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Is WWDC 2018 going to be boring?

Published May 22nd, 2018 12:49PM EDT
WWDC 2018

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WWDC 2018 is just about two weeks away and the hype and excitement surrounding the event is practically non-existent. In fact, news regarding WWDC this year has been so limited that you may have even forgotten that Apple’s annual developers conference is set to kick off on June 4.

Put simply, the lead-up to WWDC 2018 has been uncharacteristically quiet and devoid of any interesting news. This of course stands in stark contrast to previous WWDC events where we’re typically bombarded — during the preceding weeks — with an endless stream of rumors regarding new software features and intriguing new hardware. May is typically one of the more exciting months in the Apple news cycle but that’s simply not the case this year.

This all begs the question: Is WWDC 2018 going to be somewhat boring? Either Apple all of a sudden got really good at keeping software and hardware leaks at bay or, perhaps, there simply isn’t much to leak this year. Though it’s possible Apple may have a few tricks up its sleeve, I’m inclined to believe that Apple simply doesn’t have any earth-shattering announcements to make at this years conference.

While iOS is typically the main event at WWDC, Apple’s iOS update this year will reportedly be rather narrow in scope relative to previous releases. Specifically, there have been reports that many of the more ambitious iOS 12 features have been pushed back a year in an effort to improve overall system stability and reliability. In effect, iOS 12 may be akin to a Snow Leopard release insofar that it may be short on outward facing feature and will instead introduce a number of under-the-hood improvements.

According to a Bloomberg report from earlier this year, some of the planned iOS 12 features that have since been pushed back to iOS 13 include “a redesigned home screen app grid, a multiplayer mode for augmented reality games, and a merger of the third-party applications running on iPhones and Macs.” Subsequent reports have indicated that the aforementioned iOS home screen revamp will primarily be iPad-centric.

iOS aside, we can certainly expect to see new iterations of watchOS, macOS, and tvOS. Still, there haven’t been any interesting tidbits regarding any exciting new features across any of those platforms.

There’s also a possibility we may see some hardware updates and announcements at WWDC 2018. Recall that Apple at last year’s WWDC event introduced the HomePod, the iMac Pro, refreshed notebooks, and the 10.5-inch iPad Pro. Is it possible that Apple has some hardware updates to unveil this year? Certainly, but nothing quite moves the needle like a compelling new iOS update jam-packed with a ton of new features. Even if Apple introduces the iPhone SE 2, the device itself is a niche product that will only excite a small group of users.

We still have 14 days before WWDC 2018 kicks off, so it will be interesting to see what rumors, if any, emerge over the next two weeks.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.