As things slowly get back to normal, Apple's annual World Wide Developers Conference is taking virtual place this week in its traditional early-June slot. As always, Apple kicks off WWDC with their big keynote event, which though aimed first and foremost at developers, is also used as a venue to announce new products and ecosystem strategies. The keynote starts at 10am Pacific (17:00 UTC) today, and AnandTech will be offering live blog coverage of Apple's event.

A rapid-fire, two-hour run through Apple's ecosystem, WWDC keynotes cover everything from macOS and iOS to individual Apple applications and more. On the hardware side of matters, last year we saw the official announcement of Apple's shift from x86 processors to Arm processors for their venerable Mac lineup of computers, and while it's unlikely Apple is going to have anything to top that for WWDC21, the company is not even half-way through its transition to Arm SoCs. So this year's WWDC gives Apple ample opportunity to reflect on the Arm transition thus far, as well as what's coming next for the company's more powerful Macs.

12:57PM EDT - Welcome to AnandTech and to another year of Apple's World Wide Developers Conference

12:58PM EDT - Joining me this morning is our resident Apple Silicon guru, Andrei Frumusanu

12:59PM EDT - Apple's event is once again virtual this year, and based on prior Apple events I'm expecting it to move extremely quickly. With no need to take time to pause for applause and gaffs, Apple's speakers can move at a rapid rate

01:00PM EDT - So I expect Apple will fill this presentation with as much as possible

01:00PM EDT - And hopefully (for us), some hardware news!

01:00PM EDT - And here we go

01:01PM EDT - Starting with a typical Apple-style opening video

01:02PM EDT - Apple's gone meta this year - a video about what the Apple WWDC video should be

01:03PM EDT - Tim and Craig as rockstars? Sure, why not?

01:04PM EDT - And now on (virtual) stage: Tim Cook

01:04PM EDT - Last year's WWDC was the most watched ever, with 25mil viewers

01:05PM EDT - This year's event offers more than 200 sessions, labs with Apple engineers, and more

01:05PM EDT - All for free

01:06PM EDT - (I wonder if Apple will ever go back to charging?)

01:06PM EDT - With Craig on stage

01:06PM EDT - iOS 15

01:07PM EDT - First subject: Facetime

01:07PM EDT - Which has seen particular importance in the past year given the pandemic and associated lockdowns

01:07PM EDT - Apple is looking to make Facetime calls more natural and lifelike

01:08PM EDT - Spatial audio is coming to Facetime to make them sound more like they're in the room

01:08PM EDT - Voice isolation is being added as well

01:08PM EDT - Using machine learning to isolate the user's voice (i.e. filter out background noise)

01:09PM EDT - Also offers a "wide spectrum" mode to pick up everything as it is now

01:09PM EDT - Portrait mode is being added to Facetime

01:09PM EDT - Blur the background (ala a lot of today's video conferencing apps)

01:10PM EDT - Facetime links: generate URLs to join Facetime calls

01:10PM EDT - URLs work on Android?!

01:10PM EDT - It sounds like Apple is adding a web version of Facetime?

01:11PM EDT - SharePlay: add audio/video playback and screen sharing to Facetime

01:11PM EDT - (Apple's half-way to turning Facetime into a video conferencing app, it would seem)

01:12PM EDT - Picture-in-picture-in-picture

01:13PM EDT - SharePlay will have an API to allow devs to integrate their apps into Facetime so that more than just Apple AV services can be shared

01:13PM EDT - Screen sharing works across Apple devices

01:14PM EDT - Now on to Messages

01:14PM EDT - Now on stage: Mindy Borovsky

01:14PM EDT - Demoing messages

01:15PM EDT - "Shared with you": articles linked via Messages are collated into Apple News

01:16PM EDT - There are shared with you sections in other apps as well, including Music and Photos, collating music and photos from Messages respectively

01:16PM EDT - And that's Messages

01:17PM EDT - Now on to the subject of focusing

01:17PM EDT - Notifications are being revised

01:18PM EDT - Introducing "Notification Summary"

01:18PM EDT - Intelligent collation of notifications from apps to try to deliver the most relevant ones at the right time

01:19PM EDT - Do Not Disturb mode will notify Messages users that someone is in DND - and offer a way to override that as necessary

01:19PM EDT - This is part of a larger new feature/app that Apple is calling Focus

01:20PM EDT - Focus rules are shared among Apple devices

01:21PM EDT - Now on to Live Text

01:21PM EDT - Auto text recognition and OCR in the Camera and Photos apps

01:22PM EDT - Directly select text from photos/images

01:22PM EDT - Works with photos "across the system" including photos from the web

01:23PM EDT - Understands 7 languages, including Simplified Chinese

01:23PM EDT - Even Spotlight can search photos by text

01:24PM EDT - Photos Memories

01:24PM EDT - Apple is adding Apple Music support to their existing Memories feature

01:25PM EDT - So playing a specific song alongside a Memories-generated video

01:25PM EDT - Matching the pace of the photos to the music beat

01:26PM EDT - Sounds like this relies on metadata Apple has attached to the songs in the Apple Music collection

01:27PM EDT - So AM has identified the style, beat, etc

01:27PM EDT - Now to Apple Wallet

01:28PM EDT - Wallet will add support for car keys using Ultra Wideband (UWB)

01:28PM EDT - Support for corporate badges

01:28PM EDT - And hotel keys; Hyatt will be launching a program this year

01:29PM EDT - Identity cards are coming to Wallet

01:29PM EDT - Can store state ID cards

01:29PM EDT - Will require the participation of the states

01:29PM EDT - Apple has also been working with the TSA to get the service approved & used

01:29PM EDT - Now on to the Weather app

01:30PM EDT - Apple is adding weather maps to the app

01:30PM EDT - Now to Apple Maps

01:31PM EDT - Recapping the updated base map and what countries it's been rolled out to

01:31PM EDT - Maps now offers a globe view

01:32PM EDT - Maps in iOS 15 will include details like elevation, landmarks, and more for major cities

01:32PM EDT - Additional road details for driving as well, such as turn lanes, medians, and bus/taxi lanes

01:33PM EDT - (The turn lanes will be especially useful, in my experience)

01:33PM EDT - Improvements for transit as well

01:33PM EDT - Follows yout transit route to let you know when to get off and where to go once you get off

01:34PM EDT - Including an augmented reality view to help users figure out where to go on the streets

01:35PM EDT - And that's iOS 15

01:35PM EDT - With more in iOS 15 than Apple had time to get to in this keynote

01:35PM EDT - Now on to Apple's AirPods

01:35PM EDT - Conversation Boost

01:36PM EDT - Use ML and filtering to help people better hear conversations

01:36PM EDT - (Sounds like a quasi-hearing aid mode)

01:36PM EDT - AirPods can be located via FindMy in iOS 15

01:37PM EDT - And separating alerts to inform users if they're leaving their AirPods behind

01:37PM EDT - Spatial Audio is coming to tvOS

01:37PM EDT - And macOS on M1-powered Macs

01:38PM EDT - Now on to iPadOS

01:39PM EDT - iPadOS 15 will be making a big update to widgets

01:40PM EDT - New widgets like FindMy

01:40PM EDT - Adding a new larger format for widgets designed for iPad's larger display

01:41PM EDT - App Library is coming to the iPad

01:41PM EDT - Access to it is built into the Docks

01:41PM EDT - (Craig casually tossing an iPad)

01:42PM EDT - Showing off app split view on iPad

01:43PM EDT - A new multi-tasking area Apple is calling the Shelf

01:43PM EDT - Minimize windows to the Shelf for later use

01:44PM EDT - A new set of keyboard shortcuts are being added to aid these features

01:44PM EDT - Now on to iPadOS Notes

01:44PM EDT - Shared notes and an activity view

01:44PM EDT - Adding hash tag support to notes to categorize them

01:45PM EDT - New Feature: Quick Note

01:45PM EDT - Drag from the corner of the screen to create a note window

01:45PM EDT - Quick Notes is aware of the active application

01:46PM EDT - Access your saved notes in the Notes app

01:46PM EDT - Quick Notes can be created on macOS as well. And accessed from iOS

01:47PM EDT - The Translate app is coming to iPad

01:47PM EDT - Integration with handwriting recognition

01:47PM EDT - And auto translate with voice translation

01:47PM EDT - It's available system-wide. macOS, iOS, and iPadOS

01:48PM EDT - Now on to Swift Playgrounds

01:48PM EDT - Apple is adding the ability to build Playgrounds apps on the iPad

01:48PM EDT - Improved code completion

01:48PM EDT - And a guide to creating your first app

01:49PM EDT - Can now build iOS/iPadOS apps right on an iPad

01:49PM EDT - Now on to privacy

01:50PM EDT - (Apple's been big on privacy; if nothing else, it helps to better set them apart from Google)

01:50PM EDT - (It has not made them very popular with Facebook)

01:51PM EDT - New feature: Mail Privacy Protection

01:51PM EDT - Hides IP address to keep mail senders using tracking pixels and the like from tracking readers

01:51PM EDT - App Privacy Report

01:52PM EDT - A section that tracks how apps handle the user's privacy

01:52PM EDT - Now on to Siri

01:52PM EDT - Siri is up to 600mil users, and Apple is adding some new voices

01:53PM EDT - As for privacy, Apple is moving to on-device speech recognition for Siri

01:53PM EDT - So no more reaching out to Apple's servers to handle voice recog

01:53PM EDT - Going on-device also means that Siri voice recog is usable even without an internet connection, and can respond more quickly

01:54PM EDT - (Moving to on-device is a big deal from a resources standpoint)

01:54PM EDT - Now on to iCloud

01:54PM EDT - Apple is adding a new Account Recovery feature

01:55PM EDT - You can use selected friends/family to get them to vouch for you and get you access codes

01:55PM EDT - Paid subscription for iCloud is now iCloud+

01:55PM EDT - And iCloud+ is getting additional features

01:56PM EDT - New service: Private Relay

01:56PM EDT - Apple is doing their own take on a VPN service, going through two relays. Apparently Apple can't decrypt this traffic

01:57PM EDT - Generate disposable email addresses

01:57PM EDT - Pricing for iCloud+ will be the same as it is today

01:57PM EDT - Now on to health

01:59PM EDT - Apple's rolling a video right now

02:01PM EDT - Three new features

02:01PM EDT - 1) Mobility

02:02PM EDT - Walking Steadiness; have an iPhone analyze a user's fall risk

02:03PM EDT - Notify the user if they're at increased risk of falling

02:03PM EDT - 2) Lab results

02:04PM EDT - The Health app will include detailed descriptions to help users better understand their data, and what expected ranges should be

02:04PM EDT - 3) Trends

02:04PM EDT - Insights into long-term changes on certain monitored biological data

02:05PM EDT - Apple is adding the ability to share health data from Apple devices with medical providers

02:06PM EDT - Health sharing for families as well

02:06PM EDT - Keep an eye on your kids and your parents

02:07PM EDT - Apple doesn't have access to any of this shared information

02:08PM EDT - Now on to watchOS

02:09PM EDT - Breathe app has been improved for watchOS 8

02:09PM EDT - And a feature called "Reflect" to encourage mindfulness

02:09PM EDT - Via the new Mindfulness app

02:10PM EDT - WatchOS 8 is adding new workout types

02:10PM EDT - Starting with tai chi

02:10PM EDT - And pilates

02:11PM EDT - Artist spotlight series for workouts

02:12PM EDT - WatchOS 8 is adding a portraits watchface

02:13PM EDT - Photos on watchOS has been redesigned with several new features such as mosaic layouts

02:13PM EDT - And sharing photos via Messages and Mail right on an Apple Watch

02:14PM EDT - And a "scribble" view for writing messages

02:15PM EDT - Now back to Craig for home products

02:16PM EDT - At the heart of all of this is HomeKit

02:16PM EDT - Unlock doors with Wallet's keys feature and supported electronic locks

02:17PM EDT - AppleTV will have a Shared With You mode as well

02:17PM EDT - And movie suggestions based on profile compatibility with multiple selected users

02:18PM EDT - HomePod Mini availability is being expanded to additional countries

02:18PM EDT - And voice recognition support in all countries where the Mini is available

02:18PM EDT - Siri is coming to third party devices

02:19PM EDT - Siri requests from third-party devices are routed through the HomePod, rather than third-party servers

02:19PM EDT - Support for Apple's Matter smart home comms standard is finally launching in iOS 15

02:20PM EDT - Adding package detection to HomeKit video

02:20PM EDT - And that's HomeKit

02:21PM EDT - Now on to macOS

02:22PM EDT - Say hello to macOS Monterey

02:22PM EDT - Many of the new iOS/iPadOS capabilities are coming to macOS

02:22PM EDT - So Focus, Facetime, Notes, and more

02:23PM EDT - Apple is updating its Continuity feature

02:23PM EDT - New feature called Universal Control

02:23PM EDT - Use a single mouse and keyboard to move between your Mac and iPad

02:24PM EDT - Using the iPad as a second screen for a Mac

02:24PM EDT - Or control the iPad via the Mac

02:24PM EDT - Drag & drop files between devices

02:24PM EDT - Universal Control works with more than 2 devices

02:25PM EDT - (Okay, that's actually pretty impressive)

02:26PM EDT - New feature: AirPlay to Mac

02:26PM EDT - Using Macs as an AirPlay receiver

02:27PM EDT - iOS shortcuts are coming to the Mac

02:27PM EDT - So Macs can be automated in the same fashion as iOS

02:28PM EDT - "Shortcuts is the future of automation on the Mac"

02:28PM EDT - Automator will continue to be supported

02:28PM EDT - Now talking Safari

02:29PM EDT - Apple has further minimized the browser

02:29PM EDT - And added tab groups

02:30PM EDT - The URL bar shifts location depending on the open tab

02:31PM EDT - Tab groups can be shared

02:32PM EDT - These Safari changes are also coming in various forms to iPadOS and iOS

02:32PM EDT - iOS gets a new grid view of tabs

02:33PM EDT - And a big emphasis on syncing Safari settings and preferences between Apple devices

02:33PM EDT - Web Extension support are coming to iOS and iPadOS

02:33PM EDT - So Web Extensions are becoming the de-facto standard for web browser extensions. Now all the major vendors support the standard

02:34PM EDT - And that's macOS

02:34PM EDT - Now on to Developer Technologies

02:35PM EDT - Discussing new Apple APIs coming this year

02:36PM EDT - New API: Object Capture

02:36PM EDT - Use photogrammetry to create 3D models of objects

02:36PM EDT - Take several photos of an object on an Apple device and then, in this example, import it into Cinema 4D as an object

02:37PM EDT - Object Capture is built on top of Swift

02:37PM EDT - And on that note, here's an update on Swift

02:38PM EDT - Swift is adding concurrency support

02:38PM EDT - Making it far easier to write apps that use multiple cores

02:38PM EDT - Using async-await pattern

02:39PM EDT - Along with actors

02:39PM EDT - And now the App Store

02:40PM EDT - The App Store is up to 600mil viewers per week

02:40PM EDT - Adding app product pages

02:40PM EDT - Devs can create multiple different product pages for their apps

02:41PM EDT - New feature: In-App Events

02:41PM EDT - Improving the visibility of time-limited events going on within apps

02:42PM EDT - And Apple will be curating the best and biggest events

02:42PM EDT - (The line between apps and services is getting very blurred here)

02:42PM EDT - Introducing Xcode Cloud

02:43PM EDT - An Apple cloud service for app development

02:43PM EDT - Team app development, cloud app building, cloud testing

02:43PM EDT - And distribution to human testers via TestFlight

02:44PM EDT - Xcode Cloud only stores the products of a build

02:44PM EDT - Meanwhile TestFlight is coming to the Mac

02:44PM EDT - Xcode Cloud available to all developers next year

02:45PM EDT - Now back to Tim to recap things

02:45PM EDT - Dev betas for OSes available today

02:45PM EDT - Public betas in July

02:45PM EDT - With final releases in the fall

02:46PM EDT - And that's a wrap on the keynote

02:46PM EDT - Apple will have the more dev-focused Platform State of the Union this afternoon

02:47PM EDT - Meanwhile it looks like we've struck out on hardware this year

02:47PM EDT - Thank you for joining us

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  • lemurbutton - Monday, June 7, 2021 - link

    Prediction: Upcoming Macbook Pro 14" and 16" will have SoCs based on A15, not A14

    M1 is based on the A14. Many believe that the upcoming MBPs (expected to be announced next week), will have an M1X which is still based on A14. This is unlikely.

    Here's why:

    - Latest Bloomberg report point to an 8/2 big.Little design for the Macbook Pros which suggests it's different architecturally to the 4/4 M1. Perhaps the two new efficiency cores have been beefed up to be equivalent to the A14 four.

    - A15 production for iPhone 13 at TSMC has already been started which suggest that the A15 design has long been ready for the new Macbook Pros as well

    - It makes more sense for the Macbook Pros to receive the latest SoC designs first over the Macbook Air/Mac Mini/iMac because you can produce the biggest chips first, bin the best for the Macbook Pros, and use the defective chips for lower-end Macs. For example, you can use the defective 8/2 dies as 6/2 dies for an upgraded Macbook Air. AMD/Intel/Nvidia almost always releases top-end chips first for this reason.

    - It doesn't make sense for the low-end Macs to have the highest single-thread performance. Apple's year-over-year single-thread improvements can increase by as much as 20%, unlike Intel's 1-5% increase previously. Having the Macbook Air outperform the expensive Macbook Pros in single-thread by 20% for 9 months every cycle is simply weird and unacceptable.

    Don't be surprised if the Macbook Pros get announced with an A15-based SoC.

    Bonus prediction: The new SoCs could have hardware ray tracing. Apple's software APIs have hinted at hardware ray tracing support.
  • SarahKerrigan - Monday, June 7, 2021 - link

    I would find a new microarchitecture very surprising in the new systems being announced today, but who knows. I'm somewhat curious, though, if the rumored 32 GPU cores are going to be on the same die as the 8+2 CPU complex - and what the memory subsystem for supporting it looks like.
  • Ppietra - Monday, June 7, 2021 - link

    It will probably be on the same die. A SoC like that would have more or less double the die area. There are consumer processors bigger than that, and since it will be used in the more expensive MacBook Pro, Apple could easily gamble with a more expensive SoC.
  • smalM - Monday, June 7, 2021 - link

    Maybe we will see two chips: a stand alone die (16 GPU cores on die) and a package of that same die + a GPU die (with additional 16 GPU cores).
    It doesn't make a lot of sense to deactivate some 40mm² of GPU cores to fit a monolithic solution into the thermal envelope of a MacBook Pro 14.
  • melgross - Monday, June 7, 2021 - link

    Rumors, rumors. Will Apple go for 32 GPU cores so soon, on a 5+nm process? How would all of that fit? Maybe next year on the 4nm process?

    I keep thinking that if they do, they could put them on the substrate, the way they put the RAM. That would relieve the chip itself from size problems, and they could give the space utilized by the GPU cores to the extra CPU cores.
  • Ppietra - Monday, June 7, 2021 - link

    32 GPU cores would mean a SoC with an area around 220 mm^2. That is completely doable, no need to wait for 3nm or 4nm... just remember that many laptop GPUs are bigger than that.
  • hecksagon - Monday, June 7, 2021 - link

    3070 mobile is almost 400mm^2
  • melgross - Monday, June 7, 2021 - link

    Doable doesn’t mean that wants to do it.
  • Ppietra - Monday, June 7, 2021 - link

    makes far more sense trying to do it than not to in a MacBook Pro, performance wise and in power consumption. And Apple doesn’t look shy when investing money on its own processors, and it will certainly still be far more cheaper than buying Intel CPU and AMD GPU.
  • prophet001 - Monday, June 7, 2021 - link

    Well they had to fix the CPU register exploit so they probably redid some things while they were doing that.

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