‘We’re getting hardware!’ Apple Store goes DOWN ahead of Worldwide Developer Conference – raising hopes the tech giant could launch new products including a MacBook Air
- Apple is holding its annual Worldwide Developer Conference at 6pm BST tonight
- Ahead of the event, the Apple Store has gone down while Apple makes updates
- During the event, Apple is expected to unveil its first pair of smart glasses, alongside iPhone and iPad software updates and a new MacBook Air
The moment that Apple fans have been waiting for is finally almost here, with the tech giant’s annual Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) set to kick off this evening.
Ahead of the event, which will begin at 18:00 BST, the Apple Store has gone down.
Apple fans visiting the website have been greeted with a temporary message, reading: ‘Developing news. We’re making updates to the Apple Store. Check back after the event.’
Thankfully, the site is only likely to be down for a few hours while Apple gets the pre-order pages for its latest products loaded.
During the event, Apple is expected to unveil its first pair of smart glasses, alongside iPhone and iPad software updates and a new MacBook Air.
Ahead of the event, which will begin at 18:00 BST, the Apple Store has gone down. Apple fans visiting the website have been greeted with a temporary message, reading: ‘Developing news. We’re making updates to the Apple Store. Check back after the event’
What will Apple unveil at the event?
Apple traditionally uses WWDC to introduce new versions of the software that powers its most popular devices — the iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad and Mac computers.
But this year there have been suggestions that a range of new products and updates could also be announced:
- Apple Glasses
- iOS 16 / iPadOS 16
- macOS 13
- watchOS 9 / tvOS 16
- MacBook Air
While Apple takes down its Apple Store ahead of its annual iPhone event every September, it usually doesn’t take the site down ahead of WWDC.
This hints that we could be seeing new hardware products unveiled at the event.
Several keen Apple fans have taken to Twitter to discuss the Apple Store outage.
One tweeted: ‘The Apple Store didn’t go down during WWDC 18, WWDC 19, WWDC 20, or WWDC 21 – all the years we got no hardware. WWDC22, the store is down. We’re getting hardware.’
Another added: ‘This is the BIGGEST sign for hardware.’
And one joked: ‘It’s WWDC22 and the Apple Store is down, bye wallet.’
Here’s a look at the key announcements we expect at the event tonight.
The company’s augmented reality (AR) glasses are rumoured to have been in development for years.
In 2020, leaker and technology analyst Jon Prosser claimed to have seen two prototypes of the AR glasses at the company’s premises – one white and one black.
Both models, which were described as ‘clean’ and ‘slick’ in appearance, would be 5G-compatible, Prosser said.
The AR glasses, simply called ‘Apple Glasses’, are allegedly not sunglasses but normal prescription glasses that display an interface on the inside of the lens – not dissimilar to what’s depicted in Apple’s promo image (above).
Wearers would be able to use their gaze to select apps on the AR display, which would be similar to a smartphone homepage, rumours suggest.
Anyone facing an Apple Glasses-wearing user will not be able to see the AR display, which will overlay digital images over the user’s real-life surroundings.
Apple Glasses will have its own operating system called RealityOS.
Meanwhile, a 2019 patent application from Apple suggested the firm was working on technology described as a ‘Display Device’ that uses a ‘reflective holographic combiner’.
Apple could unveil its first pair of smartglasses or an augmented reality headset when the iPhone maker holds its annual developer conference. Pictured is a promo image released by the tech giant last year showing a memoji character that was seen as a reference to AR glasses
Apple has long been rumoured to be developing its own pair of AR glasses. The tech giant filed a patent in 2019 (pictured above) that gives a glimpse into what it may be developing behind closed doors
This holographic technology could more seamlessly blend objects rendered in the headset’s display, increasing the depth-of-field and reducing the resulting eyestrain and nausea often associated with AR and VR, according to the patent.
Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman and Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo have both said a full-scale presentation of an augmented reality (AR) headset at WWDC is unlikely, as it is simply not ready yet.
However, others have suggested that Apple could offer a teaser of the device during its keynote presentation.
Kuo believes that Apple will launch the headset in 2023.
Ahead of the company’s annual Worldwide Developer Conference this evening (Monday), reports from the US suggest Apple could use the event to preview the device for the first time, alongside a new dedicated software platform said to be called RealityOS (stock image)
iPHONE 14 RUMOURS
– Always-on display
– Bigger camera bumps
– Cut-outs instead of a notch
– A16 chipset
– 48MP camera sensor
iOS 16 / iPadOS 16
The main focus of WWDC is usually software.
Apple is expected to announce details of iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 – the next version of the iPhone and iPad operating systems.
New features are rumoured to include an overhauled lock screen, with wallpapers that have ‘widget-like capabilities’, and an updated Messages app with ‘social network-like functionality’.
There has also been speculation that Apple’s forthcoming iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max may feature an always-on display mode for the Lock Screen.
This would see the models constantly displaying glanceable information, such as the time, with battery life preserved by dropping the refresh rate down to as low as 1Hz.
Such a feature would be similar to Android phones that always show basic information – like time and battery level – on a dark screen while conserving power.
The feature is expected to be part of iOS 16, which will power the new iPhone 14 set for release in September.
Meanwhile, iPadOS 16 is expected to feature a redesigned multitasking interface that will make it easier for users to swap between tasks, and make the iPad behave more like a laptop than a smartphone.
iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max – the most expensive of the iPhone 14 models likely due this autumn – will have a square camera bump on the rear measuring 1.44-inch by 1.5 inch (36.73mm by 38.21mm), according to leaked specs
System Preferences on macOS 13 is also understood to have undergone a redesign that will see it more closely resemble the Settings app on the iPhone and iPad.
Apple is also expected to revamp some of the default apps, such as Messages, Mail, Safari, and more. Messages in particular is rumoured to be getting social network-like functionality with enhancements to audio messages.
watchOS 9 / tvOS 16
Apple usually uses WWDC to announce updates to its the software running on Apple Watch and Apple TV.
watchOS 9 is expected to feature an updated power saving mode that will but down on battery usage while using apps and other features, as well as improved health and activity tracking and more workout types.
tvOS 16 is rumoured to include new smart home integrations.
If there are any hardware announcements at WWDC this year, the most likely is the next-generation MacBook Air, which is expected to feature a total design overhaul.
It will be thinner and lighter, measuring around 13.6 inches in size, with a MacBook Pro-like shape that does away with the tapered body, and is expected to come in multiple colours.
It will run on Apple’s next-generation M2 chip, which is expected to feature the same number of computing cores as the M1 (eight), but it will include speed improvements that make it marginally faster.
It is also rumoured to have improved graphics with nine or 10 GPU cores, up from seven or eight in the current M1 MacBook Air.
Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman said Apple had planned to unveil a new MacBook Air with an M2 chip at this year’s WWDC, but this could be delayed because of lockdowns in China that have affected production.
Last month, Apple announced a new range of accessibility tools designed to make its devices easier to use for those with disabilities, an area which could be discussed further during WWDC, as could another recent focus for the company, user privacy.
The conference, which lasts until Friday, begins at 10:00 PT (18:00 BST) today and is being livestreamed on Apple’s website.
The event is set to be opened with a keynote speech by Apple chief executive, Tim Cook.
iPhone 15 could come with a new charging cable
Back in 2012, Apple caused mass hysteria amongst iPhone owners as it switched the original 30-pin charging port to its current Lightning port.
Now, a reliable leaker claims that Apple may be preparing to change the charging point for a second time.
Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claims that Apple will finally ditch the Lightning port for USB-C in its 2023 iPhone, rumoured to be called the iPhone 15.
The leak comes shortly after the EU unveiled plans to force all new smartphones – including iPhones – to use USB-C as standard.
Apple has previously pushed back against calls to switch to USB-C, amid claims it would produce an ‘unprecedented volume of electronic waste’ and stifle innovation.
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