Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) has become a major event for developers to meet and learn about the latest in Apple software, APIs, and sometimes hardware. This year's conference has been shrouded in secrecy: There have been no leaks about what's coming out, no leaks on the new operating systems, and very minor details about what we can expect. I predict this secrecy means Apple is going to make a big announcement at WWDC 2017.
Let's take a look at what developers might be able to expect from the event, and how you can tune in to the conference from anywhere, even without a ticket.
SEE: The Macintosh we deserve: How Apple can win back loyalty from professionals (TechRepublic)
What is WWDC?
WWDC is Apple's annual developer conference located in the Bay Area of California. The year's event kicks off on Monday, June 5, 2017 with a keynote address; the keynote is when Apple typically unveils changes to its developer platforms (iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS). Following the keynote, the week is filled with Apple engineers giving details on all of the latest developer changes, hands-on events where Apple engineers help with coding and design issues, and special speakers that usually range from pop stars and musicians to scientists.
SEE: Job description: iOS developer (Tech Pro Research)
When is WWDC 2017?
This year's WWDC will be held at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, CA, which is a change from Apple's typical location of the Moscone Center in San Francisco. The event kicks off on Monday, June 5, 2017 and ends on Friday, June 9, 2017. If you're attending this year's conference, read the Attending page on Apple's WWDC website for the check-in details.
What are the WWDC 2017 sessions?
WWDC sessions are hour-long presentations that cover the technical and implementation details for the new APIs and other developer features revealed at the conference. Apple doesn't pre-announce sessions due to the possibility of spoiling the surprise of new announcements that come from the Monday keynote. I expect Apple will post the session schedule on the WWDC website and in the iOS app after Monday's keynote on June 5th.
What we're expecting and hoping for from WWDC 2017
WWDC is where Apple showcases changes to its operating systems and hardware products. At WWDC 2016 the focus was mainly on the changes surrounding iOS 10; this year, I expect many changes across all of Apple's platforms.
iOS 11 is one of the most anticipated releases of iOS, especially following some of the pro features in iOS 10. We're likely to see Apple expand and open the OS even more through the use of iOS Extensions. We are also expecting to see UI updates and more pro additions to the iPad version of iOS that will highlight it as a creative and pro tool rather than just strictly a consumer device.
The details on macOS 10.13 have been very light leading up to the conference. Here's what I think will be announced about macOS 10.13: changes to the OS that will bring more parity between iOS and macOS; expansion of more iCloud services to the Mac; and more modern developer APIs for the Mac to make iOS developers more comfortable developing for this platform.
tvOS has been fairly stagnant since its release in late 2015, but this year, we're expecting to see new features for the platform, the expansion of iOS APIs to the platform, and a more gaming-oriented focus.
watchOS has matured a lot since its release in early 2015. With watchOS 3, the platform brought a lot of new iOS APIs like iCloud, multimedia playback, rich notifications, and more over from iOS. We're not expecting to see many changes to watchOS until the release of the next version of the Apple Watch, but we do expect to see a bigger health-oriented focus from Apple on the watch.
How to watch WWDC 2017
In previous years, Apple has streamed its events live for the world to see, and we expect they'll do the same this year. There are a few viewing options for watching WWDC 2017.
Watching the WWDC 2017 keynote through the apps
Apple has both an iOS and tvOS app on the App Store; this app lets you watch the keynote live, as well as view upcoming sessions scheduled at the conference. In addition, if you have an older Apple TV (4th generation or lower), an Apple Events app will appear shortly before the Keynote is expected to begin, allowing you to watch the stream on the big screen.
Watching the WWDC 2017 keynote through Apple.com
Apple's website provides a stream that is supported by multiple devices. During the keynote, visit Apple.com, where you'll find a link to the live stream.
Watching the WWDC 2017 sessions
Apple's developer sessions were streamed live for the first time at WWDC 2016, giving non conference goers the ability to watch the sessions live. We expect Apple will do that this year, allowing anyone using the WWDC iOS or tvOS app to tune into the sessions live, or view the recorded sessions the next day after they aired.
Be sure to check out TechRepublic's continuing coverage of WWDC 2017.
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Cory Bohon is an indie developer, creating both iOS and OS X applications at Cocoa App (his own company), MartianCraft, and for various other clients. As a part of full disclosure, he does not write about any software that he has created or has helped to create through these outlets.
Cory Bohon is an indie developer specializing in iOS and OS X development. He runs a software company called Cocoa App and is also a developer at MartianCraft. He was introduced to technology at an early age and has been writing about his favorite technology part-time since 2007. He runs a development blog named ObjDev when he isn’t writing about consumer tech.