Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference is slated to kick off on June 3. With just weeks to go, Apple has framed its forthcoming WWDC keynote with what are likely the last builds of iOS 12 and watchOS 5. The biggest update in these new OS versions is expected to be support for the Apple Card.
Earlier this week, Apple distributed iOS 12.3 and watchOS 5.2.1 to the public at large. The platform for Apple’s iPhone and iPad primarily saw improvements to the redesigned Channels TV application. The app gives people access to Apple’s new subscription TV service. iOS 12.3 also includes support for AirPlay 2 (streaming to smart TVs), and a tighter connection between the TV app the iTunes Store so people can better manage their purchases and rentals.
Apple’s smartwatch has a few new features thanks to watchOS 5.2.1. Chiefly, Apple Watch owners in a number of Eastern European countries now have access to the ECG application. This is clutch for those seeking to keep tabs on their health. WatchOS 5.2.1 also tossed in new watch faces for Pride month (analog and digital variants).
Now that these are live for consumers, Apple has prepared betas of iOS 12.4 and watchOS 5.3 for developers. These are likely the last iterations of iOS 12 and watchOS 5 ahead of iOS 13 and watchOS 6. Significantly, these point releases are expected to enable support for the Apple Card.
Apple announced the Apple Card earlier this year. It’s an alternate funding source that consumers can tie to their Apple accounts for purchases in iTunes and the App Store. The Apple Card can also handle real-world purchases in Apple Stores.
The card itself is not available yet, but Apple said it will reach consumers by the summer. With iOS 13 and watchOS 5 slated for a fall release, this leaves iOS 12.4 and watchOS 5.3 as the logical tools for bringing Apple Card support to iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watches. There’s word that Apple is already dogfooding the card internally.
Developers can already download betas of iOS 12.4 and watchOS 5.3.
As for iOS 13 and watchOS 6, speculation is all overt the place. The biggest expectation is that iOS 13 will bring new multitasking and professional features to the iPad. We’ll have to wait for the WWDC keynote on June 3 to find out more.