Everything we know about Apple WWDC 2019
We're less than a month away from Apple's annual developer conference, which kicks off on June 3, and expectations are ballooning. If the rumors are true, the company may use the event to unveil new hardware and announce one of the more significant changes to it iOS and MacOS software road map in years.
Taking place once again at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California, the 2019 Worldwide Developers Conference will show off the new apps, features and tools coming to the company's expanding universe of software, services and devices. And unlike last year, when Apple focused mostly on shoring up the speed and responsiveness of its software, there's a stronger chance of major product introductions and revelations in 2019.
A host of Apple executives, including CEO Tim Cook, are expected to take the stage at WWDC to outline the company's software strategy and address issues ranging from privacy to security to developer relations.
Perhaps the most anticipated news concerns the next version of Apple's mobile operating system, likely to be called iOS 13, which powers the iPhone and iPad, and which is overdue for a major overhaul. In addition to a handful of redesigned and new features -- like a retooled home screen, system-wide dark mode and more multitasking options -- the company is also said to be cultivating greater interoperability between iOS with MacOS, the operating system used on its MacBook laptops and Mac desktop computers. This would ostensibly make it easier for developers to share code among apps written for the iPhone and iPad and Macs.
Given the precedent for hardware announcements and introductions at WWDC, there's also a chance that we could see a new MacBook Pro or iPad Pro, or some other unknown product, brought out on stage. The company could also debut the updated Mac Pro, which it has already pledged to reveal in 2019. (In 2017, the company used the event to unveil a new iPad Pro and the HomePod smart speaker.) Apple didn't respond to a request for comment.
Below, we've rounded up everything you need to know about WWDC 2019 -- including the rumors that have captured our attention so far. We'll continue to update this article as we count down the days until the big conference, so check back often.
When is WWDC 2019?
WWDC starts on June 3 and runs until June 7. Though Apple hasn't yet officially announced the schedule, last year's day one keynote event kicked off at 10 a.m. PT (1 p.m. ET).
How can I watch the WWDC 2019 livestream?
If you have an Apple TV, you can use the Apple Events app to watch it (and older events, too). Otherwise, you can can livestream WWDC from the Apple Events section of the company's website.
CNET will also be liveblogging the event live from the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California.
Can I attend WWDC?
If you haven't already snagged a ticket, the answer is probably "no." Apple doled out tickets on a lottery system when the event was announced earlier this year, and all of the available slots have been snapped up.
What are the rumors about WWDC 2019?
A new look for iOS 13
There's a lot of buzz about a dramatic redesign coming to the next version of Apple's mobile operating system, expected to be called iOS 13. The forthcoming iPhone 11, expected in September, may be the primary vessel for a new home screen, expanded multitasking capabilities and an "undo" option. Other upgrades on the table include new mobile versions of Apple's Safari browser and the Mail and Reminders apps.
We've also seen some mockups showing what iOS 13 could look like in "dark mode." Apple has already introduced a system-wide dark mode for its computers with MacOS Mojave, after letting users turn the menu bar and dock dark in the previous version of its operating system, MacOS High Sierra. Currently, you can only turn individual iOS apps dark if they have enabled support for it.
iOS apps coming to MacOS (and vice versa)
At WWDC 2018, Apple software chief Craig Federighi announced new technology that would make it easier for people to take apps developed for iOS and bring them to Macs. In a MacOS update released in September, Apple unveiled new versions of four of its own apps that originated on iOS -- News, Stocks, Voice Memos and Home -- built with that technology. Now, apparently, Apple plans to bring this cross-platform framework to third-party developers.
Reportedly code-named Marzipan, the technology is really for developers, not users. But there would be plenty of implications for the 1.4 billion devices currently running iOS, MacOS, WatchOS or TVOS. In the near-term, at least, it seems we can expect to see more iOS features -- like Siri Shortcuts, Screen Time and iMessage screen effects -- coming to MacOS, according to 9to5Mac.
Marzipan could also hasten a transition on Apple's Mac platform from Intel to iPad-style ARM chips, a long-rumored change that's been reported by Bloomberg and Axios. In addition to creating business efficiencies for Apple, a single ARM-based CPU across iPhones, iPads and Macs would make it even easier for developers to create a single version of their apps.
(John Gruber wrote a detailed and comprehensive analysis of the history, viability and wisdom of Apple's strategy with Marzipan back in 2017.)
Read: Universal apps for Macs and iOS may be on horizon with Apple's 'Marzipan' project
Whither iTunes? Dedicated music, podcast and video apps coming to MacOS
Two veteran programmers, Guilherme Rambo and Steve Troughton-Smith, have discovered evidence suggesting that Apple may unveil new standalone apps for music, podcasts and TV shows in a forthcoming version of MacOS. According to the reports, Apple will keep iTunes around (for now) because it's the only way to sync data between older iPods and iPhones and Macs.
Read more: Apple rumored to split up iTunes in forthcoming MacOS release
A new iPad Pro and MacBook Pro?
Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has made a few predictions about products that could materialize at WWDC. Earlier this year, he suggested that Apple would introduce two new iPad Pros in 2019.
That noted, we already got two new non-Pro iPads in 2019, back in March -- the iPad Air and the iPad Mini. And it hasn't even been a year since the company released its two newest iPad Pros, last October, so we're taking this one with a grain of salt.
Read: New iPad feature to compete with laptops on track for Apple's iOS 13
Kuo has also suggested that Apple will release a new 16-inch MacBook Pro and refresh the 13-inch model with 32 GB of RAM. And he's alleged that Apple is working on a new Mac Pro with "easy to upgrade components" that comes with a 31-inch 6K monitor that's said to have a Mini LED-esque backlight design.
Mouse support coming for iPads?
According to rumors, Apple may be taking another step toward evolving the iPad into a true laptop replacement. Federico Viticci, editor in chief of MacStories, says that the company may build in mouse support for the iPad in a future version of iOS.
Will the 2019 Mac Pro debut at WWDC?
There's no harm in hoping. The company last refreshed its flagship desktop computer in December 2013, and Apple executives have been talking about a followup that's been "coming soon" for years now.
Around this time last year, we heard that a new Mac Pro would arrive in 2019. "We want to be transparent and communicate openly with our pro community so we want them to know that the Mac Pro is a 2019 product. It's not something for this year," Mac hardware product marketing director Tom Boger told TechCrunch in April 2018.
Of course, Apple said something similar back in 2017.
Read: The 2019 Apple Mac Pro has to look backward to move forward
But maybe the company means it this time. After all, the iMac Pro was launched at WWDC in 2017. And if the new Mac Pro doesn't come this June, Apple's next and presumably final opportunity to launch it in 2019 would come in September. That's when it's expected to debut a new iPhone and perhaps some other high-profile hardware -- which might be a less-than-ideal setting to unveil a niche product like the Mac Pro.