WWDC 2017: Where to Watch, What to Expect

WWDC tends to be a software-focused event, but Apple may be announcing several new devices at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference on June 5. You can watch Apple's live stream of the event when it starts at 1 p.m. Eastern (10 a.m. Pacific) here.

There's a remote possibility we'll get a sneak peek of the iPhone 8, but based on recent reports, there's a much better chance we'll see a revamped a new Siri-powered speaker that will compete against Amazon's legion of Alexa speakers, a revamped 10.5-inch iPad Pro and an update to Apple's MacBook lineup.

Apple CEO Tim Cook will kick off WWDC 2017 on June 5. (Credit: Getty Images)

(Image credit: Apple CEO Tim Cook will kick off WWDC 2017 on June 5. (Credit: Getty Images))

There's also bound to be previews of major updates to iOS, but also macOS, tvOS and more.

Where to Watch and When

The annual conference is Apple's chance to give developers — and the people that buy iPhones, iPads, Macs and smartwatches — an early look at what changes the company is making to its many operating systems.

This year's edition of WWDC will move out of San Francisco, where it's been held the last 14 years, and head down to San Jose, Calif., and the McEnery Convention Center. That venue last hosted WWDC in 2002. You can watch a live stream of the event on Apple's website starting at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT.

While Apple hasn't said what will be on the agenda, here's a preview of what to expect from Monday's WWDC keynote:

Siri Speaker

Apple may be ready to join the likes of Amazon and Google with a voice-controlled speaker. That's according to Bloomberg, which reports that the Siri-powered device is already being assembled, with a chance that Apple will show off the speaker at WWDC to drum up interest among developers. Bloomberg's report follows an earlier research note from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo that outlined Apple's speaker plans.

The focus will be on audio, Bloomberg says, with the device featuring surround sound and potentially sensors that can adjust audio based on a room's acoustics. Expect tie-ins to Apple services like HomeKit and Apple Music as well, and potentially greater integration between Siri and thrid-party apps.

Apple opened up Siri to certain types of apps during last year's WWDC, and Reuters reports that Apple will expand that support beyond the half-dozen categories Siri currently works with. It will still be a far cry from Amazon's more open approach with its Alexa voice assistant, though.

According to a Reddit post allegedly written by three Foxconn employees, the speaker may bear a resemblance to the glossy black Mac Pro, though the leakers hadn't seen the device recently. Apple supposedly tested the device in three designs, and that one form had no camera or screen, suggesting that there are models with one or both. The device ran on a modified version of the A9 chip, the processor that first appeared in the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus.

A New iPad

That same research note from Kuo also claims that there's a greater than 70 percent chance that Apple will unveil a new iPad at this year's show. The iPad will reportedly come with a 10.5-inch screen and support Apple Pencil, meaning it will be of the iPad Pro variety.

According to Kuo, whose comments were earlier reported on by 9to5Mac, the 10.5-inch iPad Pro will sit between the 9.7- and 12.9-inch iPad Pros and will come with an all-new design, featuring slimmer bezels than previous models. That will allow it to pack more screen into the same chassis as a 9.7-inch model. It's unknown right now how much it will cost and when it might be released.

More MacBooks

Seriously, more hardware? 9to5Mac says that's the case, with rumors suggesting that the 12-inch MacBook and MacBook Pro are going to get the latest Kaby Lake processors from Intel. There's even the possibility of the MacBook Air making its triumphant return at WWDC, though that seems a bit of a stretch.

The Reddit-posting Foxconn insiders claimed that the MacBook Air may see daylight in a new form. Specifically, they noted that the line "is discontinued" before adding an edit "At least as we know it; the brand may be recycled." The updated MacBooks may look a lot like iPhones, featuring designs based around "more glass" and dark black bodies.

iOS 11

The past few WWDCs have given audiences a sneak peek at the next version of Apple's operating system for iPhones and iPads, and the 2017 edition of the conference should be no exception. iOS 11 figures to have a prominent part at WWDC, with Apple potentially discussing advances in its AI-powered Siri assistant.

Since the iOS 10 update landed last fall, Google has unveiled its Google Assistant, Amazon's Alexa has gained more skills and Samsung has a personal assistant of its own. Apple will likely want to show off any new tricks Siri has learned that will help it keep pace with this rapidly advancing field.

An Apple Music update could also be a major part of iOS 11, as Apple looks to have its music streaming service showcase video as well, according to a Bloomberg report.

MORE: iPhone 8 Rumors: What to Expect from the 10th Anniversary iPhone

macOS and watchOS

While mobile devices now generate the bulk of Apple's revenue, the Mac remains a key part of Apple's plans. As with iOS, the macOS usually gets extended stage time at WWDC, and we should learn what California landmark Apple will pick as the name for the next version of the OS, along with other features planned for the update. Recent updates have seen macOS and iOS become more integrated, a trend that's likely to continue.

As with Apple's mobile and desktop operating systems, the OS powering its wearable line should get a preview as well. That could give us a hint on what features Apple has planned for the next Apple Watch update. With Apple's smartwatch taking on more of a health and fitness focus, the software update could focus on enhancing those features, with sleep tracking looking like a possible addition after Apple's recent purchase of sleep-tracking app maker Beddit.

MORE: What's Next for the Apple Watch?


The focus could be on hardware here, instead of the platform that runs Apple's set-top box. Bloomberg reports that Apple's next Apple TV will feature 4K support, and WWDC would give the company a venue to show off this rumored product. Still, Apple TV is a pretty consumer-focused product and not the best fit for stage time at a conference that's attended by developers.

iPhone 8?

This year's WWDC takes place in June, around the the 10th anniversary of the first iPhone going on sale. Apple could use the occasion to tease the iPhone 8, but we doubt it. At the very least, its iOS 11 preview could hint at new features we can expect for the phone should Apple stick to a fall release schedule for the iPhone lineup.

The aforementioned Foxconn leakers referred to the next iPhone by the name iPhone X, suggesting Apple may be dropping the 8 and referring to the 10th anniversary of the device.

Look for Tom's Guide to cover all the big announcements at WWDC when the show kicks off on June 5 at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT.

Don Reisinger is CEO and founder of D2 Tech Agency. A communications strategist, consultant, and copywriter, Don has also written for many leading technology and business publications including CNET, Fortune Magazine, The New York Times, Forbes, Computerworld, Digital Trends, TechCrunch and Slashgear. He has also written for Tom's Guide for many years, contributing hundreds of articles on everything from phones to games to streaming and smart home.