It’s that time again… Geeky productivity worldwide will screech to a grinding halt at lunch today as we gather around live blogs to observe Apple’s latest creations. Here are my predictions for this year’s WWDC:
In my mind, iOS 6 is kind of a weird animal; all of the other iterations to Apple’s mobile OS had semi-obvious additions that were meant to address obvious functional holes (copy and paste, “multitasking,” improved notifications, etc). iOS 6 isn’t as easy to predict, largely because iOS has matured so much over the past few years… So what’s left to fix?
The big item making the rounds right now is of course a revamped Maps app (using technology acquisitions from Placebase, C3 and more). It’s almost certainly happening, and you know what, I think its still going to be a bit of a surprise. Sure, the 3D maps will be a lot of fun to play with, but I’m expecting Apple to leverage their new internal tech in some more compelling ways. Think back to the intro of Siri last year; voice command tech isn’t that interesting on the surface, but it caught people’s imaginations because of the way it was used. I expect some similar out-of-the-box thinking in Apple’s custom approach to maps, some application of that tech that we haven’t seen before. (The best part of the whole thing? This hopefully means that Google will get the green-light for their own Maps app with all of their great tech… It’s a win for everybody!)
Beyond that, here’s some other stuff I think they’ll add/address:
- Several more big iCloud features
- Twitter-like Facebook integration at the OS level
- APIs for 3rd Party integration into Siri
- Auto-updating apps
- Live app icons in lieu of widgets
- A better multitasking view
- Multiple email signatures!
I have to admit, I’ll be extremely disappointed if we don’t get new form-factors today for the MacBook Pro line; they’re due for a major update beyond the now ubiquitous unibody style, which is starting to feel a little boring. Expect major public outcry if we don’t see that today.
Retina Displays? It would be awesome, but I’m giving it a 50% chance of happening at this point. Seems like it may be a higher-end Pro/Air only feature for now.
Wildcard: Apple TV Apps
It’s the logical progression of the platform, and something that isn’t too far-fetched, but I give it about a 20% chance of showing up today. In context of a keynote, it would be a lot to jam in when they already have iOS 6, Mountain Lion and new Macs to cover.
New iPhone? iPad Mini? iTV?
Not a chance. With iOS 6 debuting for devs today, we’re definitely on the same track to get the next iPhone in the Fall again (especially with the need to plug the Fall product release hole that was formerly occupied by a more-successful iPod line). I honestly wouldn’t be surprised to see an iPad Mini in the Fall as well, though.
So what about the oft-rumored iTV? My bets are on 2013.
So what do you think? Am I on-track or totally off-base? Let’s talk it over in the comments below.