1. iOS 13 at Apple WWDC 2019
The iOS 13 beta is poised to be the chief news story out of Apple's WWDC 2019 keynote simply because it affects every iPhone and iPad user in the world.
We fully expect Apple software engineering chief Craig Federighi to talk up the fact that iOS 13 is going to be faster than last year's update. To make the speed increase percentage even more Apple-dramatic, we may see Federighi cite the overall speed increase since iOS 11 (as iOS 12 offered a speed increase, too).
iOS 13 is going to launch the long-rumored Dark Mode, according to the latest leaks. It'll turn your white-and-light-gray UI backgrounds into black-and-dark-gray colors that are infinitely easier on the eyes at night.
Reminders, Health, iMessage, Screen Time Books, and Find My (a combination of Find My iPhone and Find My Friends) will be tweaked in iOS 13, says Bloomberg.
Important for iPad users, we're allegedly going to see a native functionality using the iPad as a secondary display (akin to Duet and Luna Display), a revamped home screen design, stackable app windows for easier multi-tasking and maybe even mouse support. Apple is trying to make the iPad running iOS 13 more like a computer.
We have a full list of changes, a rumored device compatibility list, the expected beta release date schedule in our iOS 13 explainer page.
2. macOS 10.15
We loved macOS 10.14 (aka Mojave) for finally introducing system-wide Dark Mode and additional creative tools, but we haven't heard much at all about macOS 10.15 – which doesn't even have a cool nature-themed codename yet (in keeping with recent releases, it will likely reference a California biome).
We don't know much about what's officially coming, but macOS 10.15 could include iOS features like Siri Shortcuts (and potentially the Shortcuts app), Screen Time, improved Apple ID management and special iMessage effects. We've also seen rumors that iTunes will be split into four different apps: Music, Books, TV, and Podcasts.
There's also the possibility that macOS 10.15 enables Mac users to link up their iPads as secondary displays.
On the other hand, it's also possible that we'll only see incremental improvements, as happened with the move from 10.13 Sierra to 10.14 High Sierra. If that's the case, perhaps we'll see that minimal upgrade in the name – Dry Mojave, maybe?
Apple ruffled feathers when it raised minimum system requirements for macOS Mojave and locked out older machines, so we don't expect those thresholds to change this time around. To be specific: we expect anything newer than a 2015 MacBook, mid-2012 MacBook Pro, any late 2012 MacBook Air/Mac mini/iMac, late 2013 Mac Pro or 2017 iMac Pro to be able to run the next macOS.
Assuming Apple runs its usual schedule, it will introduce macOS 10.15 and release it in late September.
3. watchOS 6
We haven't heard anything about watchOS 6, but we're assuming that update will be announced at WWDC 2019 for owners of the newer Apple Watches. Perhaps it will be the long-awaited sleep tracker feature (Apple did buy sleep tracking company Beddit two years ago), though that's rumored to be coming to Apple's wearables in 2020.
But sources told Bloomberg that Apple plans to sever its wearable's close dependency on iPhone by adding an App Store directly to Watch (and ergo, watchOS). This opens the door to third-party developers (finally!) but Apple reportedly also plans to toss in some basic apps that have been on iOS for years, liek Calculator, Voice Memos, and the ability to send Animoji and Memoji stickers. There will also be two new health apps: one called 'Dose' to monitor pill reminders and the other 'Cycles' to track menstrual cycles.
watchOS 6 will almost certainly be compatible with the latest Apple Watch 4 and previous Apple Watch 3, while support for Apple Watch 2 is likely. We don't have high hopes for the original Apple Watch, however, as it stopped getting updates with watchOS 4.
We expect Apple to follow precedent and launch a watchOS 6 beta shortly after WWDC 2019, then release a final public version in September.
4. tvOS 13
If you thought we hadn't heard much about Apple's other probable software updates, we know even less about tvOS 13, which we expect to be announced at WWDC 2019.
But Apple TV devices will certainly support the company's new streaming services. Apple TV Plus will have exclusive shows from big names like Oprah, Steven Spielberg, Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston and M. Night Shyamalan, and is expected to launch in later 2019. That's around when Apple Arcade is set to launch, which will have a host of games you can play across iOS, macOS and tvOS devices.
At last year's WWDC, Apple mentioned very little about the then-upcoming tvOS 12, which brought Dolby Atmos overhead surround sound, Dolby Vision HDR standard and zero sign-on that auto-filled passwords from your home Wi-Fi network (for US users, at least).
We don't know about any features coming with the supposed tvOS 13, but if it follows precedent, it will arrive in mid-September.
5. Mac Pro...and more
Apple is reportedly considering introducing a new version of the Mac Pro, according to Bloomberg. While we didn't get any details of how the desktop machine might be revamped, but there's plenty to update, given the second and last generation Mac Pro came out in 2013.
This fits last year's news that Apple was aiming for a 2019 release of a wholly revisioned Mac Pro, per a lengthy TechCrunch report. Gone is the 'trash can' design, as the company is allegedly considering a ground-up revision.
Apple is also preparing its own brand of external monitor (going by the codename J290) that will pack HDR support, per Bloomberg. Other rumors suggest a 31.6-inch 6K screen with mini-LED backlighting, according to Pocket Lint.