An exciting assortment of Apple rumors surfaces each week and offers a glimpse into the current state of speculation about upcoming iPhones, new iPads, and the next updates for Apple’s operating systems. This week, we learned plenty about iOS 10, macOS Sierra, and the future of Siri at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, but there were also new rumors and reports about Apple’s plans for its next iPhones and Macs, the second-generation Apple Watch, and iOS 10. Read on to catch up on this week’s most exciting Apple rumors.
1. Apple will likely be busy with hardware for the remainder of 2016
Joe Rossignol reports for MacRumors that a hardware-free Worldwide Developers Conference means that Apple is likely going to unveil a lot of hardware in the second half of 2016. The WWDC keynote brought news of iOS 10, macOS Sierra, tvOS 10, and watchOS 3. So later this year, Apple is likely to unveil new MacBooks.
Apple last updated the 13-inch MacBook Pro in March 2015 and the 15-inch MacBook Pro in May 2015. KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo thinks that Apple will unveil a new 13-inch MacBook in the June to September quarter, and two 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro models in the September to December quarter. The MacBook Pro is expected to be thinner and lighter than its predecessor, with Touch ID, a new OLED touch bar above the keyboard, USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 3, and Intel Skylake processors. A consensus hasn’t formed around Kuo’s timing, and the reporting of multiple launch dates could imply a staggered launch for the company’s 2016 Macs.
Apple could launch the Apple Watch 2 alongside the iPhone 7 this September. The second-generation Apple Watch is expected to feature spec improvements, much like an “S” model iPhone, and could get a FaceTime video camera, expanded Wi-Fi capabilities, or cellular connectivity. The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are expected to feature an iPhone 6s-like design without the traditional headphone jack, plus a faster A10 processor, waterproofing, repositioned antenna bands, and faster LTE and Wi-Fi. The addition of a Smart Connector, stereo speakers, and a touch-sensitive Home button have also been rumored.
2. There are plenty of upcoming iOS features and Apple products that didn’t appear at WWDC
Christian de Looper reports for Digital Trends that while Apple talked about many major new iOS features at WWDC, there were plenty more that didn’t make it into the keynote, or were only mentioned fleetingly. Some of the features you can look forward to? The ability to delete stock iOS apps (more on that in a few pages), the ability to shoot and edit RAW images, a new bedtime and wake feature, storage optimization, Live Photos stabilization, a toll avoidance option in Maps, the deletion of Game Center, unlimited Safari tabs, collaboration features for Notes, and a conversation view in Mail.
Additionally, Matt Swider reports for TechRadar that there are some rumored Apple products that didn’t make an appearance at WWDC, but may still be on their way. There’s reason to believe that Apple is planning a Siri speaker to compete with the Amazon Echo and Google Home, a second-generation Apple Watch, the 2016 MacBook Pro, a redesign for iTunes, and iOS features for power users.
3. Apple seems to be gearing up for the launch of the Apple Watch 2
Apple Insider reports that Apple and its suppliers have “aggressive” plans for the launch of the second-generation Apple Watch. A report from DigiTimes indicates that Apple has ordered more units than expected, and with the current pace of orders, suppliers think Apple could be planning to ship as many as 2 million units each month. The company is reportedly buying chips and other components for the second-generation watch, and shipments are expected to begin in the third quarter of the year.
If that timeline is accurate, that means that the Apple Watch 2 would be on track to launch in the fall, about a year and a half after the first-generation model launched. Apple Insider notes that DigiTimes has an inconsistent track record of predicting Apple’s future product plans, but the publication does have sources within the company’s supply chain, which get word of component orders.
4. In iOS 10, you’ll finally be able to delete unwanted stock apps
Buster Hein reports for Cult of Mac that iOS 10 will finally let users delete stock apps that they don’t want. Apple didn’t announce that long-awaited change during its WWDC keynote, but developers who have installed the first beta build of iOS 10 have discovered that the operating system enables users to delete the following stock apps: Calculator, Calendar, Compass, Contacts, FaceTime, iTunes Store, Mail, Maps, Music, Notes, Podcasts, Reminders, Stocks, Tips, Videos, Voice Memos, Watch, and Weather.
Luke Dormehl reports for the publication, however, that the feature won’t actually delete the apps in question. During an appearance on John Gruber’s podcast “The Talk Show,” Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, explained that the deletion feature won’t actually remove the apps from your iPhone or iPad. The software binaries remain a part of iOS, and the apps will remain on the devices as part of the signed package that Apple uses to guarantee authenticity. Dormehl explains, “Apple’s not letting you delete bloatware (which, it should be noted, Apple’s much better at keeping at a minimum compared to some rival — *cough* Samsung *cough* — companies), but just letting you hide it.”
5. iOS 10 may include a Dark Mode
Roger Fingas reports for Apple Insider that Apple’s first iOS 10 beta offers a Dark Mode. A developer discovered that the iOS 10 version of Messages contains a hidden “dark mode” option, which seems to corroborate hints that the operating system will support such a feature system-wide, or at least in other iOS apps beyond ones like iBooks. There appears to be a way to turn on the setting in Messages when running an iOS 10 simulation on a Mac according to a tweet from developer Andrew Wiik.
Wiik reports that he doesn’t think that Apple is finished working on the feature, though in its current state, it’s “app wide.” Some iOS users have observed that asking Siri to turn on “dark mode” resulted in the assistant replying that she’s “not able to change that setting” instead of offering a more generic response. If Apple implements a Dark Mode feature in Messages or elsewhere in iOS 10, Fingas expects that the company will activate it in later betas, like it did with Night Shift in iOS 9.3.
6. The iPhone 7 may have a touch-sensitive home button instead of a physical home button
Killian Bell reports for Cult of Mac that the iPhone 7 could have a touch-sensitive home button instead of a physical one. While the physical home button is easy to use, has multiple functions, and can’t be pressed accidentally when you’re using the device in landscape mode, it’s still a component that can fail (and is pricey to repair if your iPhone is out of warranty). Switching to a capacitive button would enable Apple to make the component water-resistant more easily.
According to the latest iPhone 7 leak, the button will become part of the iPhone’s cover glass. It will reportedly still contain a Touch ID sensor for fingerprint sensor, and will still be surrounded by a ring. However, that ring isn’t expected to be made of metal. The button is expected to continue to offer a variety of different functions, including the ability to tap and hold for Siri, or double-tap for multitasking. However, it’s difficult to confirm if the leak shows a genuine component.