Apple’s next big announcements coming in June

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Barring a surprise, the next big round of Apple announcements are coming June 2.

The company has announced the dates for its next World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC), an annual event where Apple gives the press and developers a peek at its latest projects.

Because it’s a conference for application developers, the big unveilings tend to focus on operating systems and software, so don’t bet on any major iPhone or iPad announcements. Desktop and laptop lines may get a refresh at the event, however.

Last year, Apple announced the latest version of its desktop operating system, OS X Mavericks, and a heavily redesigned update to the mobile operating system, iOS 7. They also gave us the first peek at the cylindrical Mac Pro.

This year Apple will likely preview iOS 8, the updated operating system for iPhones and iPads. One rumored new feature is Healthbook, a hub for health and fitness apps that take advantage of all the sensors packed into the mobile devices.

There’s also good chance we’ll get an update to OS X, following up Mavericks with a new Mac operating system, 10.10. Apple could also update the MacBook, iMac and MacBook Air with new, faster processors. The MacBook Air might finally get “retina display,” Apple’s term for its high-res screens.

The long rumored iWatch could also make its debut at this event, although that seems unlikely. But Apple is notoriously secretive and might still be able to slip in a few surprises.

WWDC lasts five days, running from June 2 to 6. For consumers, the real action happens during the opening keynote when CEO Tim Cook and select Apple executives take the stage to give a choreographed pep talk and demonstration of new products.

After the splashy news announcements, developers from around the world attend sessions, classes and talks to learn the nitty-gritty details of creating programs for the various operating systems. They get one-on-one time with Apple engineers and work hands-on with the new platforms.

It’s also a huge networking event, peppered with meet-ups, open bars and parties. Apple says 1,000 Apple engineers and 5,000 developers attend WWDC.

Most of the major tech companies with platforms host annual developers conferences. In addition to getting free news coverage, the companies can make tidy amounts of money on the events.

WWDC costs $1,599 to attend, while this week’s Microsoft Build lasts three days and costs $2,095, and Google I/O is three days and $900. And on April 30, Facebook is bringing back its one-day F8 developer conference after a hiatus.

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