Category: iOS 5.x

Coverage of WWDC 2011

Developers line-up for the WWDC 2011 Keynote

Developers line-up for the WWDC 2011 Keynote

Good morning from San Francisco. At 10am Pacific time Apple CEO Steve Jobs will take to the stage at the Moscone West building to discuss Mac OS X, iCloud and iOS 5. For a complete look at what is expected at today’s keynote take a look at World of Apple’s rumour roundup as well as our special coverage of iCloud and iOS 5.

World of Apple will not be providing live coverage of the WWDC keynote but we will offer a full commentary of what Apple announces, we will also be updating our Twitter feed with photos and text updates. For live coverage please visit one of the following sites:

The keynote begins at the following times:

10:00AM – Pacific
11:00AM – Mountain
12:00PM – Central
01:00PM – Eastern
06:00PM – London
07:00PM – Paris
09:00PM – Moscow
02:00AM – Tokyo (Tuesday 7th)
04:00AM – Sydney (Tuesday 7th)

Join World of Apple after the keynote for a full roundup of news and analysis.

Rumour Roundup: WWDC 2011

Moscone West adorned with Apple logos for WWDC 2011

Moscone West adorned with Apple logos for WWDC 2011 | Photo: kiel

It’s that time in the Apple calendar again, the biggest event of the year is upon us and this years looks set to be one of the best for many years. Worldwide Developers Conference 2011 kicks off on Monday June 6 and will run through until Friday for the 5,000 developers in attendance. Held at the Moscone West building in San Francisco Apple has in the past used the stage for unveiling new iPhone hardware—but not this year.

2011 has been something of a special year for Apple so far, over the past couple of years it looked like the company had settled into a routine which went something like: iOS preview in March followed by iPhone hardware release in June and public release of iOS a week or so later. Other hardware had reasonably set release dates and iPod hardware was always refreshed in September—to be fair this will probably still be the case but likely overshadowed by iPhone hardware.

What we know about this years WWDC is that it’ll be primarily a software show, in fact if Apple’s press release is to be believed then it’ll be a completely hardware free zone. Apple is playing a PR game; due to the previous release cycle of the iPhone the general media and consumer are expecting new iPhone hardware but with this not happening until September at the earliest they’ll be left disappointed so Apple has been careful to outline exactly what it’ll use the stage at WWDC for.

In Apple’s press release the company said that it will discuss Mac OS X Lion, the next major iOS release and a new service called iCloud. That was the first time Apple has revealed the name of an unreleased product in a press release in the company’s history, some might say they’re desperate to calm expectations.

iOS 5

World of Apple has already written an extensive piece on the fifth major update to iOS as part of our Fast Forward series, here’s what to expect in iOS 5:

  • Totally overhauled notification system, removing intrusiveness and adding functionality.
  • A departure from the current look of iOS, exact details unknown.
  • Extensive integration with Apple’s iCloud. Whilst details are very slim expect streaming music from iTunes, over-the-air delivery of Apps and possibly their data. Same goes for contacts, calendars and bookmarks.
  • Ability to auto-download App updates.
  • Media streaming feature where media is synced to iCloud and propagated to devices sharing the same stream.
  • Twitter integrated at a system level with the ability to send photos and video straight to the third-party service. No word on Facebook but don’t be surprised if its in too.

Based on historic evidence, Apple will put iOS 5 into developer testing. The first build will presumably be in developers hands immediately after the keynote on Monday, Apple will test iOS 5 in the developer community until September when we’re expecting the next iPhone hardware refresh.

iCloud

Next up is Apple’s iCloud. World of Apple has also penned an exhaustive look at what iCloud could consist of as part of our Fast Forward series. As mentioned above this is the first time that a product name as been released ahead of it being unveiled and with little clue as to what it is. Whilst this is evidently a move by Apple’s PR team to try and deflect some attention away from a lack of iPhone hardware it looks like iCloud could be impressive enough to absorb the fall.

As described by many in the Apple rumour field iCloud is one of Apple’s best kept secrets in years but is the key to bringing Mac OS and iOS together. Here’s the lowdown on iCloud:

  • iTunes locker is a feature of iCloud but not the whole of iCloud.
  • iTunes locker will scan libraries for storage in the cloud so no uploading. New purchases will go to the locker rather than be downloaded to a particular library.
  • Music will be streamed from the cloud to iOS devices and iTunes.
  • iTunes locker will be free initially with a $25/year charge in the future.
  • MobileMe will be merged into iCloud and turn completely free, at least for those purchasing Mac OS X or an iOS device.
  • Apple will offer Dropbox like file storage and syncing, replacing iDisk.
  • Media streaming feature on iOS devices allowing instant sharing of photos and movies.

In addition to the scant information above about iCloud, Daring Fireball’s John Gruber has written a short piece on what he expects Apple to unveil during the WWDC keynote. Staring the post by saying, “The big picture regarding iOS 5 and iCloud […] is an utter mystery to me.” Gruber goes onto highlight that iCloud is not a music storage service, “Music storage is a feature of iCloud; iCloud is not a music service.”

The most revealing bit of information released by the often very accurate Gruber reads:

Don’t think of iCloud as the new MobileMe; think of iCloud as the new iTunes.

The point Gruber is making is that currently iTunes is a single point of contact for device syncing and storage, this will become iCloud. iOS devices will receive data and sync from iCloud, purchased media will go to iCloud rather than iTunes and will be accessible from all devices.

Mac OS X Lion

Apple’s next major update to Mac OS X feels somewhat overshadowed by all this talk of iCloud and iOS 5 but Apple is making it quite clear that all three products will interrelate with each other whilst not relying on each other. Apple’s aim is to create environments that interact seamlessly with each other.

There’s a lot we already know about Mac OS X Lion as it was first previewed by Apple in February this year alongside the release of the MacBook Air. At the time the new features were touted as:

  • a new version of Mail, with an elegant, widescreen layout inspired by the iPad; Conversations, which automatically groups related messages into one easy to read timeline; more powerful search; and support for Microsoft Exchange 2010;
  • AirDrop, a remarkably simple way to copy files wirelessly from one Mac to another with no setup;
  • Versions, which automatically saves successive versions of your document as you create it, and gives you an easy way to browse, edit and even revert to previous versions;
  • Resume, which conveniently brings your apps back exactly how you left them when you restart your Mac or quit and relaunch an app;
  • Auto Save, which automatically saves your documents as you work;
  • the all new FileVault, that provides high performance full disk encryption for local and external drives, and the ability to wipe data from your Mac instantaneously; and
  • Mac OS X Lion Server, which makes setting up a server easier than ever and adds support for managing Mac OS X Lion, iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices.

Since the original preview Apple has been giving developers numerous builds for testing purposes, the builds show no significant changes and more importantly show no significant signs of iCloud integration.

Apple has promised a summer release for Mac OS X Lion giving them plenty of time to release a GM developer build with a release expected in mid to late July.

Hardware

Despite Apple’s attempts to convince otherwise, it does look like Apple will unveil some hardware at WWDC this year. But it won’t be a new iPhone. Key to Apple’s iCloud strategy appears to be hosting your own mini-cloud on hardware in your house.

Rumours have this week consistently pointed to a major refresh of Apple’s Time Capsule router/hard drive. According to sources Apple’s Time Capsule will act as the cloud with data saved being backed up immediately to the Time Capsule and then accessible from iOS devices and other Macs. This description is offered from a Cult of Mac article:

Our source didn’t have any information about the hardware, but detailed how the Home Folder access system works. Files saved on your computer are backed up instantly to Time Capsule, which makes them available to remote Macs and iOS devices.

If you make any changes on any computer, those changes are updated through iCloud and stored on your Time Capsule. The Time Capsule archives and serves up your files even when your computers are off. When you get home and fire up your desktop computer or laptop, the files are automatically synced across your devices.

This service will also allow you to upload photos and videos from your iPhone or iPad to your Time Capsule. The media will be stored on the device and be made available for other devices to sync. iCloud is the “conduit” through which everything moves, the source said.

“Your computer gets backed up to Time Capsule anyways,” said the source. “Now it’ll serve up your content when you want it, where you want it, right there on your iOS device.”

This of course does not cover Apple’s iTunes in the cloud service that will presumably actually operate from the cloud and not local storage.

WWDC 2011 Coverage

On Monday, June 6 Apple will kick off its annual Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco. WWDC 2011 will run from June 6-10 and the opening keynote will be hosted by Apple CEO Steve Jobs. The company has already outlined that it will discuss iOS 5, iCloud and Mac OS X Lion. World of Apple will provide full coverage from San Francisco during WWDC 2011.

The keynote will begin at the following times on Monday, June 6:

10:00AM – Pacific
11:00AM – Mountain
12:00PM – Central
01:00PM – Eastern
06:00PM – London
07:00PM – Paris
09:00PM – Moscow
02:00AM – Tokyo (Tuesday 7th)
04:00AM – Sydney (Tuesday 7th)

Fast Forward: iOS

Moscone West adorned with Apple logos for WWDC 2011

Moscone West adorned with Apple logos for WWDC 2011 | Photo: kiel

iOS is arguably Apple’s most important asset, with the operating system running on iPhones, iPads, iPod touches and although not commonly known Apple TVs it is now operating on well over 100 million devices and that number is growing by tens of millions every quarter.

Such success puts Apple in a precarious position when it comes to moving forward. The problem has afflicted Apple before many a time, most recently with the switch from PowerPC to Intel processors. Changes that affect both developers and cause inconvenience to the consumer are sometimes necessary but very difficult to overcome.

At the Worldwide developers conference that kicks off on Monday Apple is going to show off the fifth major version of iOS. It is heavily rumoured and well known within certain circles that iOS 5 will be the biggest departure since the original launch of iOS in 2007. Not only in terms of functionality but also appearance.

iOS 5 much like the upcoming iCloud service is one of Apple’s best kept secrets, with mere hours to go before Steve Jobs gets up on stage not a single screen shot or solid description of how certain functionality will work has been leaked.

Notifications

Since Apple’s introduction of push notifications the system has quickly outgrown itself, it is a common peeve of most iOS users that notifications are intrusive, easy to miss and not very functional. With the growing popularity of Android and WebOS the idea of a better notification system is evidently a major priority for Apple.

Simply put, whatever Apple plans to do with notifications in iOS 5 hasn’t been made privy to anyone in the Apple rumour world.

A recent rumour from TechCrunch came as close as I’ve seen anyone come but simply stated that the system would be “completely revamped”.

Apple has of course been at a similar juncture before, the problem of notifications in iOS is not new to 2011, it was a problem in iOS 3 and wasn’t changed at all in the switch to iOS 4 in early-2010. For a long time iOS lacked copy and paste and then in iOS 3 in 2009 the feature arrived with Apple admitting that feature took them a long time to vision and create.

Expect a similar move from Apple with notifications, they’ve evidently been working on it for a while.

iCloud

Signage straight out of WWDC already tells us that iOS 5 will be a major part of Apple’s iCloud initiative with the service presumably being integrated at the system level.

As discussed in World of Apple’s extensive overview of iCloud the exact details of such iOS 5 integration are only known in scant pieces of information.

We do know that Apple looks likely to create media streams, where the data stored on an iOS device is synced back to the cloud which is then pushed out to other devices sharing the same stream.

Apple could go further in its iCloud integration and make the switch to a new iOS device less painful by removing the requirement to sync to iTunes. Whilst this would require a new method of updating the iOS and validating it we are already used to the joys of the cloud helping move data between devices. MobileMe is a great example on iOS of how I can get all my contacts, email, calendars and bookmarks within minutes of buying a new iPhone or iPad.

Such syncing extended across app data and the Apps themselves as well as photos and movies would make iOS devices truly internet connected devices.

Also revealed accidentally by Apple is a feature that looks set to arrive in iOS 5 that will allow automatic downloading of iOS updates. Another signal of the departure from iTunes based app updating.

iTunes

It remains debatable whether the heavily rumoured ‘iTunes locker’ feature is part of iCloud or not. What we do know is that iOS devices are where music is important and where the challenges lie with streaming of music. As pointed out by Steve Jobs himself numerous times, the iPhone is Apple’s greatest iPod but a fully streaming from the cloud music service would be largely redundant on iPhones with capped data services or in an area with no signal.

Assuming Apple’s iTunes in the cloud product is as expected and will consist of entire music libraries in the cloud for streaming then the option to have them available for offline listening will be necessary. Whether these options are still defined through iTunes or on the device itself is not known but if purchasing a song from iTunes sends it straight to the ‘locker’ then it won’t be in the iTunes library for syncing to the iOS device.

Third party integration

The rumours have been strong and consistent but not entirely clear. The word is that Apple will build Twitter into iOS 5, not as a client but at a system level. The way to imagine this is to look at how YouTube is currently built into iOS. YouTube doesn’t just exist as an app to view videos and by extension viewing embedded videos on websites but also exists as an option to send video to YouTube.

This is how Twitter will work in iOS 5, the ability to send photos, movies and Tweet bits of text from within the system itself.

But such closely integrated Twitter integration raises the point why Facebook won’t also be embedded into the system at such a level, it’s proven by most other smartphone operating systems that Facebook integration is functional and handy. The amount of data Facebook holds about contacts makes this a far more natural move but it doesn’t look like it’s on the cards.

Conclusion

So it’s evident, knowledge of iOS 5 is slim. The rumours have been vague and the big stuff is obviously well under wraps. What we do know is that the fifth major version of iOS will be a significant leap and will solidify the relationship between the Mac and iOS whilst moving away from a reliance on iTunes to sync.

Integration with Apple’s iCloud will break iOS devices away from their cables and allow data to be accessed and moved between devices seamlessly, often without the users intervention.

Notifications and the flow of iOS will be overhauled, making notifications less intrusive and more functional. Whilst it would be a stretch to believe that Apple will allow notifications to be actioned whilst another app is running—such as replying to a text whilst in Safari—it is possible Apple will add more functionality than is already available.

WWDC 2011 Coverage

On Monday, June 6 Apple will kick off its annual Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco. WWDC 2011 will run from June 6-10 and the opening keynote will be hosted by Apple CEO Steve Jobs. The company has already outlined that it will discuss iOS 5, iCloud and Mac OS X Lion. World of Apple will provide full coverage from San Francisco during WWDC 2011.

The keynote will begin at the following times on Monday, June 6:

10:00AM – Pacific
11:00AM – Mountain
12:00PM – Central
01:00PM – Eastern
06:00PM – London
07:00PM – Paris
09:00PM – Moscow
02:00AM – Tokyo (Tuesday 7th)
04:00AM – Sydney (Tuesday 7th)

Auto Download of Apps Expected to Arrive in iOS 5

Apple has seemingly leaked a forthcoming feature of iOS 5 which the company will preview on Monday at the WWDC 2011 opening keynote. The feature which was uncovered by a Mac Rumors reader suggests that the next major operating system update for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch will allow auto-downloading of apps.

The slip-up appeared briefly on Apple’s App Update page but has now been removed, the line of text reads:

Or if your device has Automatic Download enabled for apps, your updates will download to your device without having to sync.

Currently app updates on iOS must either be synced via iTunes or manually updated through the App Store.

On Monday, June 6 Apple will kick off its annual Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco. WWDC 2011 will run from June 6-10 and the opening keynote will be hosted by Apple CEO Steve Jobs. The company has already outlined that it will discuss iOS 5, iCloud and Mac OS X Lion. World of Apple will provide full coverage from San Francisco during WWDC 2011.

Fast Forward: Apple’s iCloud

Preparations begin at Moscone West, San Francisco for WWDC 2011

Preparations begin at Moscone West, San Francisco for WWDC 2011 | Photo: @argv0

As we begin the run up to WWDC 2011 it is time to look at a number of rumours that have surfaced over the last few months and see if there is a discernible pattern emerging that will give a picture of how Apple will play out the second half of 2011 and beyond. In a number of Fast Forward feature articles World of Apple will attempt to do just that.

One of the most complex pieces of the puzzle is Apple’s cloud vision, with little more than a few scant rumours to go by looking at this potentially huge move for Apple relies on a lot of forward thinking. In addition Apple’s moves in regard to the cloud will no doubt affect how it develops products that will integrate with the cloud, I’m not just talking about software but also hardware. What’s presented in this article is a compilation of not just rumours but also knowledge and ‘smart speculation’.

The Cloud

Let’s quickly look at what exactly the term ‘cloud’ means, many people use it in many different ways but with this article I want to focus on just one particular aspect of the cloud. The term cloud refers to resources and applications stored in a remote location to the users hardware and accessed via the internet. The cloud takes many different forms, for example cloud storage such as Dropbox allows me to seamlessly store files in the cloud and have them accessed from any internet connected device, anywhere in the world. Software can also operate solely out of the cloud, for example Gmail is effectively an email application in the cloud.

Of course Apple already makes extensive use of the cloud through its MobileMe service; email, contacts, bookmarks, and calendars are all stored in the cloud and accessible via the internet. Apple also has a number of cloud software options, namely the MobileMe applications but also iWork.com a service launched in January 2009. Whilst iWork.com pales in comparison to Google Docs or Microsoft’s Windows Live Office, it does allow the storage of documents for viewing and commenting but not editing—as of yet.

So let’s look at storage first, I’ll assume that Apple will not regress its current cloud services and only improve upon them so contacts, email, bookmarks and calendars will remain stored in the cloud and accessible via any internet connected device. MobileMe’s current syncing is relatively robust, making it a cinch to move all this data between new computers and iOS devices.

iTunes in the cloud

The biggest rumours around Apple’s cloud movements surround not only the gigantic pair of data centres that the company has built in North Carolina but also how iTunes will fit into the space. Recent moves by both Amazon and Google give some hints as to what is possible with music in the cloud arena. Announced in early May Google Music is a service that allows streaming of music stored in the cloud to Android devices and any device capable of using Adobe Flash. Google’s offering is remarkably similar to that of Amazon’s Cloud Drive service that allows music stored in the cloud to be streamed to devices or to Amazon’s special Cloud Player app.

Following the release of these two offerings from Google and Amazon a number of music labels came forward to express how much they hoped Apple’s service to be superior to both the current available services. Both Google and Amazon lack licences from the big four music labels, leaving them wide open to copyright issues. It is already known that Apple has inked a deal with Warner Music Group and other labels are said to be behind Apple’s initiative. So what could Apple deliver that is so different?

As documented by this VentureBeath review of Google Music the issues facing cloud-based music are huge and difficult to overcome and I believe Apple could easily be ahead of the curve on a number of these. To get music to existing cloud services it needs to be uploaded, this is fine if you have 500 songs but Google can currently store up to 20,000 songs, that’s well in excess of 160GB of music. Just imagine having to upload all that. The key difference is that a lot of music has already been bought from Apple, it wouldn’t be hard for Apple to fill your “iTunes locker” with already purchased music leaving the user to upload the odd CD or free song they’ve amassed elsewhere. It is even possible if Apple has negotiated so that a simple scan of a users iTunes library will yield the same results in an online locker that no uploading would be involved at all.

The other question is how Apple will allow the streaming of the music, I’d like to think that Apple has built a cloud-based iTunes app for organisation and streaming of the music and will make the integration with iOS, Mac and Windows very seamless with the ability to cache playlists for offline playing.

So what does this rely on? One thing we know Apple is garnering that both Google and Amazon don’t have, is the support of at least the big four music labels, report after report over the last month have pointed towards Apple negotiating hard with the labels. Luckily for us those involved with music labels are often equipped with gassy mouths and a number of sources inside labels have confirmed that Apple is signing streaming licenses. We’ve heard that from inside Sony, EMI Group and Warner Music Group with Universal Music Group being close to sealing the deal.

It should be pointed out that Apple needs more than just deals with labels, the company will also need to pen deals with publishers. As outlined by All Things Digital‘s Peter Kafka whilst Warner, EMI and Sony have signed; their publishers Warner/Chappell, EMI Music Publishing and Sony/ATV have not and will need to do so before Apple can go ahead with its iTunes cloud initiative.

Kafka also says that sources in the music industry indicate that Apple “wants to launch–or at least announce–the cloud service at its developers’ conference in early June.”

iCloud

With strong rumours that Apple purchased iCloud.com for $4.5 million from Swedish company Xcerion it is just another piece in the puzzle for Apple’s cloud vision. [Edit: 31/5, Apple confirms iCloud name in pre-announcement in press release]

What I’ve outlined above is a service that will very seamlessly offer access to almost all the data we all use on a day to day basis. But there are of course still pieces missing, email, contacts, bookmarks, calendars and music in the cloud, what about photos, documents, user profiles and so on? It’s a stretch to suggest that Apple will next month switch entirely to a cloud-based strategy but it will start pushing.

As far as storage is concerned Apple currently offers iDisk, a simple online storage area that is accessible online. iDisk offers rudimentary syncing but not nearly to the same extent as Dropbox. I suspect iDisk won’t go the way of Dropbox just yet but Apple will focus on making iDisk more the centre of where data is stored and making it easier for iOS devices to use that data and save data there.

Add into this the rumoured media/photo streaming that was first spotted in a build of iOS 4.3 back in April. Uncovered by a developer the references suggest a deeply integrated method of media sharing in iOS and presumably extending out into the cloud. The basic idea of the system, based on scant evidence is that a photo album on an iOS device can be made public, shared with others and will automatically sync changes across all shared versions of the album.

Hardware

Such a deeply integrated cloud system that extends right across Mac OS X and iOS would mean changes for Apple hardware too. One of the best recent examples of how Apple’s cloud ambitions can formidably change Apple’s hardware is the Apple TV. The original Apple TV unveiled in 2007 alongside the iPhone was large, weighty and sold for $299. Compare that to the Apple TV released in 2010 which is smaller, lighter and sells for $99. The key difference in the two products is Apple’s media delivery which changed from storage on the device to streaming to the device via the internet or a networked computer.

Apple TV pricing

Original Apple TV (left) and second generation Apple TV pricing (right)

With this change came another change: Apple stopped advertising the storage capacity of the device (see above). Whilst we now know that the current Apple TV has 8GB of onboard storage for the OS and Apps it is important for the consumer to know this. The key idea is that the less storage a device has the cheaper it can be manufactured, Apple sells the previous generation iPhone (with 8GB of storage) at a cheap price point, could they get away with selling “streaming only” iPhones and iPod touches?

The barrier to such a rapid movement towards streaming only devices is the networks they run on. Cellular networks around the world have become severely strained under the use of the iPhone and other smartphones, in fact many networks have begun putting limits on usage; not something that would be possible if all the data on the device relied on an internet connection, even with copious amounts of caching.

Apple ID Key

Often overlooked is how Apple ties services and hardware together, the Apple ID is already one of the company’s greatest assets. Attached to that email and password combination is access to the App Stores, iTunes, MobileMe or Find my iPhone and FaceTime just to name a few. Of course also hanging on many of those IDs are credit card numbers, hundreds of millions of credit card numbers.

There is some disparity across different IDs that Apple uses currently, for example my Apple ID is not linked to my MobileMe account but with an amalgamation of these IDs and with one simple login I can have a device populated with data from the cloud instantly. A device that now not only has access to all my music, movies and photos via media streams but my contacts, bookmarks, email accounts, calendars, Apps and App data but also my credit card. Apple no doubt has plans to move into the near-field payment systems that other rivals such as Google have begun to push out but that’s another subject for another day.

Pricing

Apple is likely to offer a tiered package for its cloud services, currently MobileMe is sold for $99/year (£59) and includes many services such as email and contact storage that other services offer for free. I’d expect the current MobileMe elements to turn free with additional cloud services such as the iTunes locker and media streaming being available for a yearly subscription or even a monthly subscription to compete with the likes of Spotify.

Rumours today point towards Apple offering all its cloud services free to those who purchase a copy of Mac OS X Lion but it is not known whether this will be for a limited period of time or indefinitely.

Conclude

Whilst solid rumours about Apple’s further movement into the cloud space are few and far between we do know that Apple will make an attempt to group its services under the iCloud umbrella. By taking its current MobileMe services, adding in an iTunes locker with the ability to stream to iOS devices, online storage for data and App content and linking it all together with a single ID then Apple will be creating a formidable service many other companies will struggle to compete with.

What we can be sure of is the key role that Mac OS X Lion and iOS will play in creating this cloud experience, the transition to fully cloud-dependent software is surely years away but with an increasing amount of data in the cloud it will make moving from one piece of hardware to another a breeze and will allow the streamlining of devices and reduction in pricing.

Schmidt: Apple Renew Maps and Search Deal

Google Exec chairman Eric Schmidt at D9 Conference

Google Exec chairman Eric Schmidt at D9 Conference | Photo by: Asa Mathat | All Things Digital

In his interview at D9 conference Google Executive chairman Eric Schmidt revealed that Apple has renewed its partnership deal with Google to use Search and Maps. The executive chairman who used to sit on Apple’s board of directors said:

“We just renewed our Map and Search agreements with Apple, and we hope those continue for a long time.”

The statement gives confirmation that Apple will continue to use Google Search and Map services in iOS 5 for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.

Steve Jobs to Present WWDC 2011 Keynote Announcing iCloud

WWDC 2011 Logo

Apple has today revealed that Apple CEO Steve Jobs and a team of executives will present the WWDC 2011 keynote next Monday in San Francisco. Apple will unveil its next generation software – Lion, the eighth major release of Mac OS X; iOS 5, the next version of Apple’s advanced mobile operating system which powers the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch; and iCloud, Apple’s upcoming cloud services offering.

WWDC will feature more than 100 technical sessions presented by Apple engineers. Mac developers will see and learn how to develop world-class Mac OS X Lion applications using its latest technologies and capabilities. Mobile developers will be able to explore the latest innovations and capabilities of iOS and learn how to greatly enhance the functionality, performance and design of their apps. All developers can bring their code to the labs and work with Apple engineers.

The WWDC 2011 keynote will start on Monday, June 6 at 10:00am pacific time. World of Apple will be in San Francisco to provide full coverage.

iOS 5 Rumoured to Drop 3GS Support

iPhone 3GS

Apple iPhone 3GS | © World of Apple 2009

In a single Tweet Eldar Murtazin, editor-in-chief of Russian mobile phone blog Mobile-Review has cast speculation on whether the next major update to iOS will be compatible with the iPhone 3GS.

The tweet posted earlier today reads: “Just one comment. Apple iPhone 3Gs wont be upgradable to iOS 5.x. iPhone 4 will.”

Naturally a tweet is very informal and is not attributed to any sources but Murtazin has a good reputation for mobile related rumours but not of the Apple kind.

When Apple released iOS 4 last June it was compatible with the iPhone 3G, 3GS and 4, support for the iPhone 3G was dropped earlier this year with the release of iOS 4.3.

iOS 5 Rumoured for 2H 2011 Release

It is being rumoured that Apple could break its past pattern of announcing new iOS releases in April by announcing iOS 5 in June with a release coming later on in September. TechCrunch reports that it’s heard from “two solid sources” that Apple is planning to release the next major version of iOS in the fall.

TechCrunch speculates that Apple could preview iOS 5 at WWDC in June but would wait until fall before a release. Adding some colour about iOS 5 the report notes that the update will be a “major revamp” and will be heavily build around the cloud with the inclusion of several new services. One such service is said to be called “music locker” and Apple aims to launch this at its annual music event in September.

Techcrunch also revives rumours that Apple will release a second iPad this year which will purportedly coincide with the release of iOS 5, despite Apple dubbing 2011 the “year of the iPad 2″.

Rumour Roundup: Apple’s March 2 Special Event

Yerba Buena Center Prepared for Apple’s March 2011 Event

Yerba Buena Center Prepared for Apple’s March 2011 Event | Photo by Kiel

Tomorrow Apple will host an event for the media at the Yerba Buena Center for Arts in San Francisco, the event which was officially announced last week will also be simulcast to European members of the media at the BBC Television Centre in London. The London based event is rumoured to be hosted by Stephen Fry.

Apple’s March 2 event will begin at:

10:00AM – Pacific
11:00AM – Mountain
12:00PM – Central
01:00PM – Eastern
06:00PM – London
07:00PM – Paris
09:00PM – Moscow
02:00AM – Tokyo (Wednesday 3rd)
04:00AM – Sydney (Wednesday 3rd)

Apple has recently also offered video streams of events and is expected to do so again. The company has been known to wait until up to four hours before the event before revealing whether a video stream will be available.

Tomorrow’s special event is widely expected to see the unveiling of the second-generation iPad, but what can we expect from “iPad 2″ and will Apple unveil anything else alongside it? Read on for a complete roundup of rumours related to Apple’s March 2 Media Event.

iPad 2

A refresh of the iPad is almost guaranteed at tomorrow’s event, speculation about an iPad refresh has been rampant for some months now and Apple’s own media invitation includes a sneak peak of an iPad on them but what’s going to change?

The refresh is actually largely rumoured to be one of mediocre value, the iPad 2 as it has been dubbed will most likely get a little thinner with the edges being tapered in a shaper fashion than the current model. The next-generation iPad is also likely to pack a slightly faster processor, possibly named the Apple A5. Apple is expected to increase the amount of RAM from 256MB to 512MB and include a more powerful graphics processor.

The iPad 2 is also rumoured include a rear and front facing camera, a feature that many saw as big let down in the first-generation model.

Another heavily rumoured feature expected to arrive in iPad 2 is near field communication (NFC) technology that can send and receive information wirelessly over a distance of about 4 inches.

NFC has many uses but the most popular are the ability to pay small amounts for goods in shops acting as a debit/credit card. NFC is also applied to many transport systems around the world allowing money to be stored on an NFC device and debited by tapping onto gateways at transport locations.

One of the most debated features of this iPad refresh surrounded the display which has been rumoured to be higher in resolution; but recently those rumoured have seemed unfounded and the iPad is expected to retain its 1024×768 pixel 9.7-inch display. It is now believed that rumours of higher resolution displays, also known as “Retina displays” are actually likely to come to fruition with the release of a third-generation iPad later this year.

The iPad is not expected to see any increase in storage, nor see the inclusion of any kind of storage expansion like an SD card slot. The price points of the iPad are also not likely to change.

One element of the iPad’s release which hasn’t been detailed much is when we are likely to get our hands on the new iPad. A recent rumour from AppleInsider suggested that the iPad could go on sale almost immediately. Quoting people who have provided accurate information in the past the rumour site says that “at least one version of the refreshed device will be in transit to retail outlets during that briefing.”

Whilst it would remain plausible for Apple to begin shipping a refreshed iPad immediately it should be noted that a new model would have to receive Federal Communications Commission approval before going on sale, a process that is not easy to keep secret.

iOS

In the near future it is likely that we will see two new version of iOS, the first is iOS 4.3 which is currently in private developer testing, the second is iOS 5 which if going by Apple’s previous schedules will be released in the summer alongside a new iPhone.

Rumours point towards the release iOS 4.3 which has been in testing now since early January. It would make sense for Apple to discuss the new features of iOS 4.3 which would be presumably be available within a very close proximity to the event.

iPad iOS 4.3

Settings panel in iOS 4.3 on the iPad showing gesture and hardware switch settings

As for the release or even mention of iOS 5, that seems very unlikely. In the past two years Apple has set aside a special event in April just for the discussion of upcoming iOS releases, with a ship date of mid-summer.

MobileMe

MobileMe is the product that sits front and centre of many Apple rumours these days, the product which currently costs $99 year is considered by most to be expensive, contain far few features and have so much potential. The majority of rumours surrounding a MobileMe revamp focus on cloud storage with suggestions that Apple will enable all iTunes media to be stored in the cloud for access from any device.

A rumour recently surfaced following Apple pulling of retail boxes from stores that the revamp of MobileMe would go live as soon as tomorrow’s event, although based on the lack of credible word this seems unlikely.

Summary

In summary it seems very unlikely that Apple will pull any shockers out of the bag during tomorrow’s event. Expected is a refresh of the current iPad making it faster, thinner, lighter with built in cameras and NFC technology and running iOS 4.3. The refresh which will probably still go by the name iPad is expected to ship in close proximity to the event.

Any mentions of iOS 5 or MobileMe are not widely expected.