Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference 2018 will begin on June 4 and the five-day event will take place in San Jose, California. In addition to the ritual software announcements, the highlight this year is on new hardware announcements.
Apple is highly expected to launch the second generation of its 'affordable' iPhone SE. The Cupertino tech giant could also announce a fresh lineup of MacBooks. Focusing on software, Apple will make announcements on emerging technologies such as Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and Artificial Intelligence.
During last year's WWDC we saw new products like the Siri-powered HomePod smart home speakers and a new range of iPads — iPad Pro 12.9 and iPad Pro 10.5. Now that Apple WWDC 2018 is less than a couple of weeks away, here's everything that you can expect at the developer conference.
Apple iOS 12
Just like Google, Apple uses its annual developer conference to showcase the latest version of its mobile operating system. This year, the company is expected to unveil iOS 12. According to rumours, Apple's new mobile operating system will continue to build on last year's iOS 11 which is deepening integration of Augmented Reality, more security features, and a few UI tweaks.
There are also rumours that Apple may include a new tool in the new iOS 12 that will help users control their smartphone addiction. It is expected to be something similar to Google's new features included in Android P. Google has introduced a new Digital Wellbeing initiative under which it is empowering users with more data on how much time they're spending on the device, and even enabled them to set a time limit on a particular application. READ: Google I/O 2018 highlights
That said, Apple's stint with iOS 11 hasn't been without challenges. The software came with a number of minor and major bugs, forcing Apple to quickly roll out multiple updates. Even its latest update, iOS 11.3.1, is said to have come with major bugs, causing battery drain on some older iPhones. Some users have also reported charging and heating issues. We hope Apple's iOS 12 doesn't meet the same fate.
Apple iPhone SE 2
The biggest attraction at this year's WWDC is going to be the iPhone SE 2. The original iPhone SE made its debut in 2016 as the company shifted its focus towards bigger display phones such as iPhone 6S and iPhone 6s Plus. The iPhone SE, however, was touted as the affordable iPhone and aimed at those who loved the classic compact form factor of iPhones. Interestingly, Apple didn't come out with a successor to iPhone SE in 2017.
Ahead of the Apple WWDC 2018, a number of leaks have already given away key details about the new iPhone SE 2. For starters, the phone is expected to come with an edge-to-edge display, similar to iPhone X. This means Apple will be able to fit in a larger screen in the phone without having to significantly alter the overall dimensions of the phone. There are higher chances that iPhone SE 2 may also have a notch display, akin to iPhone X. Apple may even advertise iPhone SE 2 as the affordable iPhone X variant. The smartphone is expected to come with a glass design.
As far specifications go, Apple iPhone SE 2 is expected to run on A11 Bionic processor, instead of the company's A12 processor which is set to power the next-gen iPhones. The smartphone may have a bigger 1,750mAh battery, improved camera, and newer 32GB and 128GB storage options. ALSO READ: Apple iPhone SE 2: Five things that can make Apple's new compact phone a great deal
With Google and Microsoft making giant strides with Google Assistant and Cortana respectively, it's Apple's turn to show what its digital assistant Siri has in store. Already, Apple has hinted that Siri will be coming with newer voices and even power a newer home speaker. Google recently added six new voices to its Google Assistant, including that of singer John Legend.
Siri is also expected to be more open to third-party applications — a recent change in strategy from Apple to boost usage of its voice assistant. Over the years, the company has expanded Siri to various third-party apps like WhatsApp, Uber and Truecaller. Now that Siri is powering smart home speakers and Apple Watch LTE, the company needs to include more third-party apps to the overall catalogue.
Just recently, a new patent application revealed that Apple is making Siri smarter in a way that it can understand why a user has declined a call and send an appropriate response to the recipient. Significantly, Apple is likely to invest a lot on adding machine learning technologies into Siri. ALSO READ: Google Duplex AI to warn people that call are being recorded
Apart from a new Homepod and iPhone SE 2 smartphone, Apple is expected to announce new line-up of its iPads and Macbooks. According to rumours, Apple's new in 12.9-inch and 10.5-inch display variants. The new iPads, however, see a lot of under the hood improvements. For instance, iPad Pro 2018 aka iPad Pro 3 is expected to come with Face ID for biometric authentication, beze-less screen, and Truedepth camera. Similarly, Apple is expected to launch newer MacBooks including Mac Mini-series.