Apple WWDC 2017: What to expect

Apple's big developers show is upon us. Here's what we believe is coming at this year's WWDC.

Lynn La Senior Editor / Reviews - Phones
Lynn La covers mobile reviews and news. She previously wrote for The Sacramento Bee, Macworld and The Global Post.
Lynn La
3 min read
James Martin/CNET

Apple's annual WWDC conference kicks off Monday, June 5, and runs through Friday, June 9, in San Jose, California.

In addition to including seminars and workshops between developers and Apple engineers, Apple uses WWDC to unveil primarily software (and sometimes hardware) updates. This year, the keynote begins at 10 a.m. PT, 1 p.m. ET. Here's what we can expect.

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iOS 11

Though the next iPhone 7S, 7S Plus and a rumored 10-year anniversary special edition iPhone will likely be announced later this fall, we'll probably hear updates to the mobile OS itself, iOS 11, at WWDC. The rumor mill is predicting a full-on dark mode for the display; a big focus on Apple's digital software assistant Siri ; updates to the messaging services iMessage and FaceTime; and updates to the digital payment system Apple Pay .

iOS may also be updated to accommodate iPad-specific elements, like it did two years ago when iOS 9 introduced split-screen modes.

MacOS 10.13

Not much is known about Apple's next update for its computer operating system. We do know that Apple dropped the "X" from naming and may continue using California landmarks (the first installment of this motif was with Sierra). And as Apple continues to make its ecosystem more cohesive, we expect MacOS to continue to incorporate even more iOS features. Last year, for example, Sierra introduced auto-login across different Apple devices, Siri desktop integration and Apple Pay for the web.

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WatchOS 4 and TVOS 11

In addition to the iPhone and computers, expect the company to announce software updates to its smartwatch wearable Apple Watch and its set-top box Apple TV .

For Apple Watch, expect a continuing focus on digital health -- perhaps accessories like glucose monitors or sleep tracking (Apple acquired Beddit recently). Maybe this is the year Apple finally announces a long overdue watch face store for the 2-year-old device.

As for Apple TV, we expect an update to the TVOS 11 and support for Vudu and Amazon Video (even though they are essentially full-on competitors to Apple iTunes).

Hardware surprises

WWDC is known mostly as a software event, but Apple has thrown some hardware surprises from time to time (the Mac Pro and iPhone 4, for example, were announced at WWDC events). While we are taking these speculations with a grain of salt, we're still keeping our eyes peeled for:

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How to tune in

The keynote starts next Monday at 10 a.m. PT. Apple will be streaming the keynote from the San Jose McEnery Convention Center. As in years past, you can watch it on any Apple device, as well as on the Edge browser in Windows 10. CNET will be reporting on the ground as well, so check back for news and analysis throughout the show.