Welcome to our guide to WWDC 2017, covering all the details you need to know about this year's Apple developer conference: dates, location, how to get tickets and how to watch it live if you can't. If you're interested in past events, take a look at our WWDC 2016 and WWDC 2015 coverage.
We also have the low down on what to expect Apple to launch and preview at the event. Apple's yearly WWDC event is where it announces the latest updates to the software running on its Macs, iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches, Apple TVs and other devices. At WWDC 2017, you can expect major updates for iOS, tvOS, watchOS and macOS. Apple may also unveil new hardware: a new iPad Pro is widely expected, and a Siri speaker looks like a possibility.
Read on for more information, how to watch the live video stream and follow our live blog from the event, and all our predictions related to the WWDC 2017 announcements.
When is WWDC 2017?
This year, Apple's famous week-long WWDC event runs from 5-9 June 2017, and will be held at the McEnery Convention Centre in San Jose, California. You can get confirmation of the dates and venue by asking Siri, by the way.
Apple will host an opening press conference and keynote speech on the first night, 5 June.
The company started inviting members of the press on 9 May, and announced that the opening keynote will start at 10am Pacific time, or 6pm UK time: this is where the big stuff will be announced, including demonstrations of the new versions of iOS, macOS, tvOS and watchOS.
As well as the keynote speech on the first night, there will be a series of events run by the company in the following week: developer workshops and training sessions, networking events and so on. But other companies are holding events too, with Apple's blessing: on 18 May Apple posted a list of such events on the Beyond WWDC page of its developer website.
A few highlights:
- Beard Bash 2017, a developers' party with live music. Hosted by Jim Dalrymple, the founder of the Loop website.
- The Talk Show with John Gruber Live. Fairly self-explanatory. In the past Apple execs have turned up and offered insights beyond what was mentioned in the keynote.
- Swift workshops run by IBM.
- AltConf 2017. A few conference for developers.
What to expect at WWDC 2017
WWDC tends to be more about software than hardware - nearly every version of iOS and macOS has had stage time at WWDC. But there have been some highly significant hardware unveilings too, including the second, third and fourth iPhone models, the redesigned Mac Pro and a number of MacBooks.
Here are the highlights of WWDC events since 2006:
- WWDC 2006 (7-11 August, Moscone Center, San Francisco): Mac Pro; revisions to Mac OS X 10.5 'Leopard' (which had already been announced) and Mac OS X Server
- WWDC 2007 (11-15 June, Moscone Center, San Francisco): Feature-complete beta of Mac OS X 10.5 'Leopard'; Safari for Windows
- WWDC 2008 (9-13 June, Moscone Center, San Francisco): iPhone 3G; iOS App Store; iPhone OS version 2.0; Mac OS X 10.6 'Snow Leopard'; MobileMe
- WWDC 2009 (8-12 June, Moscone Center, San Francisco): New MacBook Pro models: a new 13-inch MacBook Pro and updates to the 15-inch and 17-inch MacBook Pros; iPhone 3GS; release of iPhone OS 3.0 (which had already been announced)
- WWDC 2010 (7-11 June, Moscone Center, San Francisco): iPhone 4; FaceTime and iMovie for iPhone
- WWDC 2011 (6-10 June, Moscone Center, San Francisco): Mac OS X 10.7 'Lion'; iOS 5; iCloud
- WWDC 2012 (11-15 June, Moscone Center, San Francisco): New MacBooks: updated MacBook Airs and MacBook Pro with Retina Display; Mac OS X 10.8 'Mountain Lion' (sort of - it had previously been announced on Apple's website, but this was its showcase demonstration); iOS 6
- WWDC 2013 (10-14 June, Moscone Center, San Francisco): New Mac Pro; New MacBook Air models; Mac OS X 10.9 'Mavericks'; iOS 7; iWork for iCloud; iTunes Radio
- WWDC 2014 (2-6 June, Moscone Center, San Francisco): Mac OS X 10.10 'Yosemite'; iOS 8; Swift programming language
- WWDC 2015 (8-12 June, Moscone Center, San Francisco): Mac OS X 'El Capitan'; iOS 9; watchOS 2; Apple Music
- WWDC 2016 (13 to 17 June, Bill Graham Civic Auditorium & Moscone Center West, San Francisco): macOS Sierra, iOS 10, watchOS 3, tvOS 10
(For a closer look at previous WWDCs, visit our History of Apple's WWDC product launches article.)
And here's what we're expecting this year:
WWDC is primarily a software event. This year, like every year, you should expect a major update for iOS for the iPad and iPhone: that is to say, iOS 11.
Rumours point to major updates to Siri, something Apple is supposedly working on "in an unmarked office at 90 Hills Road, Cambridge". On the superficial side, we hear that it will sound more 'natural'; but the bigger changes will involve the addition of machine learning and artificial intelligence so it is better able to anticipate your demands.
We're also hoping that Dark Mode will arrive on iOS at last.
For more information about the update, including a fantastic concept video illustrating a wide range of rumoured new features, visit our page summarising the latest iOS 11 news.
macOS for the Mac will also get a look in. (The new version's name is unknown as yet, but the rumour mill is tending towards Mojave, Malibu and a bunch of other places beginning with M. In any case it will go by the version number macOS 10.13.)
Read more here: macOS 10.13 latest rumours
watchOS for the Apple Watch is also likely to have its moment on stage.
watchOS 3 and the Apple Watch Series 2 were both impressive steps forward, solving most of the problems with their respective predecessors, so we have high expectation for the future of Apple's wearable. Rumours suggest new sports could be added to the Workout app, such as skiing and snowboarding, while glucose monitoring would be a boon for diabetics.
Get the latest info here: watchOS 4 rumours
tvOS may be the least glamorous of Apple's operating systems, but the Apple TV is a far more important product than in the days when it was known as Apple's hobby. The newest update to tvOS is likely to get some stage time at WWDC. Read more about the next version here: tvOS 11 rumours
Apple is also likely to announce new developer resources: the Swift app programming code was announced at WWDC 2014, and APIs such as HealthKit, CareKit and ResearchKit have been discussed at the event too.
More thrillingly for consumers watching at home, Apple may also unveil new hardware: a new iPad Pro is widely expected (this is the iPad Pro 2, a far more ambitious update than the iPad 2017 launched this spring).
The clever money is on a new size of iPad this year: one with a 10.5-inch screen. In late May ChannelNews reported that, according to local sources, Taiwanese manufacturers have already started building the 10.5in iPad and in fact did so "back in March or April, with an estimated 500,000 [units] being produced per month".
More here: iPad Pro 2 rumours
10.5-inch iPad Pro 2 mockup by Benjamin Geskin for iDrop News
The so-called Siri Speaker - a potential Amazon Echo killer - looks like a possibility too.
Rumours suggest this could feature Beats technology for music playback, and may even run a modified version of iOS. And a patent for a component-rich cylindrical device might be a hint about the speaker's design.
Read more here: Apple Siri speaker latest rumours
What of the Mac? This hasn't happened for a while, but Mac hardware has been launched at past WWDC keynotes - most famously, the trashcan Mac Pro in 2013. The 12-inch MacBook seems like the most obvious member of the range to get an update at WWDC 2017; it was last refreshed in April 2016.
But according to a report from Bloomberg, all three MacBook lines - even the long-neglected MacBook Air - are being considered for updates at WWDC. The sites quotes "people familiar with the matter" who expect new models of the 12-inch MacBook and MacBook Pro with new Kaby Lake processors to be announced in June, and believe Apple is considering reviving the Air as well, even though most of us assumed it was dead and buried.
We're also keen to hear more about the next iMac update. At a private press briefing in April 2017, Apple revealed that because the Mac Pro in its current form hasn't been meeting the needs of many creatives and other pro users, the company intends to create a new iMac with that market in mind - and has put "a lot of our energy" behind this machine.
"So many of our customers were moving to iMac that we saw a path to address many, many more of those that were finding themselves limited by Mac Pro through a next-generation iMac," said Craig Federighi.
Finally, the Mac mini has had no love for a long time. It's not the most glamorous of machines but popular enough in its niche. We discuss new Mac mini rumours in more depth elsewhere.
How to get WWDC 2017 tickets
Tickets to WWDC are distributed by lottery. Unfortunately, the ticket lottery for WWDC 2017 has now closed.
Registration (on Apple's site) opened on Monday 27 March and closed on Friday 31 March. Registration was open to members of the Apple Developer Program or Apple Developer Enterprise Program.
But you may still be able to get a ticket. Each year a number of unclaimed tickets are resold after the lottery. Apple also offers free entry to WWDC, and accommodation for the week, to the winners of its WWDC Scholarship program. To qualify for this you need to be in part- or full-time education and be a registered Apple developer, and submit a Swift Playground.
Read more about all of this here: How to get tickets for WWDC 2017.
Why does Apple distribute WWDC tickets by lottery?
Back in 2012, all 5,000 WWDC tickets sold out within two hours of being released. Developers had no prior warning from the company about the event and, understandably, many of those who missed out were far from happy. In 2013, Apple decided to let developers know in advance when the WWDC tickets for that year would go on sale. But upon release, it took only two minutes for the tickets to sell out, which left even more developers feeling angry. A new approach was needed.
So, in 2014, Apple took a completely different approach to its ticket sales - one that, as we predicted, has become Apple's way of distributing tickets ever since. Instead of issuing tickets on a 'first come first served' basis, Apple offered everyone a chance to win the chance to buy a ticket by registering for a lottery.
How much do WWDC 2017 tickets cost?
Even if your name is drawn in the ticket lottery, you'll still have to pay to attend WWDC 2017. In 2016, those selected to attend WWDC were charged $1,599. (That's around £1,280 at current exchange rates - last year the equivalent was only £1,082...)