Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference is always chock full of announcements. We're guaranteed to see previews of the next versions of iOS and OS X — after all, that's why developers flock to San Francisco for the event. But this year, substantiated rumors are swirling around a new streaming music service, a refreshed Apple TV, and truly game-changing new iOS features.
And now that Apple Watch is finally here, we might even catch a glimpse of the future of Apple's most personal device.
Here are the five big reveals we expect at WWDC, which kicks off June 8 at 10 a.m. Pacific.
Apple TV overhaul
Take a minute to stare at the WWDC invite Apple sent out. Read the tagline: "The epicenter of change." The white text sits atop a square with rounded corners, a shape that resembles the Apple TV.
Apple TV owners have long said the set-top box has the potential to be far more than just another way to stream TV, and reports indicate that Apple has plans to turn Apple TV into a true hub for your home. The company added HomeKit support to Apple TV with iOS 8.1, but hasn't actually announced anything on that front yet. If Apple TV does become a HomeKit hub, then expect Siri to play an important role in the refreshed device. You can already control your HomeKit accessories, the first of which went on sale this week, with your voice, so it makes perfect sense for Siri to become an integral part of Apple TV.
Apple was reportedly prepping a live streaming TV service to launch alongside the thinner, smaller Apple TV this month, but it sounds like the service won't be ready in time due to troubles getting local progamming locked down. But even if Apple needs more time to nail the streaming part, expect the company to finally revamp Apple TV, add Siri integration at long last, allow developers to create TV apps, and perhaps even touch up the remote control. Hey, anything is possible. (Except a big screen with an Apple logo.)
Beats by Apple
More than a year after Apple bought Beats Electronics for $3 billion, baffling most everyone in the tech industry, the reason behind that decision will finally become clear. It'll take the form of a music streaming service that might do for the music industry now what iTunes and the iPod did in the early 2000s.
Numerous reports have outlined what we can expect from the overhauled Beats Music: a $10-a-month on-demand streaming service with a side of free, ad-supported radio stations curated by celebrities like Drake and Pharrell Williams. Only 15 million people pay for Spotify's similarly priced streaming service, but Apple has 110 million iTunes customers who happily spend money on music. It's unclear if those customers will be easily converted into streaming subscribers, but if any company can change the digital music game all over again, it's Apple.
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