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WWDC 2021: What to Expect From Apple’s Developer Conference

Gizmodo Australia logo Gizmodo Australia 8/04/2021 Lauren Rouse

Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) has officially announced its dates for 2021. June 8 - 12 is when Aussies will be able to catch all the news and developments from the annual conference.

Similar to 2020, WWDC will be an all-virtual conference in 2021.

Being a developer conference, WWDC is typically where Apple announces its latest software developments such as new OS updates for its suite of devices. Here's what we expect to see at WWDC in 2021.

iOS 15

Of course, the biggest thing to come out of WWDC conferences in the past has been the latest iOS build. For 2021, iOS 15 will be the new software and we can expect major details to come out here.

As with every major OS update, it will likely leave some phones behind. The only major rumour circulating iOS 15 right now is that it will drop support for the iPhone 6 range, which would include the iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus and the iPhone SE from 2016.

Recent changes to Apple app icons like Apple Music and the App Store icons also have people speculating that this foreshadows a new overhaul of the iOS design. That wouldn't be out of character seeing as Apple often introduces big design changes with its new OS software at WWDC, such as the widgets that were added in iOS 14.

While iOS 15 will likely be announced at WWDC in June it's unlikely to be rolled out to the public until September when the next batch of iPhones typically drop.

That being said a developer beta will probably be released at WWDC so we should know the details of this new software in June.

Other OS software upgrades

Along with software upgrades for the iPhone, Apple traditionally announces OS upgrades for all its other devices at WWDC. This would include watchOS 8, tvOS 15, MacOS 12 and iPadOS 15.

Again, little is known about these new software updates but it's likely that Apple will try and keep new design features consistent across its devices. For example, widgets on iPhone were also introduced on iPadOS 14 and MacOS 11.

With rumours swirling about a new Apple TV in the works it's also likely tvOS 15 could see a redesign in preparation for this.

New hardware

While WWDC is primarily software-based that doesn't rule out new product announcements.

There's no guessing what these could be but rumours do point to Apple working on AirTags, a new iPad Pro, a redesigned iMac and AR and VR devices. Any or all of these could make an appearance at WWDC 2021, giving developers the time to prepare their software for these new products.

There's also Apple's rumoured Autumn event which could steal some of these product announcements but there's still a chance some new devices will come out of WWDC.

WWDC 2020 spent a bit of time discussing Apple's new silicon chips. A year later it's likely we'll see some discussion about this rollout and whether it will be coming to other products in Apple's slate.

How to watch WWDC

Times and schedules haven't been announced for WWDC 2021 just yet, but as usual, expect to be awake at odd hours in Australia. Last year's WWDC keynote took place at 3 am AEST, so steel yourself for some early mornings.

The benefit of the WWDC being free and virtual is that anyone from all around the world can attend the announcements.

We're yet to hear what official channels WWDC 2021 will be streamed on but expect to find it on Apple's event page or its YouTube channel from June 8-12.

We'll continue to update this post as more information about WWDC is announced.

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