iPhone is passe: Apple to reveal its next generation of devices, software

Topics Apple  | Apple Inc

Apple’s developer conference beginning Monday will move the company closer to a future in which the iPhone is no longer the central cog for other products and services. Chief Executive Tim Cook and other leaders will make a keynote presentation at the Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose. They will showcase Apple’s new generation of devices and software: Watches that are more independent, iPads that reduce need for laptops, apps that run on any Apple device, according to people familiar with the plans.


While the developer conference is software-focused, the company often sprinkles new hardware announcements in at the event. This year, Apple won’t show off a new Apple Watch or iPhone hardware until the fall, but has considered previewing the new Mac Pro at the conference.


Watch Independence


When Apple launched the Watch in 2015, it was positioned as the next major product after the iPhone. But sales haven’t reached iPhone levels and the Watch still relies on the handset. After adding cellular connectivity support to the device two years ago, the company will use its next software update, watchOS 6, to further break it free from the iPhone by adding an on-board App Store, new apps like a calculator and voice recorder, and new messaging features.


iPad as PC Replacement


Apple has pushed the iPad as a laptop replacement for years. But many pro users have noted that while the hardware is capable enough, the software is still behind. WWDC will reveal new efforts to bridge that gap. The company plans enhancements to the home screen and new features around using multiple apps at once to help the iPad satisfy more of your computing needs.


Unified App Strategy


Developers will get new tools to build iOS apps for Mac laptops and desktop computers, essentially unifying Apple’s app ecosystem. This follows last year’s rollout of iPad versions of Apple’s News, Voice Memos, Home, and Stocks apps on the Mac. The expectation is that single versions of all apps will eventually be able to run on every Apple device. As part of the shift, more underlying technologies will also merge.

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