No New Hardware Unveiling from Apple at WWDC; 2017 iPhone to Feature Larger Screen with Touch ID Integration

While in between two jobs, reporter Mark Gurman appeared on the latest episode of The Jay & Farad Show podcast, where he shared more details about what we might see at WWDC this year, including new iOS features and design tweaks. Gurman also revealed more information about this year and next year’s iPhone models.

Gurman notes that Apple will not be launching any new hardware at WWDC this year, and instead, the company will focus on tvOS, iOS, OS X, and watchOS. Considering that WWDC is a developer-focused event, it does make sense for Apple to not unveil any new hardware at the event.

iOS, Security and Photos
For iOS, Gurman says that Apple will be making slight design changes to the OS, along with notifications getting a bit more colorful. Nothing too radical, but good enough to be noticeable. The Photos app will also be getting a major update and will gain annotation features like adding text captions, arrows, and more.

Apple will also be improving the encryption system it uses in iOS, though after the company’s recent tiff with the FBI, this should not come as a surprise. Gurman also expects Apple to improve the lock screen on iOS to add functionality that will be similar to Glances or Complications on Apple Watch.

Lastly, if you were expecting iTunes to get a major UI revamp, then sadly that is not going to happen this year.

Apple Music, iMessages, and MacBook Pro
As rumored before, the Apple Music app will also be getting a re-design that will see it switch to a darker theme, similar to how Spotify looks. The ‘New’ tab in the app will also be renamed to ‘Browse’ to make it more clear which music is in the cloud and which is stored locally on the device.

Gurman believes that Apple will be adding the ability to transfer money over iMessage via Apple Pay. This feature has been rumored since long, but there have been no substantial leaks on that front to confirm that Apple is finally getting around to launching it.

As for the MacBook Pro, Gurman says that the new MacBooks with a secondary OLED display are not going to be unveiled by Apple before the end of this year. A leak from last month point towards the upcoming MacBook Pro coming with a secondary OLED screen that will replace the Fn keys. It will also come with Touch ID integration.

Gurman further adds that the MacBook Air lineup is essentially dead, and while it will still stay around for a few more years, its not going to be upgraded in any significant way.

The 2017 iPhone
Interestingly, Gurman said that 2017 might be one of Apple’s biggest years in terms of new products.

He believes that the three-year refresh cycle we’ve recently heard of has been misinterpreted, as he says Apple is more likely to move to a one-year cycle instead, with modest yet noticeable design changes year over year.

With the launch of the iPhone Upgrade Program last year, and with the constant claims that Apple isn’t innovating fast enough, such a move would actually make sense. With the iPhone Upgrade Program, people have more incentives to upgrade their device every year because it’s part of the payment plan.

Gurman said that in 2017, Apple will hit the reset button when it comes to iPhone. Again, in line with rumors we’ve heard before, the device may lose extra space at the top, bottom, and on the sides. Removing the bezels will effectively make the device just a screen.

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