WWDC 2019 Starts June 3: iOS 13, New macOS and More

Senior Editor

Eager to see what Apple has planned for this year's updates to its assorted operating systems? We now know when Apple will tip its hand about what's coming to iOS, macOS and other platforms in 2019.

Apple today (March 14) set the date for its annual Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC). The week-long get-together for Apple's developers kicks off Monday, June 3 in San Jose, Calif., and runs through June 7.

Much of the focus at WWDC is on the nitty-gritty of Apple's assorted OSes, with developers digging deep into the code for software that runs on iPhones, iPad, Macs, Apple Watches and Apple TV set-top boxes. But the opening day of WWDC is highlighted by a keynote that Apple typically streams, in which the company reveals new features for iOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS.

WWDC tends to be pretty software-focused, but Apple has announced some new hardware at the developers conference in previous years. The 2017 edition of WWDC, for example, previewed Apple's HomePod speaker while also introducing a 10.5-inch iPad Pro, the iMac Pro desktop and updates to the MacBook lineup.

Apple's WWDC 2019 announcement contained no hints as to what's on the agenda for this June's conference, but last year's show introduced some unfinished business the company is sure to follow up on. At WWDC 2018, Apple announced UIKit, a developer tool that lets software makers more easily bring their iOS offerings to the Mac. Work with UIKit is expected to begin in earnest in 2019, so this year's WWDC will likely provide Apple the opportunity to show off some of the progress so far.

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We're almost certain to get a sneak peek at iOS 13, the next version of the operating software for iPhones and iPads. (And if Apple sticks with its strategy from the past several years, a public beta of iOS 13 will arrive a few weeks after WWDC wraps up.) iOS 13 is expected to add a dark mode that makes it easier to see your device screen at night while reducing battery consumption. There's also likely to be many iPad-specific improvements in iOS 13, after last year's iOS 12 largely ignored Apple's tablet.

We know less about macOS 10.15, the successor to last year's Mojave update, other than it's going to be the beneficiary of Apple's efforts to get more iOS apps onto MacBooks and iMacs. Apple reportedly will phase out 32-bit apps with upcoming macOS release.

This year's WWDC will likely also include previews of changes coming to watchOS and tvOS. The Apple Watch update this fall could integrate sleep tracking features into Apple's smartwatch, and if that happens, you'll likely see software updates to support that capability previewed during WWDC.

Apple's putting more emphasis on boosting its services business. Three months before WWDC, Apple will hold a March 25 press event where it's expected to introduce subscription services for both video and news. WWDC could bring more information on how app makers can build offerings that support those newly launched services.

Developers who want to attend WWDC in June can apply for tickets now at Apple's web site; the deadline to apply is next Tuesday (March 20) at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. Apple issues tickets through a lottery and will notify developers if they've been selected next Wednesday (March 21). The event will also be live-streamed on Apple's developer web site and on the WWDC app.