WWDC 2018 Keynote - What to expect and how to watch it

iOS 12! WatchOS 5! New hardware?

WWDC 2018 Keynote - What to expect and how to watch it

Every year at around this time, Apple holds its Worldwide Developers Conference (or WWDC for short). This year's week-long event will kick off with a keynote address at 10am PST / 6pm GMT on June 4. That's today!

Don't expect to hear anything about the next iPhone - at least from a hardware perspective. That's for another time. If anything, WWDC is more important, as it offers a much more comprehensive overview of where Apple is at right now.

As the name suggests, WWDC is an event where Apple talks about its latest software efforts - most notably iOS. But it also throws in some hardware from time to time.

It's been eerily quiet on the WWDC rumour front this year, which either means that it's not going to be a particularly big one, or that Apple has had some success with its clam-down on leaks. We're hoping it's the latter.

Here's what we're expecting to see from the WWDC 2018 keynote address, which you can watch live on the Apple website.

iOS 12

You can guarantee that Apple will run through its new smartphone and tablet OS at WWDC. As this OS will debut with the next iPhone, this headline segment is always worth monitoring for clues.

Reports suggest that iOS 12 won't be a massive leap forward for iPhone software. Indeed, internet rumour suggests that Apple is delaying some of its bigger iOS plans until 2019 in order to concentrate on tightening up and improving performance.

As anyone who's been using iOS 11 for the past nine months will attest to, that's probably a good thing.

It's not all dull news though - especially for mobile gamers. According to some, iOS 12 will introduce new augmented reality features such as the ability for multiple players to play games within a shared AR space.

Apple could also follow Google's lead and introduce ways to minimise your screen time. Yes, somewhat counterintuitively, Apple's big iOS 12 push could involve making you use its products less.

It also seems likely that Apple will introduce some new gesture-based commands into its operating system after the launch of the buttonless iPhone X late last year.


We sometimes get news of fresh iPad hardware at WWDC. Just last year, Apple announced the new 10.5-inch iPad Pro.

Alas, we're not expecting anything of the sort at WWDC 2018. Apple is said to be working on new iPad Pro hardware, potentially with Face ID integration, but people don't seem to be expecting that until later in the year.


Apple's personal assistant has fallen way behind its rivals over the years. Amazon and Google both have much better alternatives.

We wouldn't be surprised if Apple hits back with some major improvements this year, and WWDC would be the natural time place to signal its plans - even if it's nowhere near ready for public consumption.

It's not just about Siri on iPhone and iPad now, of course. Apple's assistant is on Mac now, and also Apple's own expensive speaker. Make no mistake, Apple is all-in with talking to your devices. Now it just needs to teach Siri some more useful things to say back.

There have been signs that Apple is doing just that over the past year, with a shift in development priority and the hiring of Google's former AI chief.

WatchOS 5

The Apple Watch is a weird one, isn't it? There's the general sense that it hasn't really been the breakout hit that Apple had expected, and yet anecdotally it seems as if they're everywhere.

We're far from convinced as to its pocket gaming potential (the Watch app scene is hardly thriving). Still, expect to hear something about watchOS 5, the next iteration of the Apple Watch operating system.

Some corners of the internet reckon that Apple could be enabling third party app push notifications and content streaming over a mobile network without the presence of an iPhone. Spotify could be the big app used to highlight this feature.

New Macs

As we've already said, WWDC is all about the software. However, some hardware stuff sneaks in from time to time. This year that could well include a MacBook range refresh.

Don't expect anything major if this does make the cut, as the teeny-tiny MacBook and the current MacBook Pro models aren't that old. A bump to Intel's eighth-generation processors is on the cards, and there is also talk of a new take on the faithful old MacBook Air.

Jon Mundy
Jon Mundy
Jon is a consummate expert in adventure, action, and sports games. Which is just as well, as in real life he's timid, lazy, and unfit. It's amazing how these things even themselves out.