What to expect from Apple’s WWDC 2017 conference

Apple kicks off its 2017 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) this week, with the company expected to make several major announcements.

Rumours suggest that Apple will unveil four new iPad models, the iPhone 8, as well as a Siri-powered smart speaker to rival Amazon Echo and Google Home.

The company’s keynote speech begins at 6PM GMT (1PM ET) today, in which top executives, including Apple boss Tim Cook, will take to the stage to announce an array of new software and hardware.

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Two sources last month shared photos of cases for each of a 10-in (left) and 12.9-in (right) iPad Pro, which could be unveiled at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) this week alongside four new devices listed in a recently leaked Russian regulatory filing

WWDC RUMOURS: WHAT TO EXPECT

– An AI smart speaker powered by Apple’s voice assistant Siri

– Four new models of iPad Pro, including 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch versions

– The iPhone 8

– A new Apple wireless keyboard

– A showcase of Apple’s new operating system: iOS 11

–  The new version of MacOS, which powers Apple’s desktops and laptop computers

– A new line of Mac desktop computers and an update to the MacBook laptop

– Updates to the Apple Watch including possible new health and fitness tracking features

Rumours suggest the firm could announce a new Apple wireless keyboard, the latest version of its iOS software, a MacOS update, and a new line of Mac desktop computers.

Updates to the Apple Watch and Mac laptop range are also expected.

The event is taking place at the McEnery Convention Centre in San Jose, California, and runs until Friday June 9

Apple will reportedly use the opening of its conference to announce an artificially intelligent smart speaker powered by voice assistant Siri.

The device would be used to control internet-enabled products around home, as well as answer queries and provide news, weather and schedule updates.

Amazon and Google’s existing speakers have proved popular with consumers since the Echo launched in the UK in 2016 and Home earlier this year.

The speakers, driven by artificial intelligence and voice-enabled assistants – such as Amazon’s Alexa – have become a leading trend in the tech industry and Alexa now boasts support for more than 10,000 apps.

The update could also give early clues on what to expect from the next iPhone, which is due to be announced in September, marking the device’s tenth anniversary.

The company’s latest smartphone could offer a dual-lens 3D camera, augmented reality to generate real-time views of surroundings, and wireless charging.

Apple may have inadvertently leaked its intentions to announce iOS 11 at today’s conference by releasing an app to its store early. Video game developer Steve Troughton-Smith spotted a new placeholder app called ‘Files’ on the app store that says it requires iOS 11 to run

While the iPhone 8 (artist’s impression pictured) is expected to be unveiled in September, one industry analyst claims it could be revealed during Apple’s WWDC conference

APPLE’S SIRI-DRIVEN SMART SPEAKER

The product is believed to be aimed at bringing Apple AI into the home, and will have a higher price tag than the Amazon Echo range, which begins at $49 (£49) for the Echo Dot.

The speaker will provide a hub for appliances via Apple’s HomeKit system and establish a centre inside the home to lock people in to using other Apple services, according to the report.

A speaker might help customers stay loyal to other services such as Apple Music, Apple Watch, Apple TV and AirPods. 

Insiders suggest that Siri’s advanced acoustics technology may give it the edge over competitors.

The company has considered including sensors that automatically adjust audio levels dependent on the acoustics of a room, insiders said.

Last Friday, Rod Hall, a stock analyst at J.P. Morgan in San Francisco, claimed in a note to investors that Apple will announce the iPhone 8 at WWDC.

Mr Hall said he believes there is ‘some possibility’ that Apple will preview the ‘iPhone 8’ at the event, according to Apple Insider, a technology site that has seen the note.

He cited an ‘expected large form factor change as well as new 3D scanning features’ as the unexpected reason for an early preview.

However, some industry analysts have suggested that Apple is unlikely to unveil the iPhone 8 during Monday’s event, saying that the company is likely to wait until later this year.

Recently leaked Eurasian regulators filings revealed that Apple will unveil four iPad Pros, identified with model numbers A1671, A1709, A1670 and A1701

A next-generation wireless keyboard – believed to be the latest version of Apple’s Magic Keyboard – could also be announced. This device has been unchanged since 2015 (pictured) so an upgrade could be overdue

HOW TO WATCH THE ANNOUCEMENT 

Apple is holding a keynote today at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, today at 10am PT (1pm ET, 6pm BST).

You’ll be able to watch the event as the company is streaming it live. However, you can only do so on the Apple site on these devices: 

– Safari on the Mac or iOS

– Microsoft Edge on Windows 10

– An Apple TV gen 4 with the Apple Events app in the App Store

– An Apple TV gen 2 or 3, with the Apple Events channel that arrives automatically right before the event

 

A leaked Eurasian regulatory filing recently revealed that the firm will unveil four new iPad Pros at WWDC, identified with model numbers A1671, A1709, A1670 and A1701.

Pairs of 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch iPad devices are expected to launch at the event, and will likely mirror the design of the iPhone 8.

The documents also highlighted a next-generation wireless keyboard that is believed to be the latest version of Apple’s Magic Keyboard.

WWDC 2017 will also see the tech firm discuss the next versions of software that power the iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch.

iOS 11, the software which runs on the iPhone and iPad is likely to be shown off for the first time.

Apple may have inadvertently leaked its intentions to announce its new operating system by releasing an app to its store.

Earlier today, video game developer Steve Troughton-Smith spotted that the iOS App Store currently has a placeholder listing for an Apple-developed app called Files.

Sources say Apple could be unveiling the Siri speakers at the annual developer conference on 5 to 9 June with release later in the year.  The speaker would be a key rival to the Amazon Echo (pictured) and Google Home

iOS 11 APP APPEARS EARLY

Apple may have inadvertently leaked its intentions to announce iOS 11 at WWDC 2017 by releasing an app to its store early.

Earlier today, video game developer Steve Troughton-Smith spotted that the iOS App Store currently has a placeholder listing for an Apple-developed app called Files.

While the listing gives few details on what the final app will do, it says that the software requires the as-yet unannounced iOS 11 system to run.

The app’s icon resembles that of a macOS-style folder and signals that Apple are about to overhaul iOS’s approach to file management.

He posted his findings, including a screen grab of the app, on Twitter

While the listing gives few details on what the final app will do, it says that the software requires the as-yet unannounced iOS 11 system to run.

The app’s icon resembles that of a macOS-style folder and signals that Apple are about to overhaul iOS’s approach to file management.

In addition to a new iOS, the new version of MacOS, which powers Apple’s desktops and laptop computers will likely be demonstrated. 

Rumours have also suggested a new line of Mac desktop computers and an update to the MacBook laptop could be discussed.

Several thousand developers will attend the five-day event, which also features technical sessions and hands-on time with the new software for those in attendance (stock image)

Updates to the Apple Watch, including possible new health and fitness tracking features, are also likely to be among the announcements in California.

WWDC will also be the first event since the company began moving into its new multibillion-dollar headquarters, Apple Park, which first opened its doors to employees in April.

The keynote could feature more details on Apple’s environmental plans for the new campus.

Several thousand developers will attend the five-day event, which also features technical sessions and hands-on time with the new software for those in attendance.