Thursday, June 6, 2013

Updated: WWDC 2013: what to expect from this year's event

Updated: WWDC 2013: what to expect from this year's event

Updated: WWDC 2013: what to expect from this year's event

The clue is in the title regarding what Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) is all about.

Like every year, though, it won't only be app developers keeping a beady eye on proceedings, because WWDC often provides insight into what's next from Apple.

At WWDC 2011, Apple showed off OS X 10.7 and iOS 5, along with enthusing about iCloud.

Last year was mostly about iOS 6 (including boasts about a certain mapping app that wasn't all it was cracked up to be), but also added hardware to the mix, with Phil Schiller talking up Apple's notebook range. (By contrast, the Mac Pro got a behind-the-scenes spec bump, and was pulled entirely from the EU this March.)

YouTube :

WWDC 2013 sold out in under three minutes, yet all we officially know about the event is that Apple likes really colourful logos. But on examining previous events, donning our speculation hat and subduing our iUnicorn wishes, we've compiled a list of what we'll see at this year's WWDC, what we'd love to see and what we probably won't see as Apple execs take the stage on June 14.

What we will see at WWDC 2013

iOS 7 preview

The rumour mill reckons iOS 7 is getting a major visual overhaul, courtesy of Jony Ive, along with radical changes to Calendar and Mail.

Ahead of the show, some fuzzy and generally suspect images of what is supposedly a handset running iOS 7 surfaced showing a fairly unchanged homescreen with only a couple of tweaked icons to write home about.

What's definite is we'll see an iOS 7 preview of some sort, per haps showing off revamped aesthetics, but definitely outlining some new and improved features; these could include a better Siri, more eyes-free car integration services, an improved lock screen or Notification Center, or even file-sharing via AirDrop.

And we're all hoping the company will finally let us delete the Stocks app.

OS X 10.9 preview

Mac pundits have claimed OS X 10.9 was held back to ensure iOS 7 ships on time. It's just as reasonable to imagine Apple's staggering its OS releases, and OS X 10.9 was always due later in 2013. Regardless, we'll be amazed if Apple's desktop OS doesn't make some kind of appearance at WWDC 2013.

Again, we expect some form of preview, most likely showing off interface upgrades and more glued-on bits of iOS.

Although rumours about iOS-style multitasking are baffling, we wouldn't say no to iBooks, Newsstand, Maps and Siri on OS X. And happily for us, reports have long surfaced suggesting that Maps and Siri are being tested for an OS X 10.9 debut.

WWDC 2013

What we'd love to see at WWDC 2013

iLife '13 and iWork '13

Apple no longer refers to collec tion names - iWork is Pages, Numbers and Keynote, and iLife is GarageBand, iPhoto and iMovie - but we put the numbers above for a reason.

Check out the Mac App Store pages for the current versions of these apps and you'll see how neglected the OS X incarnations are; the ex-iLife apps still retain '11 branding, and Pages and Numbers still refer to '09.

On iOS, these apps are regularly updated, and include features desktop users would kill for. We'd therefore like to see Apple give its OS X software a little love - or at least dust off the cobwebs - and WWDC 2013 would be the perfect opportunity to do so.

An Apple TV SDK

Apple refers to the Apple TV as a hobby, but it's not even that for developers. The unit remains locked, with only Apple having the keys to new apps.

For everyone else, squirting content across Wi-Fi from an iOS device is the onl y way on to the Apple TV. We'd like to see an SDK for the Apple TV, opening it up to a world of apps.

At the very least, the Apple TV could do with more content channels, but in the hands of skilled devs and with enough great apps and games, it could become another must-have item from Apple rather than a hobby the company may soon tire of.

Apple TV

The 2013 Mac Pro

Shortly after WWDC 2012, Tim Cook replied to a pro customer who'd emailed outlining his concern about the lack of a new Mac Pro: "Our Pro customers like you are really important to us. Although we didn't have a chance to talk about a new Mac Pro [at WWDC], don't worry as we're working on something really great for later next year."

A new and radic ally rethought pro machine - extensible but not a giant like the old Mac Pro - would undoubtedly go down well at WWDC 2013.

Happily for fans of the Mac Pro, Apple's Pro project manager Douglas Brooks let slip that "something really different" is on its way.

Although such a thing being a niche (pro market) within a niche (desktops) within a niche (Macs) in Apple's books might scupper its chances, regardless of Cook's promises.

Retina iMac and Retina MacBook Air

Sooner or later, high-res displays will be the default. Apple tends to lead in such things rather than play catch-up, and its MacBook Pro line's currently transitioning towards Retina displays.

If Apple's goin g to make a dev-oriented Mac-based hardware announcement at WWDC 2013 that doesn't involve the words 'new Mac Pro' and doesn't merely entail minor upgrades, Retina displays for the MacBook Air or even the iMac could become a reality. (On the latter, it's even possible that could be Apple's new vision for a 'pro' Mac, as much as that would irk certain professionals.)

In early June, SKU-based hints were dropped that the MacBook Air would be getting the high-res Retina display at WWDC - unless it turns out to be another Retina-toting MacBook Pro.

What we won't see at WWDC 2013

A single merged Apple OS

Whenever rumours appear about Apple welding another bit of iOS to OS X, pundits inevitably claim that, eventually, Apple will only have a single OS for desktop and mobile.

But Apple cares more about user experience; it's not conceivable it'd shoe-horn a desktop OS on to iOS or force desktop users to work with something entirely designed for mobile and touch. Perhaps in a decade, the argument will be moot, Macs will be gone and everyone will have an iPad 10 glued to their face, but until then, OS X and iOS will remain separate.

A new Apple television/the mythical iTV

We're sceptical an Apple television will happen. People rarely upgrade TVs (Apple likes people who regularly buy hardware), margins are razor-thin (Apple likes margins), and the industry's under pressure from the so-called second screen, a business in which Apple already does rather well (Apple likes this also).

If an Apple television did appear, it'd almost certainly be iOS-based, and so any 'announcement' at WWDC 2013 could be sneaked in under the radar, as part of a general Apple TV SDK. The hardware coul d then be shown off at a separate event.

Apple iTV

The iPhone 5S, iPad 5 and Retina iPad mini

Although WWDC 2013 will undoubtedly provide us with insight into iOS 7, we doubt very much any new iOS hardware will be unveiled (although it might be possible to guess at new features, if software demos make them obvious).

Our reasoning: despite gaining a certain amount of coverage in the press, WWDC remains a conference for developers, and a new iPad or iPhone would warrant its own show, where it didn't have to share the stage with anything else.

Also, we might be tempting fate a bit here, by stating clearly that Apple definitely won't unveil a Retina iPad mini, because, man, we'd look so stupid if Apple unveiled a Retina iPad mini that we d efinitely don't want. Therefore, Apple absolutely won't unveil a Retina iPad mini at WWDC 2013. (Crosses fingers.)

An Apple iWatch

Wearable tech! It's the latest thing, what with Google's sci-fi specs and smart watches people mostly don't care about! We think it's pretty unlikely an Apple watch will ever appear, but, again, like other iOS devices it would warrant its own special event.

It's not going to show up as second billing to the next version of OS X, after an Apple exec's got all excited about something new and technical that iCloud's totally supposed to do (and, in the event, probably won't).

Apple iWatch< /p>


No comments:

Post a Comment

//PART 2