It’s the biggest technology event of the year, when Tim Cook will take to the stage to announce the world’s largest company’s plans for the next few months. The rumour mill is in overdrive, but what can you actually expect from Apple at WWDC 2014?
iOS 8: A Revamp, Or Just Some Polish?
This is a dead-cert. We’ll be seeing a new version of iOS for both iPhone and iPad, and we can expect a few significant changes. Although we won’t be getting a UI redesign anything like last year’s, we’ll probably be seeing some new apps (such as TextEdit and Preview), as well as a lot of under-the-hood tweaks and fixes, such as a boost to Siri. What iOS really needs right now is some polish – expect plenty of that. The standout feature of iOS 8 will likely be Healthbook, a centralised place to store all your medical related info such as weight, diet, blood pressure and exercise logs. This will, obviously, tie into Apple’s wearable strategy. Which leads us onto…
The iWatch: Apple’s First Foray Into Wearables?
Although it probably won’t be called the iWatch, there is no uncertainty that Apple are working on some sort of smartwatch. It will tie in heavily with Healthbook, and will seek to improve upon previous entrants in the wearables market – none of which have been particularly good so far. Apple have cracked down on security, so we don’t know exactly what this will be like, but we’re sure that they’ll be making good use of their hires from the fashion industry. The only question is whether this will be announced at WWDC or held back until later this fall. We’re quite confident that we’ll see some new hardware tomorrow, and we’d say there’s about a 75% chance that it’s this watch.
iPad Pro: Does the Surface Have A New Competitor?
When Apple renamed the iPad to “iPad Air” last year, it reflected the MacBook naming system: Airs and Pros. Whilst we don’t have an iPad Pro yet, we’re sure that one will be coming soon. Expect something slightly larger than the existing tablet, with better keyboard support a la Microsoft’s Surface. Again, we can’t say for sure that it’ll be coming tomorrow – the new iPads are only 6 months old, so Apple may hold back until the fall for a new tablet.
Mac OS X: A Move Back To Mobile?
All the signs with OS X point to one thing: it’s about to undergo a major redesign. We’re hearing whispers of an iOS 7 inspired design, with increased simplicity in the UI and a more barebones, flat approach. The Mac and iPhone will also work better together than they ever have before – expect total synergy as Apple tries to link up its ecosystem. One thing’s for sure: we’ll be getting our first look at the new OS on stage at WWDC.
Apple TV: Will Apple Conquer the Living Room?
The iTV has been rumoured for years now – the living room is the one area of life that Apple haven’t yet got control over, and a TV would lead to the ecosystem being complete. We’re certain that Apple are working on a TV set, but it’s not coming this year – expect a wait of at least a year or two before that comes to fruition. Instead, we’ll likely be seeing a revamp of the existing Apple TV box: it could finally be time for Apple to open it up to app developers, and we can play all our great iOS games on the big screen. We could also be seeing some new content deals – Apple has been in deep discussions with cable companies for a while, and we might start to see some of these talks come to fruition. Cutting the cord may become that little bit easier…
Whatever happens tomorrow, one thing is guaranteed. Apple will announce a bunch of new stuff, a bunch of people will buy it, and they’ll make a bunch of money. With any luck, the new products will be pretty great as well. Stay tuned to Talkingship for our live blog of the event.