What we can expect to see at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference
Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference starts next week with much speculation on what will be announced. Here’s what we can expect to see.
Apple CEO Tim Cook will take the stage at the Moscone Centre in San Francisco at 10am (Tuesday 3am AEST) and it will be streamed live here.
Being a developer’s conference the obvious emphasis will be on the software side of the Apple business – iOS and OS X.
The attendees are the developers who create the apps that run on the iPhone, iPad and Mac computers.
But that won’t stop Apple using the event to announce hardware.
It has done exactly that in the past with products like the iPhone 3GS (2009), iPhone 4 (2010) and MacBook Pro With Retina Display (2012).
Here’s what we can expect to see from WWDC14.
Anyone who can count will know that 8 follows 7. In fact there are already banners hanging inside the Moscone Centre ahead of next week’s keynote with large 8s on them.
But what the new iOS version will actually include has already been the subject of several rumours.
There is actually not too much information this time around so Apple has done a great job keeping a lid on any leaks.
Bit one tidbit that has reportedly managed to sneak out is the addition of a Healthbook app that can gather health, fitness and nutrition information in one place.
This also plays into the iWatch rumours that will possibly become the wearable device that can capture our steps, exercise and heart rate and other information that can feed into the Healthbook app.
There has been plenty of talk about iOS 8 allowing split-screen multi-tasking to have to apps running at the same time.
It would be a first for iOS but something we’ve already seen with Samsung’s Android smartphones and tablets.
Another change can be Live Apps similar to the Live Tiles seen on Windows which allows the user expand the app’s tile to see live info or even resize the app’s icon to make it larger.
Siri is also in for some changes to with third-party developers likely to be given access to make the digital assistant work with their apps.
Similarly the Touch ID fingerprint reader might also be open to developers as a form of user verification as well a way to authorise mobile payments using bank and other payment apps.
Maps is also likely to inherit some enhancements with the possible addition of public transit information.
The biggest change anticipated for the Mac’s operating system is the design.
The most likely scenario is OS X inheriting the flatter user interface look introduced with iOS 7 and continued in iOS 8.
Last year OS X’s name took a departure from feline names to Mavericks – a Californian beach break.
This year the system’s name could be Yosemite, Redwood, Mammoth, Redtail or Sierra to name a few.
SMART HOME PLATFORM
A strong rumour has been the establishment of a smart home platform that runs on iPhone and iPad to control various devices in your home.
There are already a large number of smart home devices that can be controlled with apps on Apple’s mobile devices.
But the new platform would become the official Apple approval similar to the Made For iPhone logo seen on many compatible products and accessories.
This has been one of the most rumoured Apple products in recent memory and there is an outside chance the product will be announced but not revealed.
This would be a first for Apple but it would give developers notice there is a product coming so they can get busy creating apps that are ready to roll when the iWatch is actually released later this year.
With a crowded product release schedule to include the new iPhones, new iPads and possibly a new Apple TV, it would make sense for Apple to use WWDC to announce one of these products. We think that product may well be the iWatch.
Apple is said to be poised to update its laptop computers with the biggest rumours around a possible 12-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display.
There has also been talk of a MacBook Air with a Retina Display as a possible new product.
A redesigned Apple TV might also be on the agenda at WWDC14 with support for apps and games that can be enjoyed on your television using your iPhone or iPad as the controller.
This micro-console concept would add a new dimension to mobile gaming.
All will be revealed next week and you can follow the opening Worldwide Developers Conference keynote here.
Tech Guide will be in San Francisco for Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference so be sure to stay tuned to the site for the latest news.