Earlier this week, Apple announced that its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) will occur from June 7th-June 11th. Due to the global  pandemic, the conference will be held online. Apple leverages the developer conference to show off its new developer tools, software, hardware, updates and more. What’s in store this year?

The iPad upgrade

Rumors indicate that Apple may present a significantly upgraded iPad Pro line. This family of iPads may feature a system on a chip (SoC) while offering high-speed performance that parallels the MacBook Pro’s M1 processor. Despite minor differences, the iPad chip is likely to have the same configuration as the M1.

The iPad vs. the Mac

The iPad chip and the M1 may ultimately differ slightly when it comes to memory performance and circuitry. The Mac requires faster input/output (I/O). It relies on this for certain types of drives that the iPad lacks. However, in nearly every other regard, the new generation of iPads and the Mac may largely be the same, except for the software.

Are they interchangeable?

If the internal configuration of an iPad Pro and a MacBook Pro are just about identical, what’s the difference between the two devices anyway? Will Apple largely offer the same product with multiple user interfaces?

Existential decisions

If the iPad Pro 2021 retains 8GB or even 16GB of RAM and the compute power of a MacBook, the latest iPad’s capabilities will outstrip those of older generations of iPads. Why is Apple producing an iPad with such an extreme level of horsepower?

Different theories abound. One theory suggests that Apple may intend to release a whole new class of software apps on its heavy horsepower iPad. Eventually, these apps will be migrated to the MacBook. Or, alternatively, they may be pulled from the Mac and migrated to the iPad. In either case, we circle back to the convergence of the iPad and the Apple laptop. Will the two types of devices ultimately use a uniform set of software and hardware?

Developer conference and convergence

The development platform that ports iPad and iOS apps to the Mac’s Apple Silicon platform is expected to see an upgrade. Because the platform hasn’t gained much traction among Mac software dev teams, Apple may have come up with a redesign. When ports become easier to use, the idea of device convergence or interchangeability may take center stage.

Apple platform for 2021?

Apple has previously stated lack of intent to merge the iPad and OS platforms. However, it’s possible that their language mostly referred to exteriors of products. Not interiors of products. The differences between the products may become cosmetic.

Apple’s latest news

Last year’s level of participation at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) broke records. This year, Apple plans to offer deep-dives into the future of its products. The company mentions iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS on its website.

“We love bringing our developers together each year at WWDC to learn about our latest technologies and to connect them with Apple engineers,” says Apple’s VP of Worldwide Developer Relations and Enterprise and Education Marketing, Susan Prescott.

As business leaders and employees rely on an increasing array of technologies for both work and life, understanding the latest technological advances becomes paramount. Check back for more Apple platform, computer hardware and computer software coverage. To get the full story about the Apple platform concept, visit ZDNet.

Employee on laptop and iPad