It’s that time of the year again. Apple is going to open the doors of its Wordwide Developer Conference (WWDC) on Monday and tell developers what direction the company will take for the next year or so. It is clear that the next iOS and Mac OS will take center stage as their APIs (application programming interface) are the fundamental building block of the whole Apple software eco-system. However, hardware announcements should not be discarded — on the contrary.
In this post, we have a list of things that you may want to keep an eye on during the Keynote this Monday. Also, we’re going to “meta-live blog” the announcements on live.ubergizmo.com, so please join us on Monday Morning at 10am San Francisco time.
iOS 6.0 will appear. This has pretty much been confirmed by the iOS 6 promotional material that is used at the even venue this year. The new OS is likely to launch later in the year with the new iPhone. [more on iOS 6]
Mac OS X Mountain Lion is probably going to be updated as part of the normal release cycle. We may have a new feature, but nothing earth-shattering there.
iCloud was initially unveiled at WWDC and the service is probably going to evolve, so it would not be surprising if there were new features and APIs.
Apple TV may get an update or new high-profile content. That said, what developers are really hoping for, is the ability to have an app store and to build apps for that device. Given that there are a rumor of an Apple television coming out, we’re not sure what Apple will do with the Apple TV box.
Macbook Pro computers have been rumored to get much thinner (maybe thanks to this Apple patent), and frankly this is just about time. The question is whether or not Apple will remove the optical drive. The idea makes a number of customers uncomfortable, but in the grand scheme of things, an external drive is the way to go these days. There are also talk of a cheaper version of the Macbook Pro ($799 or so). We don’t really believe in mixing “Apple, cheap and pro” in the same sentence, but hopefully some sort of price reduction is in the works as Ultrabook PC are increasingly competitive.
The Ivy Bridge Intel chip has been launch by pretty much everyone else, so it’s probably time for Apple to upgrade its computers as well. This should probably bring USB 3.0 as well. [More on Ivy Bridge]
Retina displays for Macs and Macbook Pro have been on the rumor mill for some time. While we may like the idea, this doesn’t seem like a very practical thing to do. Customers aren’t really complaining about the pixel density of laptops or desktop machines (not to the point of doubling it), and going “Retina” on computers will cost an arm, really. Let’s see what happens.
The financial community is very excited about an upcoming Apple Television/HDTV, and WWDC may not be bad place to launch it as Apple will need “apps” whenever this comes out. In any case, don’t expect the television to “launch” at WWDC and be available shortly. We would have seen leaks from Asia if the television were rolling on the production lines.
The final question is: are we going to see an iPhone 5? I would say… most likely not as the iPhone 5 will have its own event (it’s 50% of Apple’s revenues). The consensus seems to point to the fact that Apple will use a larger display, the reason being that the phone needs to get bigger to accommodate a larger battery to provide the juice to an LTE networking capability.
It would be fair to assume that larger screen, means higher resolution, and that developers should be made aware of this. At WWDC, anything that signals a change in resolution for apps would confirm that a bigger iPhone display is in the works. In a bid to confuse speculators, Apple could use a 1280×720 resolution, which could be used on a TV or 7″ tablet to make the guess work a (tiny) bit more difficult.