Hardware often takes a backseat at the event. However, the company could still launch one new bit of hardware, a new Mac Pro desktop. Other updates will see its HomePod smart speaker able to respond to different voices and an improved Find my iPhone app, dubbed GreenTorch. The new features were first reported by Bloomberg.
While the jamboree is normally well-received by developers, it comes in the wake of a Supreme Court defeat for Apple after a group of iPhone users claimed it was using its App Store to inflate prices and an anticipated European antitrust investigation into the company’s App Store.
The company has also been criticised by a group of 17 developers of parental monitoring and screen time apps, who say they have been blocked from the App Store in an anti-competitive move.
Two app developers have filed to join Europe’s antitrust investigation into the app store. “Apple is not playing fair, it is taking action against any other alternative apps,” Eduardo Cruz, chief executive of Qustodio, told The Telegraph.
On Thursday, the group called for Apple to develop a new, open piece of screen time software that would let them keep “protecting children online and teaching them good technology use habits”.
Apple says the apps were blocked due to privacy concerns.
Apps and services are becoming an increasingly core part of Apple’s business as iPhone sales slow. Revenues from services, which includes products like Apple Music, hit $11.5bn (£9bn) in the company’s last results.
But rivals like Spotify, whose music streaming app is available through Apple’s store, have grown more vocal about the 30pc “app tax” that Apple levies on developer sales through its store, leading to an antitrust complaint from Spotify to the European Commission.