It’s that time of the year when speculations abound about what will be revealed at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco.
Keep in mind Monday’s event is designed for software developers, hence the name. ZDNet writer Adrian Kingsley-Hughes said it best, WWDC is the place for developers to see the “new stuff that’s coming down the pipes from the Cupertino mothership, and start working on apps for the upcoming platforms.”
So the question remains, what new and cool enhancements will be unveiled this year?
What we can expect to see:
The rumors about updates we may see for iOS 7 are plentiful. Speculation seems to be that iOS 7 will go “flat” in its design. Leaked images and screenshots, plus the new WWDC app released just this week, seem to confer with belief that iOS 7′s design will contain gloss-free visual elements, a change from the 3D textures used in past designs.
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As reported by both 9 to 5 Mac and the Wall Street Journal, the following WWDC announcements are likely:
- Gesture controls – Apple’s supposedly been looking into more shortcut swipes, similar to the one-finger swipe that brings up the Notification Center or the four-finger swipe that pulls up the multi-tasking menu on the iPad.
- AirDrop sharing – It’s said OS X’s AirDrop service will be extended to iOS 7, easily enabling users to shares files when on the same wi-fi network. It’s also thought integration with Flickr and Vimeo will be offered as well.
- More Yahoo – As Apple seeks to distance itself from Google in almost every way, they’re working to bring more of Yahoo’s content and services into iOS 7, especially when it comes to news and sports.
Pundits are also predicting improvements to Passbook that enable easy mobile payments; an upgrade to Maps in an attempt to make it the least reviled software on the planet; and opening up Apple TV, iCloud and Siri to developers.
Towards the end of the week, it was confirmed that the Apple has come to terms with all of the major music labels for a streaming music service dubbed iRadio. Just as iTunes Match was announced at 2011′s WWDC, it’s expected an ad-supported, Pandora-like experience for iOS devices will be unveiled Monday. The urgency: Google announced a music subscription service at last month’s I/O and Amazon is readying a similar offering.
What we probably won’t see:
New iPhones or iPads
Although you may be eagerly anticipating new products in this area, you’ll likely be disappointed. CEO Tim Cook has said the company wouldn’t release any new products until the fall, which seems to be when Apple has been announcing iPhones or iPads as of late.
Of course, the folks at Apple are the only ones who truly know what we’ll see at WWDC. Maybe they’ll surprise us with “one more thing” nobody was expecting. We doubt it, but never say never.