What we ex­pect to see at WWDC 2018

Ap­ple’s an­nual de­vel­op­ers con­fer­ence starts next month. David Price re­veals our pre­dic­tions for this year’s event

Macworld - - Contents -

One of the biggest dates in the Ap­ple cal­en­dar is WWDC, short for World­wide De­vel­oper Con­fer­ence. It’s the firm’s an­nual, week-long event for soft­ware de­vel­op­ers, but it’s also the venue where the tech gi­ant makes some of the biggest an­nounce­ments of the year.

Ap­ple fills most of the time with de­vel­oper work­shops, train­ing, par­ties, and net­work­ing events, but it starts the week with a key­note speech an­nounc­ing ma­jor up­dates to the soft­ware run­ning on its Macs, iphones, ipads, Ap­ple Watches, Ap­ple TVS, and other de­vices. There might be some sig­nif­i­cant hard­ware un­veil­ings, too: WWDC 2017 saw the un­veil­ing of the Home­pod, and we usu­ally see new Macs at the event, while the sec­ond, third, and fourth iphones all made their de­buts at WWDC in the past.

In this ar­ti­cle we dis­cuss what you can ex­pect at WWDC 2018: likely dates, prod­uct up­dates, other events. Plus how to get tick­ets, and how much they are likely to cost.

When will WWDC 2018 take place?

It will be held from 4-8 June at the Mcenery Con­ven­tion Cen­ter in San Jose.

Ex­pected an­nounce­ments

Soft­ware and ser­vices

Up­dates to the big four soft­ware plat­forms are cer­tain: that means IOS 12, macos 10.14, watchos 5, and tvos 12 will all get stage time dur­ing the key­note. Don’t ex­pect them to ar­rive on your Macs and IOS prod­ucts un­til later in the year, though.

As for new fea­tures, we’re hear­ing that Ap­ple’s mostly fo­cus­ing on security and sta­bil­ity with this round of soft­ware up­dates, but one of the most ex­cit­ing changes we are ex­pect­ing is that macos will be able to run IOS apps.

We could also get some news about Ap­ple’s TV and movie am­bi­tions, (yes, the firm is plan­ning to take on Net­flix) and we ex­pect to hear more about the progress of Ap­ple Pay: in­clud­ing the launch of Ap­ple Pay Cash in the UK, for ex­am­ple.


As ever, and even though this is prin­ci­pally a soft­ware event, me­dia hype will re­volve around pos­si­ble hard­ware an­nounce­ments. We’re hop­ing to hear some more de­tails about the up­com­ing Mac Pro up­date, though as we saw on page 4, it’s not due to launch un­til 2019.

Ap­ple has also said it will launch a new dis­play to go with the Mac Pro, and we ex­pect fur­ther de­tails about this at WWDC.

There are also ru­mours that we’ll get a new iphone SE. That would be a sur­prise but isn’t com­pletely un­prece­dented: the iphones 3G, 3GS and 4 all de­buted at WWDC key­notes. Ac­tu­ally, we think a iphone SE2 might be in the works, but be­lieve it will launch be­fore the con­fer­ence.

There is also the ex­pec­ta­tion that Ap­ple will un­veil a new ipad Pro with Face ID and a big­ger screen (made pos­si­ble by re­duced bezels and the re­moval of the Home but­ton) this June.

We’re also hear­ing that Ap­ple will use the event to un­veil a new 13in Mac­book. The sur­pris­ing as­pect to this is that it’s said this up­dated model will come in at the equiv­a­lent price of the Mac­book Air – in fact, the idea is that it will be an Air with a Retina dis­play.

Fi­nally, it’s thought that Ap­ple could re­veal an up­date to the Mac­book Pro, and maybe also a 2018 Mac­book. There may even be a new Mac mini com­ing. We are par­tic­u­larly ex­cited that the new Mac­book Pro could ship with six cores.

Past WWDC an­nounce­ments

We can learn a lot from his­tory. Here are the high­lights of the past 12 WWDC events:

WWDC 2017: macos High Sierra, IOS 11, watchos 4, tvos 11, new ipad Pro mod­els, imac Pro, Mac­book up­grades; Home­pod.

WWDC 2016: macos Sierra, IOS 10, watchos 3, tvos 10.

WWDC 2015: Mac OS X El Cap­i­tan; IOS 9; watchos 2; Ap­ple Mu­sic.

WWDC 2014: Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite; IOS 8; Swift pro­gram­ming lan­guage.

WWDC 2013: New Mac Pro; New Mac­book Air mod­els; Mac OS X 10.9 Mav­er­icks; IOS 7; iwork for icloud; itunes Radio.

WWDC 2012: New Mac­books: up­dated Mac­book Airs and Mac­book Pro with Retina Dis­play; Mac OS X 10.8 Moun­tain Lion (sort of – it had pre­vi­ously been an­nounced on Ap­ple’s web­site, but this was its show­case demon­stra­tion); IOS 6.

WWDC 2011: Mac OS X 10.7 Lion; IOS 5; icloud. WWDC 2010: iphone 4; Face­time and imovie for iphone.

WWDC 2009: New Mac­book Pro mod­els: a new 13in Mac­book Pro and up­dates to the 15- and 17in Mac­book Pros; iphone 3GS; re­lease of iphone OS 3.0 (which had al­ready been an­nounced). WWDC 2008: iphone 3G; IOS App Store; iphone OS ver­sion 2.0; Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leop­ard; Mo­bileme.

WWDC 2007: Fea­ture-com­plete beta of Mac OS X 10.5 Leop­ard; Sa­fari for Win­dows.

WWDC 2006: Mac Pro; re­vi­sions to Mac OS X 10.5 ‘Leop­ard’ (which had al­ready been an­nounced) and Mac OS X Server.

What else hap­pens at WWDC?

As well as the key­note speech on the first day, there are a series of events run by the com­pany through­out the fol­low­ing week: de­vel­oper work­shops and train­ing ses­sions, net­work­ing events, and so on. In the past other com­pa­nies have held events too, with Ap­ple’s bless­ing: it posts a list of such events on the Be­yond WWDC page of its de­vel­oper web­site (fave.co/2hbi8q0).

A few high­lights from 2017 in­cluded:

• Beard Bash 2017, a de­vel­op­ers’ party with live mu­sic. Hosted by Jim Dal­rym­ple, the founder of the Loop web­site

• The Talk Show with John Gru­ber Live. Fairly self-ex­plana­tory. In the past Ap­ple ex­ec­u­tives have turned up and of­fered in­sights be­yond what was men­tioned in the key­note

• Swift work­shops run by IBM

• Alt­conf 2018. A con­fer­ence for de­vel­op­ers

The best way to keep up with the sched­ule of events, par­ties and work­shops at WWDC is to down­load the WWDC IOS app (fave.co/2hzuizf). As well as ex­ten­sive news and sched­ul­ing in­for­ma­tion the app of­fers in­ter­ac­tive venue maps, cu­rated video playlists and (if 2017 is any­thing to go by) some truly aw­ful emoji-based puns.


Tick­ets are al­lo­cated by lot­tery. Reg­is­tra­tion for 2018’s event has now closed, but each year a num­ber of unclaimed tick­ets are resold af­ter the lot­tery, so you may still have a chance if you miss out in the first draw. Ap­ple also of­fers free en­try to WWDC, and ac­com­mo­da­tion for the week, to the win­ners of its WWDC Schol­ar­ship pro­gram. To qual­ify for this you need to be in part- or full-time ed­u­ca­tion and be a reg­is­tered Ap­ple de­vel­oper, and sub­mit a Swift Play­ground.

Why Ap­ple dis­trib­utes WWDC tick­ets by lot­tery Back in 2012, all 5,000 WWDC tick­ets sold out within two hours. De­vel­op­ers had no prior warn­ing from the com­pany about the event and, un­der­stand­ably, many of those who missed out were far from happy. In 2013, af­ter Ap­ple de­cided to let devs know in ad­vance when tick­ets would go on sale, it took only two min­utes to sell out. So, in 2014, Ap­ple took a dif­fer­ent ap­proach. In­stead of is­su­ing tick­ets on a ‘first come first served’ ba­sis, it of­fered every­one a chance to win the chance to buy a ticket by reg­is­ter­ing for a lot­tery.


Even if your name is drawn in the ticket lot­tery, you’ll still have to pay to at­tend WWDC – $1,599 (about £1,140).


It’s ru­moured that Ap­ple will un­veil an up­dated Mac­book at this year’s WWDC

The iphone 4 was launched at WWDC 2010

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