It's nearly that time of year again when Apple holds its World Wide Developer Conference in California.
Each summer Apple holds this event, to get together as many Apple developers as it can under one roof, for a week of conferences, workshops and discussions about Apple's latest developments.
The conference opens with a keynote presentation from Tim Cook and other Apple execs. Historically, this keynote is where Apple announces new operating systems for both iOS and OS X devices. We will certainly hear about the new iOS 8 and OS X 10.10, (nickname unknown, my guess is Golden Gate or Big Sur).
Apple often releases or at least announces an update to its product line, below are my predictions for OS/software updates and hardware:-
Apples entry level and cheapest computer, the Mac Mini, has not seen an update since October 2012 and is well overdue. I think we will see an update to the latest Haswell processors and faster Iris graphics. I believe they may drop the price slightly to entice more people in from the Windows 8 world too.
I think we may get a glimpse at both new hardware and a new version of iOS for the Apple TV. This will allow the miniature unit to play games and have its own App store. Whether the current unit has enough 'poke' to play these games I am not sure; this may be something only available to the upcoming, 4th generation Apple TV.
I think we may see some kind of controller integration which uses the iPhone 5S/6 motion controller, aka M7. This would allow you to play the games from the comfort of your couch and control them with your iPhone.
I'm not sure we will see this yet, it may be talked about alongside the new iOS 8 but the unveiling could be done in September with release shortly after. It will have a bigger screen, better battery life, (hopefully), more RAM would be nice too. It may even be bundled with new earbuds from the strongly rumoured Beats/Apple buyout. Two available screen sizes and sapphire glass screen are other rumours.
MacBook Air Retina/Pro.
There are rumours of a new MacBook Air design with a 12" Retina screen. This may see the demise of the 11" and 13" MacBook Air. The retina displays use more battery power and Apple will not want to sacrifice the current 12 hour battery life of the 13" MacBook Air. Also the 11" 'Air has just had a £100 price reduction to make it more attractive. Its unlikely a Retina screen model will be offered at the same price point.
iOS is the name of the operating system that runs on the iPad, iPhone and iPod. Apple really need to do a major overhaul on their photo management in iOS. Things like the limit on Photo Stream and on device storage. iCloud backup should also be much more flexible and not be as expensive for those with 32 or 64GB iOS devices.
There are some strong rumours that we will see the inclusion of enhanced health trackers in iOS 8 and the new iPhone 6. This will tie in to the rumoured HealthBook application and iWatch device.
We should see the ability to AirDrop files between OS X and iOS devices with the next major updates too.
Split screen multi-tasking will allow you to put two applications side by side on your iPad and share information/data between the two applications. This sharing of data is something which is sorely missed in current versions of iOS. Having the two applications side by side and using some kind of temporary storage to allow sharing of data would allow this and perhaps get around the strong sandboxing security features that are built in to iOS. Apple will likely add iOS versions of TextEdit & Preview which will sync via iCloud with the desktop equivalents.
OS X 10.10.
I think the major overhaul we will see here is a flattening of the interface to make it more similar to that which came about with iOS 7. The muting of colours and perhaps use of more pastel shades (as seen in the WWDC 14 logo above) may become more prevelant. As is usual many of the apps will get updates and we might see the inclusion of a new HelthBook app which will tie in with the iOS version.
I've left this one to last as things seem to have gone quiet on this front recently. If the HelathBook app/system is announced then the 'watch' or iBand/iRing may be required to get all the data needed in to the monitoring app. The iWatch device will be some kind of wearable which will connect with your iPhone over Bluetooth LE and push notifications from your phone or health and environment data to your phone. Tim Cook hinted strongly at a new product line that Apple are involved in, whether the iWatch will be it, remains to be seen.
Those are my guesses at what we might see and hear about at WWDC this June, what would you like to see?