What to Expect at WWDC 2017: Software Updates, Mac Notebook Refresh, New iPad Pro, Siri Speaker Possible

Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference kicks off on Monday morning, with a keynote event that starts at 10:00 a.m. This year's event promises to be exciting, because alongside new versions of iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS, there are also rumors suggesting we're going to see several hardware updates.

New Mac notebooks are likely to be unveiled, and there's apparently a 70 percent chance we'll see the much-rumored 10.5-inch iPad Pro and a 50 percent chance Apple will use the event to introduce its Siri speaker, designed to compete with the Amazon Echo.

Check out the video and list below for an extensive overview of what we expect to see introduced at the event.

Software

iOS 11
We've heard little about iOS 11 ahead of its debut, so many of the features in the newest version of iOS will come as a surprise. iOS 11 is expected to feature a redesigned interface, with the first major system-wide design changes since iOS 7, but what it will look like is up in the air.

Apple has been rumored to be working on some major updates to Siri, and the company has purchased several AI and machine learning startups, so it's possible iOS 11 will introduce expanded Siri capabilities. One feature that's been rumored is Siri integration with additional types of third-party apps, expanding beyond the existing categories of ride booking, messaging, photo search, payments, VoIP calling, and fitness.

ios11
Rumors have suggested the update will include support for group FaceTime calls for the first time, a feature many have wanted for years, and Apple Music head Jimmy Iovine has said iOS 11 is going to include a new version of the Music app that "better showcases video" as Apple prepares to launch its first original Apple Music TV show, Carpool Karaoke.

Because iOS 10 focused so heavily on the iPhone with few iPad-specific features, iOS 11 is rumored to include some iPad-specific updates, such as improved and expanded Apple Pencil support for the iPad Pro that would allow it to work with more apps and better integration between hardware and software.

Some of the features included in iOS 11 might not be fully revealed until September, when Apple's much-rumored "iPhone 8" launches. We've heard rumors suggesting the device could include features like augmented reality, 3D sensing, and facial recognition, all of which would need to be supported by the operating system and would introduce new functionality.

For more information on iOS 11, make sure to check out our iOS 11 roundup.

macOS 10.13
With iOS 11 expected to see some design changes, it's reasonable to expect some of the same tweaks to be introduced in the next version of macOS, maintaining shared design elements across the two operating systems.

Other changes introduced in iOS 11, such as any potential Siri improvements, could also come to the new Mac operating system, and because Apple builds on the integrations between iOS and macOS each year, additional Continuity features and cross-device interactions could be included.

macos1013
Apple introduced Apple File System (APFS) with iOS 10 and macOS Sierra, and while it was implemented on iOS devices, it has yet to come to the Mac. APFS could finally be introduced with macOS 10.13. APFS is optimized for flash/SSD storage and offers features like strong encryption, snapshots for freezing the state of a file system (better for backups), space sharing, and better space efficiency, all of which should result in a more stable platform.

Aside from those guesses, we know little about macOS 10.13, as we've heard no rumors about the upcoming software.

There has been some speculation that Apple could go from macOS 10.12 (Sierra) to macOS 11 because of iOS 11, but references to macOS 10.13 have already been spotted. What macOS 10.13 will be officially named remains a mystery, but Apple is likely to continue its California landmark naming scheme.

Apple is supposedly going to use a name that starts with an "M," and some possibilities include Monterey, Mojave, Mammoth, and Miramar, all landmark names Apple has previously trademarked.

To read more about macOS 10.13, check out our macOS 10.13 roundup.

watchOS 4
Any significant design changes planned for iOS 11 could also bring similar tweaks to watchOS 4, and if there are Siri updates in the works, we can expect expanded Siri functionality in the new version of watchOS as well as in iOS 11.

watchOS 4
New watch faces and perhaps new complications are also safe guesses for features that will be included in watchOS 4, but other functionality remains a mystery because we've heard no rumors on what to expect in the update.

Apple is continually working to improve battery life and make apps more useful on the Apple Watch, so watchOS 4 could introduce those kind of refinements and improvements.

We've heard rumors suggesting Apple could potentially introduce cellular connectivity in a third-generation Apple Watch, a feature that would need to be supported by tweaks to the watchOS operating system.

tvOS 11
If we know little about iOS 11, macOS 10.13, and watchOS 4, we know even less about the next-generation version of tvOS. There have been no rumors or hints giving us an idea of what to expect, and many tvOS features are still in their infancy.

tvOS 11
Single sign-on, Live Tune-In, universal search, and the TV app are still evolving and could see some improvements in the next-generation version of tvOS to make them more useful and cohesive for an improved television-watching experience.

Any new features or expanded capabilities introduced to Apple's personal assistant Siri will likely expand to tvOS, and with Apple Music for iOS rumored to be getting a revamp to better focus on video content, it's safe to expect some of the same changes in tvOS.

Hardware

MacBook Pro
Apple just introduced 13 and 15-inch MacBook Pro models with a Touch Bar and upgraded internals in October of 2016, but rumors suggest refreshed MacBook Pro machines are already set to debut eight months later at the Worldwide Developers Conference.

Refreshed MacBook Pro devices will not include any design changes, but are expected to feature faster, more efficient Kaby Lake chips, introducing processing improvements. New GPUs and other internal spec bumps could also be included in the refresh.

macbookpro
Rumors suggest Apple is working on a high-end MacBook Pro model that will support up to 32GB of RAM, but whether or not that particular machine will be introduced at WWDC remains to be seen as it was originally rumored for late 2017.

For more information on the upcoming MacBook Pro update, make sure to check out our full MacBook Pro roundup.

MacBook
Apple's 12-inch MacBook is expected to see a refresh at WWDC, introducing faster Kaby Lake chips with improved graphics capabilities and improvements to app switching and battery life.

12 inch MacBook Rose Gold color
Next-generation MacBooks could also include support for up to 16GB of RAM, up from 8GB in current machines, but no external design changes are expected.

For more information on the upcoming MacBook update, make sure to check out our full MacBook roundup.

MacBook Air
Along with new MacBook Pro and MacBook models, Apple is said to be considering announcing a MacBook Air refresh, with new machines that include updated processors.

The MacBook Air was last updated in 2015 and continues to use a previous-generation Broadwell chip. If Apple does go ahead with a refresh, a new machine could use Skylake or Kaby Lake processors, making it viable for several years to come.

macbook air 2015 elcap roundup header
An updated chip for the MacBook Air isn't a sure thing, but if new chips are introduced, it will likely be the only MacBook Air upgrade. External changes like a new display or a new body are not expected as Apple's low-cost notebook has largely been replaced by the MacBook and the MacBook Pro. It does, however, hold a valuable position in the Mac lineup as Apple's most affordable notebook.

For more on the MacBook Air rumors, check out our full MacBook Air roundup.

Siri Speaker
Apple has been quietly working on a Siri speaker to compete with the Amazon Echo and the Google Home, and the device, which is already in production, could be unveiled at the Worldwide Developers Conference.

Apple's Siri speaker will serve as a hub for its services, including Apple Music and HomeKit. To differentiate it from competing products, Apple is said to be focusing on superior sound quality with virtual surround sound technology that's able to "reproduce sound more crisply" than the Echo or the Home.

Rumors have suggested it could include sensors that would allow it to measure a room's acoustics and adjust audio levels automatically during use, and it could also include a camera and facial recognition capabilities so it is able to tell between different members of a family.

siri smart speaker

A Siri speaker mockup with a "Mac Pro-like" concave design (Image via iFunnyVlogger)

Some rumors initially suggested the speaker might have a touch panel, but later information clarifies that it will not include a full display. Design wise, the speaker may feature a Mac Pro-like concave top with built-in controls and a "fat" body covered in speaker mesh. Like the Amazon Echo and the Google Home, the Siri speaker is likely to support third-party services and apps, allowing it to perform a wide range of tasks.

If Apple does debut the Siri speaker at WWDC, it won't launch immediately - it's not expected to go on sale until later in the year, perhaps in the fall alongside the rumored "iPhone 8." If Apple is planning to allow third-party developers to create speaker integrations, an introduction at WWDC ahead of a later launch makes sense.

For additional detail on the Siri speaker, make sure to check out our full Siri Smart Speaker roundup.

iPad Pro
Apple is rumored to have a 10.5-inch iPad Pro in the works, and it could finally make an appearance at WWDC. The new iPad Pro is said to have a body that's similar in size to the 9.7-inch iPad, but with a larger ~10.5 inch display, made possible through thinner top and side bezels. As seen in the mockup below, said to be based on current iPad Pro rumors, alleged design drawings, and dummy models, the new iPad could potentially be slightly larger than the existing 9.7-inch device.

iPad Pro rumors have largely focused on the new display, but an upgraded model is also likely to feature an upgraded processor, improved cameras, True Tone flash, quad speakers, and a True Tone display, with some of these features being adopted from the previous 9.7-inch iPad Pro.

Apple may also be planning to introduce a new 12.9-inch iPad Pro with updated internal components, but we've heard little about it with most of the spotlight on the new 10.5-inch model.

For more on the upcoming iPad Pro refresh, make sure to check out our full iPad Pro roundup.

What's Not Expected

Many of Apple's desktop Macs, including the iMac and the Mac mini, are in need of updates, but we've heard no rumors suggesting a refresh is imminent. Apple executives have said new iMacs, including high-end pro-level models, are in the works, but it's not clear when those machines will launch.

WWDC Coverage

MacRumors plans to provide live coverage of Apple's keynote event here on MacRumors.com and through the MacRumorsLive Twitter account for those who are unable to watch Apple's livestream.

Following the keynote, we will also have ongoing coverage of all of the announcements and everything that's discovered over the course of the week.

Top Rated Comments

jdillings Avatar
46 months ago
What to Expect at WWDC 2017? Disappointment.
Score: 75 Votes (Like | Disagree)
RealKrS Avatar
46 months ago
The fact that I don't give a crap about the WWDC 17 is making me sad and upset. I miss how it used to make me feel, the anticipation, and excitement, knowing that it was approaching...
Score: 41 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AppleFan91 Avatar
46 months ago
It is kinda crazy how very little has leaked about iOS 11 so far. Usually there's a fair amount of stuff this close to WWDC that's been leaked. At this point, it feels that with everything set to be shown, iOS 11 may be taking a backseat, especially if a lot of it can't be revealed until the new iPhones. Either that or we are in for a lot of surprises on Monday from iOS 11.
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Bawstun Avatar
46 months ago
Lol @ redesigning the music app to bring more focus to video.

LMAO!!!!
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Relentless Power Avatar
46 months ago

What to Expect at WWDC 2017? Disappointment.

You mean disappointment.... for you. Not everybody has that mindset or negativity that needs to entail following WWDC. Others look forward to seeing what new OS will bring to Apples lineup. And more so, it's not just a about Apple, as much as it is the developers. And if any hardware does launch and is announced, it's merely a bonus.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Rogifan Avatar
46 months ago
I'm looking forward to Monday because there is very little we know especially on the software side. No leaked screen shots of anything.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

apple top apps games 2020

Apple Shares Top 20 Most Downloaded Games and Apps of 2020

Tuesday December 1, 2020 9:38 pm PST by
Alongside picks for the top iPhone, iPad, and Mac apps and games of the year, Apple today shared charts featuring the Top Games of 2020 and the Top Apps of 2020, revealing the most popular free and paid apps and games during the year. Among Us! was the top free game of 2020, followed by Call of Duty: Mobile, Roblox, and Subway Surfers. Ink Inc. Tattoo Drawing was the number four free app,...
m1 chip macbook air pro

Developer Delves Into Reasons Why Apple's M1 Chip is So Fast

Monday November 30, 2020 1:57 pm PST by
Apple's M1 chip is the fastest chip that Apple has ever released in a Mac based on single-core CPU benchmark scores, and it beats out many high-end Intel Macs when it comes to multi-core performance. Developer Erik Engheim recently shared a deep dive into the M1 chip, exploring the reasons why Apple's new processor is so much faster than the Intel chips that it replaces. First and foremost,...
iphone8guide b

iOS 14.2 Quietly Added FaceTime 1080p Support to iPhone 8 and Later Models

Wednesday December 2, 2020 3:21 am PST by
Back in early November, Apple released iOS 14.2 and announced with it a slew of new features for iPhones, but one thing it didn't mention was the apparent addition of support for 1080p FaceTime calls on iPhone 8 and later devices. The little-known fact was discovered by MacMagazine, which found that Apple quietly updated the specs pages for devices like iPhone XR shortly after the release of ...
apple briefcase

AppleCare Memo Hints at Potential Hardware Announcement Next Tuesday

Thursday December 3, 2020 9:12 am PST by
Following a busy fall season in which Apple hosted three events in as many months, the company may have one more product announcement in store this year. In an internal memo this week, obtained by MacRumors from a reliable source, Apple informed service providers that it has AppleCare-related changes planned for Tuesday, December 8 at approximately 5:30 a.m. Pacific Time. Specifically, Apple ...
best apps of 2020

Wakeout! Named Apple's Best App of 2020, While Zoom Earns the Title for Best iPad App

Tuesday December 1, 2020 9:26 pm PST by
Apple today shared its App Store Best of 2020 winners, highlighting its picks for the top iOS, iPadOS, and macOS apps and games released over the course of the year. Apple's iPhone App of the Year award went to Wakeout!, which is a family friendly exercise and movement app that encourages people to complete easy exercises while at home. Apple's iPad App of the Year was Zoom, which soared in...
16 inch MBP Mini Led

Kuo: Two Redesigned MacBook Pros in 2021 and New MacBook Air in 2022, All With Apple Silicon and Mini-LED Displays

Wednesday December 2, 2020 5:46 am PST by
Apple plans to release two redesigned MacBook Pros in 2021 and a new MacBook Air in 2022, all with mini-LED displays and Apple Silicon chips, according to TFI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In a research note to investors, seen by MacRumors, Kuo explained that two new MacBook Pro models equipped with an all-new form factor design are expected to launch in 2021, and a new "affordable"...
iOS 14

Apple Releases Third Betas of iOS 14.3 and iPadOS 14.3 to Developers [Update: Public Beta Available]

Wednesday December 2, 2020 10:04 am PST by
Apple today seeded the third betas of upcoming iOS 14.3 and iPadOS 14.3 updates to developers for testing purposes, two weeks after releasing the second betas and a month after the launch of iOS and iPadOS 14.2. iOS and iPadOS 14.3 can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center or over the air after the proper developer profile has been installed. The iOS 14.3 update brings the...
homepod mini amazon echo size

$99 Speaker Showdown: HomePod Mini vs. Amazon Echo and Google Nest Audio

Wednesday December 2, 2020 3:12 pm PST by
Apple recently released the HomePod mini, a new $99 version of the original HomePod that's smaller, cuter, and, most importantly, competitively priced. At $99, the HomePod mini can better compete with affordable smart speakers from companies like Google and Amazon. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. The HomePod mini has been praised for its high-quality sound at its...
Mac Mini 2018

Apple Developers Now Able to Natively Run macOS Within AWS With Amazon EC2 Mac Instances

Monday November 30, 2020 9:01 pm PST by
As AWS re:Invent kicks off, Amazon Web Services today announced new Mac instances for Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud, allowing AWS customers to run on-demand macOS workloads in the AWS cloud for the first time. Amazon says that the new feature extends the flexibility, scalability, and cost benefits of AWS to all Apple developers as those creating apps for iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, Apple...
magsafe duo charger

MagSafe Duo Charger for iPhone 12 and Apple Watch Now Available for Purchase

Tuesday December 1, 2020 4:15 pm PST by
Apple today began selling the MagSafe Duo Charger that was announced alongside the new iPhone 12 models back in October. Priced at $129, the MagSafe Duo offers a MagSafe charging puck for the iPhone 12, 12 Pro, 12 Pro Max, and 12 mini, along with an Apple Watch charger. Though the accessory was announced in October and was listed as coming soon, it was not clear when it would launch. Orders...