WWDC 2021 is today: a MacBook Pro M2, iOS 15 and everything we’ve come to expect from Apple

WWDC21 departures Monday June 7 and kicks off with a virtual opening keynote at 10:00 a.m. PT. CEO Tim Cook and his team are expected to announce iOS 15, a new M2 chip MacBook Pro and new software versions for most Apple products, including a possible new operating system called HomeOS. On Wednesday, an Apple job posting for a senior iOS engineer included mentions of “HomeOS” which have since been removed and replaced by HomePod.

The job offer was not the only possible leak. Apple’s unofficial beta tester and quadruple NBA champion James lebron might have leaked a brand new Apple product. King James shared a photo on Instagram which showed him wearing what appear to be Beats Studio Buds. The only problem is that Apple doesn’t sell the wireless earbuds and advertise them. But you can’t entirely blame the leak on LBJ: Last month, IOS and TV OS Beta Mentioned Beats Studio Buds, too much.

Apple’s annual the developer conference runs from June 7 to 11 and like WWDC 2020, it will take place entirely online. The five days of virtual sessions fall within the ever-deeper shadow of the pandemic. Besides new products and operating systems, WWDC is really about giving software developers early access to explore new features with the help of Apple engineers.

A main event on day one will deliver the biggest news with previews of Apple’s upcoming operating systems – likely iPadOS 15, MacOS 12, WatchOS 8, TV OS 15 and iOS 15. There could also be new hardware, like the successor to Apple’s M1 chip and the new “pro” Macs that use M-series processors instead of Intel. Apple first announced its M-Class chipsets at WWDC last year. The system-on-a-chip is designed in-house and vital for the company’s transition to Intel chips.

iOS 14 has made some big changes to the home screen and privacy. What will iOS 15 bring? We should find out on June 7th.

Patrick Hollande / CNET

WWDC21 to show off the next major iteration of iOS

The next iPhone, probably called iphone 13 (unless this is the iPhone 12S), probably won’t launch until fall. But a new version of the iPhone operating system, presumably called iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 for the iPad, is expected to be unveiled.

Last year, iOS 14 included new home screen customizations, embedded video, better widgets, new Siri interface and app library, a new way to organize your apps. Rumors iOS 15 point towards new notification settings depending on your current activity, more customizations and interactions for widgets and new iMessage features that could make it more competitive with WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.

iPadOS 15 could add home screen customizations. Widgets will not be relegated to the widget stack and will instead have more iPhone-like controls.

Apple launched new iPads last fall and one new iPad Pro with M1 chip in April, but the distinction between “pro” and non “pro” models is based more on hardware differences than software. It would be great to see more iPadOS features supporting “pro” users.

iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 are expected to launch this fall with the iPhone 13. For more, read our summary of iOS 15 rumors.


Apple has just released new iMacs and is expected to announce the next version of macOS at WWDC 2021.


Call macOS 12 by a new Californian name

One of the revelations devoted Apple fans appreciate is the name of the next version of macOS. For years, versions of Mac OS X have been named after felines like Snow Leopard and Lion. In 2014, with the release of OS X 10.10, Apple began to nickname the software after notable California landmarks like Yosemite and more recently Big Sur. So maybe the next one will be called MacOS Monterey? Or MacOS Golden gate? Maybe MacOS The Hollywood Sign? Yeah, I have no idea.

Not much is known about Apple’s next update for its computer operating system. There have been no specific rumors or leaks and to quote the Magic ball 8, “Answer hazy, try again.”

It could be that MacOS 12 is a smaller update focused on the changes under the hood. The M1 chips are approaching their first anniversary and MacOS is currently expected to support it as well as Intel-based Macs. But that raises a bigger question: where are the M1 Pro machines? It is not clear whether there will be a new version of the M1 chip at WWDC 2021 or an “X” version of the processor. But many of us are hoping for a shiny new MacBook Pro that features the “pro” version of the M-series chip.


WWDC 2021 includes clues and Easter eggs

Apples announcement for WWDC came with a picture and animation of a Memoji character looking at an open MacBook. The image is a nod to memes that appeared after The November Apple Event for Mac, where Senior Vice President of Software Engineering Craig Federighi showed how Macs with the M1 chip can wake up instantly. The video was highlighted by the Barry White song Playing Your Game, Baby and was suitably cheesy.

The slogan for WWDC 2021 is “Glow and behold”. Usually Apple event invitations and announcements include Easter eggs. Could the fact that the Memoji is wearing glasses with the reflection of software elements could be a match for the rumored Apple augmented reality glasses? Or maybe “glow” is a reference to the headlights on. the apple car rumor? Or maybe the the photo with its animation is just a nod to the new features of MacOS and its dock?

New material announcements have an inconsistent history at WWDC. In recent years, Apple has shared a major overhaul of several key products and teased for upcoming Mac hardware. But if Apple is planning a new product like AR glasses, it needs software (ROS anyone?) and developers to create applications for it.


The next operating system for the Apple Watch will likely be announced during WWDC 2021.

Angela Lang / CNET

WatchOS 8 could bring new health features to the Apple Watch

In addition to the iPhone and computers, expect software updates for the Apple watch. Like MacOS, there have been virtually no details leaked about WatchOS 8. That said, there are several lingering rumors from the past few years that have yet to materialize.

A rumor of may 2020 is the inclusion of mental health characteristics. For example, the Apple Watch 6 has a pulse oximeter that could be used with heart rate readings to detect high levels of stress and even panic attacks.

Another rumor from 2017 hints that the Apple Watch is capable of monitoring blood sugar. However, this appears to be a feature that would be revealed at the launch of the next Apple Watch, as it probably require new equipment such as a spectrometer to perform the measurements.

One feature that many of us are hoping for is the removal of Apple Watch’s dependence on the iPhone. We saw the The iPhone divorces the Mac from iOS 5 in 2011. It’s unclear exactly what is required in terms of hardware and software to achieve this, but it would open the Apple Watch to people without iOS devices.

Here’s how to watch WWDC21

Want to watch WWDC 2021 in the comfort of your own home? Apple hosts a live broadcast of his Monday keynote on its website. There will likely be a live stream on Apple’s YouTube channel. Apple will be broadcasting sessions throughout the week for free to all developers. CNET will be reporting on WWDC, so check back for news and analysis throughout the show.

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