Wwdc Digital Lounge ArtworkSource: Apple

What you need to know

  • A new report guesses that iMessage will experience a major upgrade this year.
  • Apple has been rumored to bring more social network aspects to the service.

iMessage could be the main event at WWDC this year.

As reported by MacRumors, iMessage has certainly found itself in most of the promotional material for WWDC21 this year. While this could simply be a marketing choice by Apple, it could also be a hint that the service is set to receive a huge update.

iMessage appears to be a central theme in the marketing for this year's WWDC. For example, the placeholder for WWDC's live stream on YouTube, which is already live, features iMessage bubbles, Tapback, and iMessage's full-screen laser effect. Similarly, the Twitter hashflag to promote WWDC this year is an iMessage thumbs-up Tapback bubble.

The iMessage stickers and official WWDC attire and pins for this year also features iMessage bubbles, Tapback reactions, and emojis, but this is not necessarily uncommon for Apple's yearly conference-related outerwear.

While this alone wouldn't necessarily mean too much, a recent report from Bloomberg also said that the company is working to make iMessage more of a social network than it already is. However, that report did not have enough confidence to say if the features would be released at this year's WWDC.

Unfortunately the report doesn't go into detail about what Home screen changes are afoot, but it does sound like Apple is working to make iMessage more of a social network competitor than it currently is. Although it's possible these changes won't make this year's software updates.

"The company is also working on upgrades to iMessage with the eventual goal of acting as more of a social network and better competing with Facebook Inc.'s WhatsApp. Those changes are still early in development and could come later, the people said."

The same report says that the new updates will also include improved automatic replies based on a user's status. an auto-reply could be generated when someone is asleep, for example, just as it is now when an iPhone detects that its user is driving.

The WWDC21 keynote is set to kick off on Monday, June 7 at 10:00 AM PDT so it won't be long until we find out if iMessage is truly set for a major update.