With June 2nd now creeping up on us, we’re just few hours away from some significant revelations from Apple at WWDC 2014. But what are we to expect from this annual show-piece? Here, we discuss what might, and what almost certainly will be announced at WWDC, along with a few hopeful stabs in the dark for good measure.
It seems a given that Apple will take the wraps off iOS 8, the next major installment of its mobile operating system. As discussed in quite some detail, the Cupertino company is likely to include a "Healthbook" suite, which will apparently include a bunch of features such as heart rate monitor, fitness tracker and diet planning capabilities in one card-like interface.
Aside from Healthbook, which will supposedly borrow much of its design and interface from Passbook, leaks have pointed to a dedicated Tips app along with an iTunes Radio app, the latter of which would give Apple’s streaming service a much-needed sense of identity having been almost forgotten since its iOS 7 roll-out.
‘Smart Home’ automation feature for iPhone is also said to be part of this major update.
With some big improvements to Siri that will include Shazam integration and a notable bump in reliability and general functionality of Maps, Apple will be concentrating heavily on refining the performance of some major features, and with an iOS 8 beta likely to follow the announcement, we’ll also have an immediate opportunity to dissect and scrutinize the update.
For more detailed coverage on iOS 8, be sure to check out:
OS X 10.10
While leaks pertaining to Apple’s mobile software have been plentiful, details on Mavericks’ eventual successor – OS X 10.10 – have been scarce to say the least.
However, aside from an aesthetic overhaul in the image of iOS 7, it isn’t believed that Apple will make any major alterations with the upcoming Mac software update, and given the incremental nature of Mavericks’ own tweaks over Mountain Lion, we’d be very surprised if Apple does anything drastic here.
In the past few days, it has come to light courtesy of 9to5Mac that Apple may have some interesting hardware announcements up its sleeve, which, in turn, has fuelled speculation as to what could be in the offing.
Given how long it’s been since the Retina MacBook Pro first hit the scene, a sharper displaying Retina MacBook Air seems more a matter of "when" than "if," and even though we’re now two years on from our first brush with Apple’s dazzling notebook display, we’re no less stoked about the prospect of the Air finally getting involved.
One Mac that Apple seems to have forgotten about is Mac mini, which was last refreshed back in October 2012. If the latest chatter is anything to go by, we might see a refreshed Mac mini making its way on stage at WWDC ‘14.
Apple TV 4th-Gen
(maybe, please Apple, make it happen!)
Given the hardware talk, it’s also possible that Apple may finally deliver an upgrade on the 3rd-gen Apple TV which, like the Retina MacBook Air, seems long overdue.
Apple has been busily adding new content streams and channels onto its set-top streamer over the past year, affording it an air of respectability previously unseen after it has been once famously described as a "hobby." Amid these improvements, we’ve been hearing since September of last year that Apple TV 4 was in the works, and among the reports, it has been suggested that gaming support will arrive, accompanied by Bluetooth MFi controllers.
Unlikely to make the cut for WWDC this year:
- iPhone 6
- iPad Air 2
- iPad mini 3
Whether we’ll be seeing any new hardware at all remains to be seen, but given that iOS 8 and OS X 10.10 are both near-certainties, let’s hope there are also a few nice surprises to come on June 2nd.
What do you most want to see Apple announce at WWDC tomorrow?