit companies and developers that currently need to optimize one app for both iOS and macOS.
That said, very little is known about Marzipan, not even its name. Based on the previous naming conventions — macOS 10.12 and 10.13 were titled Sierra and High Sierra respectively — there’s an off chance Apple could call it…. High Mojave? For such a big project, however, that seems unlikely.
WWDC 2019: Other Software Releases
That leaves watchOS and tvOS, both of which remain shrouded in secrecy (though neither attracts nearly as much scrutiny as the other two operating systems). That said, given the lineup for Apple’s March 25 event — expected to center Apple’s new subscription streaming service — predictions aren’t difficult.
While nothing has been confirmed, it would be a pretty big shock if Apple doesn’t roll out big changes to tvOS to accommodate all the new programming. It may even take the opportunity to advertise its original shows, films, and partner channels. For the streaming service to live on tvOS, some changes will probably needed: Right now iTV is designed primarily to redirect you to third party apps.
WWDC 2019: Livestream and Invites
Unfortunately, WWDC 2019 isn’t exactly a “come one come all” event. A leaked agenda unearthed by MacRumors in February stated that 7,000 attendees are expected, which is on par with the roughly 6,000 people that Apple CEO Tim Cook said attended WWDC 2018.
Apple will distribute tickets using a lottery system, which they began doing in 2014 after tickets the year prior sold out in two minutes. If you weren’t already registered to the Apple Developer Program before invitations went out, you’re already out of luck. If you were you can participate in the raffle by signing into the registration portal with your developer account no later than March 20 at 8 p.m. Eastern.
If you win a chance to claim a ticket you’ll need to shell out $1,600 to secure it, which is quite literally the cost of a brand new 12-inch MacBook. So only the luckiest Apple fans will get an early glimpse of what software Apple is cooking up this year though, of course, there will almost certainly be a livestream on the company’s special event page.