Apple typically unveils the next version of the Mac operating system at its annual Worldwide Developer Conference. And wouldn't you know it - WWDC 2016 is right around the corner.

Although the company started shipping OS X 10.11 El Capitan just last autumn, rumours about the next system update are already beginning to surface. It'll likely be labelled OS X 10.12, for instance, but it also currently goes by the codename Fuji. We've discussed these details and more, including some of the latest rumors of new features.

So keep this page bookmarked.

Apple of course has not officially announced OS X 10.12, let alone a name for the system update. Several reports so far however have been calling it the codename “Fuji". Keep in mind Apple usually sticks with California-themed monikers, and Fuji apples are frequently grown in the US state.

Apple / 9to5Macscreen-shot-2016-04-14-at-5-26-11-pm

Apple may stop referring to its Mac operating system as OS X, however.

Alongside its Earth Day 2016 announcements, Apple updated this FAQ webpage to explain to consumers how it cares about the environment and what it is doing to report carbon emissions, among other things. While that sounds boring at first blush, 9to5Mac noticed something rather interesting buried in the text: Apple used the term "MacOS".

This isn't the first time Apple has dropped a hint that it plans to re-brand its desktop operating system to MacOS. An OS X 10.11.4 framework was spotted last month using the MacOS naming scheme, for instance. We can conclude that either someone at Apple keeps messing up, or a name-change is coming.

New versions of OS X tend to release in the autumn, likely in September or October. We expect Apple to release Fuji during one of those months this year as well, but the company will probably give a demo of the new operating system at WWDC 2016 in June or July.

Apple in recent years has given away all updates to OS X, so we expect the successor to El Capitan to be a free update as well.

Siri

According to 9to5Mac, Apple is working on a major update to OS X El Capitan called OS X 10.12. It'll likely arrive this autumn with an impressive expansion of Siri capabilities. Siri, which debuted on the iPhone years ago, has since been added to iPad, Apple Watch, and most recently, the Apple TV. So it makes sense that Apple would want to bring its smart assistant to desktop machines.

Apple had been testing Siri integration since 2012 but only now has a better idea of how Siri can work on the Mac. The company has developed a slick user-interface and is almost ready to go public with it. In fact, Apple is expected to unveil OS X 10.12 at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference in June. During the demo, you can expect to see how Siri for Mac works and functions.

The feature is thought to live in the Mac’s Menu Bar as a Siri icon. It will support voice control, but when you click the icon, a dark Siri interface will appear in the top right corner of your screen. A mockup of this was supplied by 9to5Mac and can be seen below. It looks a lot like Siri on the iPhone and elsewhere, with colourful sound waves and all. Siri will also have a System Preferences pane so you can enable keyboard shortcuts.

There might be an option to enable a "Hey Siri" command under this pane, because - similar to Siri on the iPhone or even Alexa via the Amazon Echo speaker - Siri on the Mac will be always-listening when plugged into power.

Photos

According to Japanese site Mac Otakara, Apple is working on new versions of the Photos app for both iOS 10 and OS X 10.12.

The Photos app for iOS and OS X will be updated with features to bring them up to speed with the now-discontinued iPhoto 2.0.1 for iOS and iPhoto 9.6.1 for Mac, respectively. While the updated iOS app will have tools for editing EXIF data and touch-based brushes, we only know that the updated OS X app will have improvements (but don't expect Aperture-level features to be added).

Here's a list of features many people have long-requested from Apple, though there's been no word yet to suggest they will be added to Fuji (once we hear more however, we'll let you know):

  • Health app for OS X - There's a Health app for iOS and Apple Watch but nothing for OS X. It'd be cool to track health stats from a desktop.
  • Apple Music app for OS X - The iTunes app needs to be refined, obviously, but apart from that, many people want Apple to break up iTunes into smaller apps, which includes offering a dedicated Apple Music app.
  • Clock app for OS X - A dedicated app with Alarm, Stopwatch, and Timer functionality would be so handy.

Check Pocket-lint's Apple hub for more related news and analysis.