Apple’s Software Strategy Is More Important Than Ever


In addition to the software-focused sessions that form the core of developer conferences, event talks these days often include hardware reveals. Google unveiled new phones, smartwatches, and teleportation booths at its annual developer event, I/O. Apple is known to drop a new smart speaker and continues to develop quality applications such as, or Mac laptop at the Worldwide Developers Conference. 


Especially for Apple, it makes sense. It is first and foremost a hardware company, and its custom silicon is now central to its "maintain the entire computing stack" strategy. However, it can be argued that Apple's software strategy is more important now than ever. This keeps customers "locked in" to Apple hardware. That includes Apple's fast-growing multibillion-dollar services business. Every time Apple makes a change to its App Store, whether it's limiting iOS ad-tracking technology or rolling out a content moderation policy, the company's decisions are scrutinized — because its software has such an impact on our lives. 


Many people will likely tune into Monday morning's WWDC keynote touting small changes to iOS that will spice up their older iPhones, or multitasking features that could turn their iPad into something like a MacPad. We'll be here for those updates as well, and we'll be following them closely here at WIRED. Based on previous announcements, we can expect the following from next week's big event. 


iPhone lock is key 

One of the most significant changes that could be introduced in the next version of Apple's mobile operating system, iOS 16, is an overhaul of the phone's lock screen, according to a report by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. That would include support for an always-on lock screen — though that might be a feature that only works with future iPhones — and "quick notifications." iPhone lock screens may soon include wallpapers with active widgets. 


Other rumored updates we could see on Monday include improvements to the message and notification center, improvements to the existing health app, and better emergency support  (allowing messages to be sent via satellite networks). And as usual, you can expect Apple to beat the privacy drum, especially as its ad-tracking transparency casts a shadow over other tech companies' earnings. 


Mammoth Updates 

We're still not sure what MacOS 13 will be called. Apple has named all of its recent releases after destinations in California known for their natural beauty, and Macworld thinks this could be Apple's year with "Mammoth," another California resort town with a large ski area and gorgeous lakes. This is exactly the kind of place you don't want to take your laptop, so here we go. 


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Ruth Stark

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