What’s Apple Got Up Its Sleeve For Next Week’s WWDC?
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
Few things reminder us of Apple´s less-than-perfect ecosystem than the days leading up to a WWDC keynote. Developers from all around the globe will descend upon San Francisco on Monday for the Worldwide Developers Conference. The purpose of the event is in the name. Developers will get a chance to mingle with each other and with Apple engineers as well as get some useful information about the upcoming iterations of Apple software. It´s this last part which has so many people excited, however, and Apple can´t seem to help themselves but show off something new during these events, especially since the eyes of the tech world are upon them.
When Tim Cook takes the stage to welcome developers to the conference on Monday morning, he´ll almost certainly pass the microphone to the rest of the Cupertino Crew to reveal new hardware and software, including a possible new Mac Pro, slimmer MacBook Pros with Retina display, and (finally) that rumored iRadio that has been popping up in tech conversations for the past year.
iOS 7 and OS 10.9
There are two things, however, that we can be certain Apple will introduce next week: iOS 7 and Mac OS X. The iPhone operating system certainly won´t arrive until the fall (usually around a week before a new iPhone) and we could see a shippable Mac OS 10.9 in the next several weeks. Apple has already said they´ll be showing off some changes in both of these operating systems, and we can expect some big changes in both, thanks to the leadership of Sir Jony Ive. The design guru is rumored to have either completely revamped these operating systems (particularly iOS) and made something entirely new or only fudged with them enough to take out the leather stitching, linen backdrops and green felt so prevalent in current iterations.
While we can´t be sure until Cook and Crew take the stage, we can safely assume that there will be a noticeable difference from the current versions of the software. iOS 7 is expected to take a “flatter” or, better put, a cleaner look, and die hard Apple fans are looking for a more open OS with added functionality. Things like widgets and customizable settings have never found a home on the iPhone, but with increasing competition from Android and Samsung, many are expecting this to be the year Apple rethinks their operating system from the ground up. And just as it´s been in years past, OS X is expected to bring some major and much needed improvements to iCloud as it learns even more tricks from iPhone.
New Trucks: The Hardware
Apple almost certainly won´t release a new iDevice next week, but according to rumors, they could be ready to release developer-related hardware like a new MacBook Pro with Retina display and, perhaps, a new Mac Pro. Tightening supply at Amazon and other resellers has some speculating that a new rMBP is set to appear. Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo also suggests that these thin laptops could get even thinner this year as well as see a bump in their processing power.
Developers have long waited for a new Mac Pro to do some of the really heavy lifting necessary for building apps. Apple gave the workhorse machine the most modest of updates during last year´s WWDC, but these changes did not satisfy the thirsty developers. These pro users have been holding out hope for a new machine this year and, once again, rumors are flying that this will finally be the year Apple updates this aging line.
It´s Happening: iRadio
Finally, some news sources have been citing People Familiar With the Matter who claim Apple will release a Pandora-style streaming radio. Today All Things D wrote that Apple has taken another step closer to finalizing deals with the music industry by signing Sony Music, leaving Sony´s publishing arm as the only industry holdout. Despite other rumors, All Things D believes Apple won´t actually release what´s been called “iRadio” during next week´s WWDC, but will only show it off to developers to get them ready for when it does land on iPads and iPhones everywhere.
Stay tuned to redOrbit next week for all the latest from WWDC and Monday´s Keynote.