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WWDC to be hardware-free with new MacBooks, iPad Pro coming later this year

APPLE WON’T SHOW OFF any new hardware at its Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) next week, and will instead focus on, er, tackling iPhone addiction. 

So says Bloomberg, which reports that despite earlier rumours to the contrary, Apple’s incoming MacBook upgrades – which includes a new MacBook Pro, new 12in MacBook and a ‘cheap’ MacBook Air successor – won’t debut at WWDC on Monday, and will instead be shown off later in the year.

The report, citing people familiar with the plans, claims that a refreshed iPad Pro line with Face ID will also arrive towards the end of the year, alongside a duo of new Apple Watch devices that will “keep the overall size of the current models, but include slightly larger edge-to-edge screens.”

With no hardware announcements planned for next week, Apple will instead focus on addressing recent concerns with device addiction, Bloomberg claims, after the firm was called out earlier this year for the “harmful effect” that its iPhones are having on young people. This will take the form of ‘Digital Health’, a collection of settings and usage monitoring tools that will debut in iOS 12 to help iDevice users monitor specific app usage. 

This sees Apple following in the footsteps of rival Google, which last month announced a new usage dashboard for Android P that will show users information such as many minutes they’ve spent on each app and how many times they’ve unlocked their smartphone.

Bloomberg notes that Apple’s long-promised parental controls will likely be tied into iOS 12’s Digital Health feature, too. 

Augmented reality (AR) will also to play a big part in Apple’s WWDC keynote next week. The firm is expected to show off ‘ARKit 2.0’, an upgraded version of its developer platform that will enable multiplayer gaming through its ability to save and share the locations of both users and augmented reality objects. 

The report notes that these features will arrive as a “prelude” of what’s to come from an Apple AR headset planned for as early as 2020.

Asides from Digital Health and ARKit upgrades, Bloomberg backs up earlier reports that iOS 12 will be more muted than previous iOS releases. Other new features expected include tools for snoozing notifications, tracking the stock market, making video calls, and sending Animojis.

Naturally, macOS will also be getting a refresh at WWDC. We don’t yet know much about the update, likely to arrive as macOS 10.14, but Bloomberg notes that the focus will be on integrating the software more deeply with iOS.

Earlier this year, reports claimed that Apple’s incoming iOS and macOS releases will make it possible for a single third-party app to work across iPhones, iPads and Mac computers.  

We’ll, naturally, be covering WWDC as it happens on Monday, so check back then for all of the latest. µ

Source : Inquirer

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