At 10 a.m. PST/6 p.m. BST today Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, will be taking to the stage for the Keynote presentation of this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). This is where Apple announce and preview the new versions of iOS, the operating system for the iPhone and iPad, and OS X for Mac.3
This year we expect to see Apple unveil iOS 8 that should see some new apps and improved features. There’s already been rumors of a fitness tracking app called ‘Healthbook’, improvements to the Maps app, and new TextEdit and Preview apps. There’s also expected to be a visual tidying up but nothing as dramatic as the change from iOS 6 to 7. At Moscone Center West, where WWDC is taking place, banners have gone up showing the number 8 against a water background.
More recently suggestions of iOS in the home have surfaced. This would mean that your iPhone or iPad with iOS 8 on could tap into many items throughout your house such as lighting, heating, and other appliances and be controlled from your device. Some of it could even be automated based on your location and the use of iBeacons.
OS X 10.10
Mac OS X 10.10 is also set be announced. It is supposedly going to receive a visual overhaul that will bring it closer in-line with iOS 7 and iOS 8 along with a few new features. Control Center could be making its way over to the desktop and the Dock that holds apps could see a redesign to make each icon clearer. Many die-hard Mac fans may not be too excited by this prospect but it should help make it easier to use.
Other suggestions point to the possibility of a wrist device, dubbed ‘iWatch’ being unveiled. This could be used to track your movement and heart rate which then sync back to your iOS device, while it could also display notifications on its display. This would work alongside ‘Healthbook’ in iOS 8.
Also expected to be mentioned is the recent acquisition of Beats Electronics, makers of the huge headphones and streaming-music service Beats Music. Apple has stated that Beats branding will remain and Jimmy Iovine will be joining Apple as an executive. His experience in Hollywood is hoped to be the final key to securing content deals with film and television companies.
Another long-rumored product is an Apple TV set. It still seems that a full HDTV is a while away but we could see a new Apple TV box and an update to the overall look. Currently uses an interface similar to iOS 5 from 2011! This could definitely do with a visual refresh.
Lastly, it’s possible that Apple may update the iMac and release slightly cheaper versions. With the desktop PC market in decline, a cheaper iMac may draw more Windows customers into purchasing the all-in-one machine.
After the event we’ll be posting our reactions and thoughts on the iOS 8 and OS X announcements.