The Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC 2014) takes place June 2-6 in San Francisco, where 1,000 Apple engineers and 5,000 developers will gather. “And life will be different as a result,” says the WWDC site. WWDC has long been the place to be if you want to get an early glimpse at the future of iOS and OS X, and already iTunes chief Eddy Cue has teased that Apple’s product lineup this year is the best one that it’s had in over two decades.
Apple has multiple products on the horizon in 2014, but it appears that many will not be ready to be shown at the company’s keynote event. An new Apple TV set-top box, Apple’s rumored 12-inch Retina MacBook, and the iWatch all appear to be set for later at the earliest.
Apple also is reportedly planning to launch a software platform that will turn iOS devices into controllers for networked appliances. The Financial Times reported that Apple plans to introduce its interface for the Internet of Things at WWDC, challenging similar initiatives by Google, Samsung, and other companies.
During this year’s event, Apple is expected to preview both iOS 8 and OS X 10.10 ahead of their prospective fall releases. Developers often receive immediate access to beta versions of the operating systems in order to begin working on new apps and features, with public launches coming later.
As for Apple’s expected foray into wearable devices — the mythical iWatch, to be exact — we’re still waiting. But do expect Apple to tout Maps and multitasking in the next version of its mobile operating system, iOS 8, and maybe even a health app
Mac OS X 10.10
Expected to take center stage at WWDC: Mac OS X 10.10, which reportedly will borrow more than a few design elements from its mobile cousin iOS. Slated for fall release.
Apple, of course, won’t give its most popular operating system the short shrift at WWDC. It’s expected to unveil some new features of iOS 8, which likely will ship with the iPhone 6 later this year. Leaked images suggest iOS 8’s interface retains its predecessor’s look and feel, unsurprising as iOS 7 was the OS’s first major makeover.
A pair of OS X’s built-in apps could be headed to the iPhone. The image-viewer Preview and the basic writing tool TextEdit may be included in iOS 8, bringing further parity between the two platforms’ basic apps. 9to5Mac reports that iTunes Radio could get its own app too, making it a better competitor to services like Pandora by putting it front and center, rather than hiding inside the Music app. Of course, Apple might now prefer that you just head over to Beats Music instead.
No Apple TV
Sorry, but Apple’s long-rumored television set — or even an updated version
The tech industry sees health and exercise tracking as the next big thing, or so it would appear based on the surge of fitness-focused wearableshitting the market. Apple might use WWDC’s keynote to trumpet its upcoming healthcare app, aptly codenamed Healthbook, according to9to5Mac. The app reportedly allows iOS users to monitor their personal fitness data, including weight, body mass index (BMI), calories burned, and so on. Of course, a smartphone is a bit cumbersome to wear on a 10K run, but Apple’s rumored iWatch isn’t expected to arrive until later this year. So why unveil Healthbook at WWDC? To get developers ruminating about health- and fitness-oriented apps and services.
With all the hubbub about the Internet of Things being the next big thing, tech behemoths are staking their claims on the IoT. Google earlier this year bought connected thermostat-maker Nest, Samsung unveiled itsSmart Home appliance brand at CES 2014 in January, and now Apple reportedly will launch its own home automation platform at WWDC. TheFinancial Times (registration required) reports the iPhone will be the control center of Apple’s home automation platform. Upon arriving home, for instance, your iPhone could wirelessly trigger the house lights to turn on. An Apple patent filing from November 2013 outlined the company’s smart-home vision, according to the FT. Home automation has been around for at least two decades, but has never caught on beyond the enthusiast and luxury-home markets. Can Apple change the public’s ho-hum attitude toward the smart home?
You can see the live streaming from apple here.