It’s that time of year again. The time when the Moscone conference center in San Francisco transforms itself into a haven for hackers, developers and all things geeky. It starts Monday with WWDC, but Google’s not far behind. Google’s I/O developer event will also happen a the Moscone from June 25th-27th.
Mark Gurman the Apple/Mac/iOS leaker and journalist extraordinaire has compiled a very thorough list of what to expect at this years World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC), on 9to5mac.com.
For the most part, most of what we expect at the WWDC is all about adding more features, and functionality to make an iOS device the center of your life. Apple is trying to do this in a positive way without appearing creepy or evil. To that end, many of the things Gurman reports on were actually leaked (by Gurman or others) earlier in the year.
Gurman has a very detailed section on Mac’s new Healthbook app which is expected with iOS8 “Okemo”. It appears that Apple is hoping to cater to anyone, any age with any interest in their personal health. From the typical tracking fitness, to keeping track of your blood sugar, Healthbook looks to enhance the users life and replace a variety of current health and fitness apps that are currently available. While it may not seem cool to cannibalize other apps from other developers, what we’ve seen from Healthbook thus far looks like it will be the ultimate goto place for health and integrate completely into the users lifestyle.
When Apple first introduced Maps back in 2012 it was a mess. Tim Cook went onto apologize about the mapping app and even recommended people use Google Maps while Apple Maps was being worked on. Since then they’ve done a good job of fixing Apple Maps to do what it initially set out to do.
Now with a little over a year and a half under their belts it looks as though Apple is about to overhaul Maps and make it smarter. Apple will also introduce public transit data, which Gurman points out that former iOS chief Scott Forstall said would never be included. Forstall left the company shortly after the initial Maps fiasco.
“In addition to more reliable and plentiful data, the updated app is said to include tweaked cartography, clearer labeling, and improved notation of bus stops, train stations, and airports.” Gurman said.
It’s been long rumored that iOS 8 would take iTunes Radio and put it out as it’s own app. While Gurman suggests that this is the case, we actually expect a more robust, Beats Music infused app. With the acquisition of Beats just officially announced last week and the ink believed to take until September to dry, we feel that we may see iTunes Radio get pushed off until the fall when Apple will announce the next iPhone. Apple regularly holds a press event in the fall to announce the current years iPhone offerings.
Apple is planning to make the iPad capable of multitasking. Once the iPad can multitask it will offer another feature that some have defected to Microsoft’s Surface tablets for. Apple is also looking to split the gap even more between iOS 8 on an iPhone and iOS 8 on an iPad.
Gurman also suggests that with multi-tasking, Apple may also incorporate a feature that will allow a user to use their iPad to split screen from a Mac computer. Another source has suggested that Apple may also incorporate a feature that would allow an iPad to be Airplay viewable rather than just the source. In other words, you could stream music, movies, video and other Airplay approved content from your Mac computer or your iPhone, or even another iPad, to your iPad. That source isn’t quite as reliable as Gurman though.
We’re also expecting an upgrade in the current Mac OSX software. Apple has consistently released a new version every year. The latest version will be 10.10 and called “Syrah”. Gurman suggests that while other have said Apple wants to integrate OSX and iOS, they are actually making it just about aesthetics and feel. iOS won’t be replacing OSX anytime soon.
We aren’t expecting any significant hardware news when it comes to their most popular hardware, iOS devices and Macbooks. We could see a new Mac Mini or a new display. We may see an iWatch but that’s doubtful. The saving grace on the iWatch is that it’s supposedly a big component of Healthbook, so if that’s the case maybe we will see it.
We shouldn’t see a new iPhone, Apple reserves the fall for iPhone releases.
Check out Gurman’s thorough guide here.