This year’s WWDC looks like it is going to be a big one, and rather surprisingly a big one for the Mac, but what should we expect to see…
The major theme of WWDC this year is set to be project Marzipan, which will allow iOS, or more specifically iPad apps, to be recompiled to run natively on macOS.
Apple announced Marzipan, or rather UIKit on the Mac, at WWDC last year, and they have been using it to develop the Home, Reminders, Voice Memo, Stocks and News apps in macOS 10.14.
Logically more of Apple’s own apps make the jump this year, with Reminders and Books being the most obvious candidates. The most interesting side effect of iOS apps coming back to the Mac, will be the start of breaking up iTunes into individual apps, with the Podcast app being the first.
For third party developers I expect it to be as simple as checking a checkbox in Xcode, but for an app to feel truly at home on the Mac, developers will need to add Mac specific touches such as Menu Bar and Touch Bar support. In addition to this, developers will also need to update their app to support this years latest iOS features, in additions to features they may have been neglecting in the past such as Keyboard Shortcuts and Drag and Drop.
Handover support is going to be extend to handing over entire windows between Mac and the iPad, allowing the iPad to essentially act as an extra display for the Mac.
Last year Apple introduced Screen Time to iOS, so it would seem natural to bring this over to macOS this year. It would be useful if Apple allowed app developers to break down app usage further e.g. on a per document basis.
The introduction of Marzipan leads to the logical conclusion that iOS 13 will see the introduction of Dark Mode, using the same implementation as macOS 10.14 has been using for the past year.
In addition to Dark Mode, iOS is also set to get support for multiple windows, which allow you to have multiple documents open in split view. macOS introduced automatic Tab support in macOS 10.3 (based on coalescing windows), so it would be to see this carried over to iOS, as tabs are often more suitable than using split view for quickly switching between documents.
It’s going to be bumper year for Apple’s 2 primary platforms, but with Apple Arcade coming later this year it makes perfect sense for Apple to let developers know how they can get involved and who to talk to during WWDC.
Supporting additional workout types seems like a logical addition to watchOS 6, but it is possible for this to come alongside new hardware later in the year.
Apple Watch apps are set to go independent this year. Until now Apple Watch apps have to be bundle in with their iOS counterpart, but in watchOS 6 they will be available to download, and more importantly buy, directly from the watch.
With the MacBook Pro receiving an update last week, probably to avoid any comments about the lack of a updated keyboard, it still leaves us with the possibility of the unveiling of the new Mac Pro and Cinema Display.
I would expect the Mac Pro to be unveiled at WWDC, and although an ARM transition for the Mac is on the horizon, I would expect this to be an Intel Machine, and the last one to move to ARM at that. The Mac Pro won’t be cheap, I expect the base price to be $2999 and to be available by the end of the year.