Another year, another WWDC and it’s time for new software and hardware upgrades that Apple users have long been waiting for. This will also be Apple’s first WWDC after Steve Jobs' passing in October last year. While we will miss his enthusiasm on stage and passion for unveiling new products, there’s a lot to be excited about this time. Just like last year, Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference will be held at Moscone West, Sans Francisco between June 11 and June 15. It’s quite unlikely that Apple will announce the new iPhone at this event but there have been plenty of leaks and rumours about other products so let’s tick them off one by one.
This is a big one and it’s confirmed that Apple will unveil the next version of their mobile Operating System thanks to a banner put up at the WWDC venue. Last year, Apple teased us with iOS 5, OS X Lion and iCloud on the banner but this time around, it just says iOS 6. While Apple is pretty tight lipped on the features in iOS 6, we already have an idea about some of them. The first and a rather big one, is their brand new maps implantation. We could also expect a little change in the naming style of maps to maybe iMaps, although that’s not confirmed yet. Apple has been working on an in house mapping application for years now and they may have to say goodbye to Google Maps in iOS 6. 3D view of certain places will be the highlight of the new maps application which should be similar to something like Street View in Google Maps. Don’t expect the 3D feature to be available for all countries around the world at first as we suspect it will be for the US only in the beginning.
What features will it bring?
All you Facebooks fanatics can rejoice as it seems like your wish will finally be granted. Up until now, it seems like Facebook integration with iOS 6 is a go and just like Twitter, users can expect a deeper integration in the OS. Facebook was originally the candidate for iOS 5 but due to a last minute disagreement on some of the terms, Apple ditched them and went with Twitter instead. By integrating Facebook with iOS 6, it gives Facebook better visibility in what’s considered to be the world’s most robust mobile OS. Rounding off the software features that we know of so far in iOS 6 is Siri for the new iPad. The infamous voice assistant will finally be misunderstanding you on Apple’s tablet as well but sadly, it will only make it to the new iPad. 9to5Mac seem to have confirmed that Siri won’t be coming for the iPad 2, which is a bit of a shame considering the iPad 2 is still a very capable and powerful tablet, unlike the iPhone 4 and 4S. There is also a very good chance that Siri will finally come out of Beta although this is yet to be seen.
OS X Mountain Lion
Mountain Lion enroute
Apple has been teasing us with Mountain Lion and a summer launch and what better platform to launch it than WWDC. The new features present in Mountain Lion are heavily inspired from the iPad such as Messages, Reminders, Notification Center, Twitter, Share Sheets, Air Play Mirroring, Notes, Game Center and lots more. This is Apple’s way of unifying all their products and blurring the lines further between their desktop and mobile OS. Microsoft is planning a similar strategy with Windows 8 and Metro and in fact that’s where the industry is headed. People want the ability to seamlessly switch between working from a desktop to a notebook and tablet, while still being able to work on the same apps and environment and this is Apple’s step in that direction.
A new MacBook Pro and Air hybrid?
New MacBook Pros
Moving away from software, we have the new MacBook Pros coming up which are said to be slimmer and more powerful than before. Nothing is confirmed yet but we’ve heard that the 15-inch MacBook Pro is supposed to be around 0.74 inches compared to 0.95 inches on the current models and the weight is supposed to be around 4.7 pounds from the existing 5.6 pounds, which makes them almost as thin and light as a MacBook Air, which is quite something. The internals are also due for an upgrade and we can expect Intel’s Ivy Bridge CPUs to make their way in along with a maximum of 16GB RAM support, a possible hard drive and SSD combo solution and dedicated graphics from AMD. We hear Apple will be packing in a HD 7770M graphics processor with 2GB of dedicated memory. Coming to the screen, there is a lot of talk of Apple squeezing in a Retina-grade screen that would have a resolution of 2560 x 1600. The webcam would also most likely be upgraded to support HD Face Time calling. Other features expected are a Thunderbolt port, Bluetooth 4.0, SDXC card slot, FireWire, Ethernet and if we’re lucky, USB 3.0.
That’s all we know so far as the rest will be revealed later tonight at the keynote at approximately 10:30pm IST, make sure you tune in.