Moscone West in San Francisco ready for WWDC 2010 | Photo: Adam Jackson
The coming week marks one of the most important in Apple’s calendar, with the demise of Apple’s presence at Macworld the Worldwide Developers Conference marks the only occasion for Apple to host a scheduled stage event. WWDC also allows a significant number of developers across all of Apple’s platforms to learn new skills and come face to face with hundreds of Apple engineers.
On Monday morning Steve Jobs will take the stage at 10 a.m. Pacific time to open WWDC and announce a flurry of new and/or updated products. Speculation leading up to this years WWDC has been particularly dull following Gizmodo’s revealing of the latest iPhone some two months ago.
But it’s possible that Apple will have a couple of surprises up its sleeve, so here are the rumours that have led up to this years WWDC and World of Apple’s take on how likely they are to appear during the keynote.
Join World of Apple on Monday, June 7 at 10AM PT/6PM BST for up to the minute coverage of WWDC 2010.
iPhone HD – Very likely
It’s unlikely that Apple won’t announce a new iPhone on-stage tomorrow and to the same extent it looks unlikely that Apple will surprise us. For lots of information about what we do know about the next iPhone take a look here.
In summary World of Apple expects Apple to announce a new iPhone called iPhone HD and will make it available for sale to a number of countries on June 22. The iPhone HD is likely to still only be available from AT&T in the U.S.
iPhone OS 4.0 – Very likely
Apple has pegged iPhone OS 4.0 as being ready for the summer and in past years has coincided the software release around hardware updates. Last week Apple didn’t release iPhone OS 4.0 beta 5 and beta 4 is not ready for the prime time. It is likely that Apple will take another look at iPhone OS 4.0 and release either beta 5 or a release preview to developers.
Mutli-touch Trackpad for Desktop – Very likely
Although hints of a desktop based trackpad have been in the air for a couple of years it was Monday morning that saw photos purporting to be the device. Dubbed “Magic Trackpad” it looks likely that Apple will unveil the device at WWDC for use with desktop computers and will bring the multi-touch gestures that notebook users have enjoyed for years to the desktop.
Mac OS X 10.6.4, Safari 5 and Xcode 4 – Very likely
Mac OS X 10.6.4 entered the testing cycle towards the end of April, after just a few seeds the OS release appeared to enter a finished state. It is possible that Mac OS X 10.6.4 will be released to accompany new Mac hardware and accessories as well as Safari 5.
The first mention of Safari 5 appeared over the weekend with French Apple rumour site Mac Generation publishing a spec list for the release of Safari 5 which is expected at WWDC.
The feature list for Safari 5 is expected to be as follows:
- Safari Reader: Click on the new reader icon to view articles on the web in a single, clutter-free page.
- Bing Search Option: New Bing search option for Safari’s search field, in addition to Google and Yahho!
- Improved HTML5 support: Safari supports over a dozen new HTML5 features, including Geolocation, full screen for HTML5 video, closed captions for HTML5 video, new sectioning elements (article, aside, footer, header, group, nave and section), HTML AJAX history, EventSource, WebSocket, HTML5 draggable attribute, HTML5 forms validation, and HTML5 Ruby.
- Safari Developer Tools: A new Timeline Panel in the Web Inspector shows how Safari interacts with a website and identifies areas for optimisation. New keyboard shortcuts make it faster to switch between panels.
Other improvements include:
- Smarter Address Field: The Smart Address Field can now match text against the titles of webpages in History and Bookmarks, as well as any part of their URL.
- Tabs Setting: Automatically open new webpages in tabs instead of in separate windows.
- Hardware Acceleration for Windows: use the power of the computer’s graphics processor to smoothly display media and effects on PC as well as Mac.
- Search History with Date: A new date indicator in Full History Search shows when web pages were viewed.
- Top Sites/History Button: Switch easily between Top Sites and Full History Search with a new button that appears at the top of each view.
- Private Browsing Icon: A “Private” icon appears in the Smart Address Field when Private Browsing is on. Click on the icon to turn off Private Browsing.
- DNS Prefetching: Safari looks at the addresses of links on web pages and can load those pages faster.
- Improved Page Caching: Safari can add additional types of web pages to the cache so they load quickly.
- XSS Auditor: Safari can filter potentially malicious scripts used in cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks.
Xcode 4 is also expected to be demo’d at WWDC to the hoards of attending developers.
Mac Pro Refresh and 27-inch Display – Somewhat likely
The cards have been on the table for a while; Apple hasn’t update the Mac Pro since March 2009. Intel now has solid shipments of size-core Xeon chips which could be perfectly suited for the Mac Pro. We could see Apple announcing an update to the Mac Pro to feature 12-cores running at 2.93GHz. It is also possible that with keynote time restraints that Apple could just update the Mac Pro with no fanfare.
The first reports of a 27-inch Cinema Display appeared earlier this year and pointed towards the June timeframe for release. The report speculated that the 27-inch display had been delayed whilst waiting for the cost of 27-inch displays with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 to come down.
The 27-inch Cinema Display is expected to make use of the same IPS, LED-backlit display panel that is in the 27-inch iMac.
Apple TV Revamp – Unlikely
Apple continues to refer to Apple TV as a hobby, claiming that the TV market is difficult to penetrate. But recent rumours suggested that an Apple TV revamp would focus on streaming content but still allow the Apple TV to be paired to a computer or Time Capsule.
The hardware in the Apple TV was said to be based on the newest iPhone and the software built-upon iPhone OS 4.
At the time the rumour suggested that the Apple TV would not see primetime at WWDC.
Mac OS X 10.7 – Very unlikely
Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard was released last year in October, one years after it was previewed at WWDC 2008. Of course Snow Leopard was just building upon Leopard’s success. It is likely that 10.7 will be a significant update and although WWDC would be the place to reveal details it seems unlikely this year.
- iPhone OS renamed “Touch OS” – possible
- Cloud-based iTunes – unlikely
- MobileMe revamp as well as cheaper or free – somewhat likely
- Mac mini, MacBook Air refresh – very unlikely