Apple's Worldwide Developer's Conference (WWDC, for the sake of my typing fingers) begins Monday, June 11, with Apple's keynote speech starting at 1PM EST. If recent WWDC keynotes are any guide, Apple will use its time to announce a suite of changes and new features for several of its products, to inspire the developers in the audience to write for Apple's operating systems.
Here's what we expect Apple to unveil:
- iOS 5 was unveiled at 2011's WWDC keynote; iOS 4 was unveiled at 2010's WWDC keynote; and everyone predicts that Apple will unveil iOS 6 at this year's WWDC keynote, in time for a September/October release along with the new iPhone. So what will we see in iOS 6?
- New Maps, for one thing. Apple is likely to ditch Google's maps for its own in-house solution, which should include a new 3D view similar to what Google showed off at its own event on June 6. Apple's 3D mapping will come from C3 Technologies, which Apple acquired in 2011. Here's video of the unique map views that C3 provides, and what the Maps app on the iPhone and iPad could look like very soon:
There are also whispers that Apple will finally include spoken turn-by-turn directions in Maps, a feature that arch rival Android has boasted since 2010.
- Speaking of Android features soon arriving on iOS: Facebook integration. Apple CEO Tim Cook hinted at system-wide Facebook integration in a recent interview, and Apple should make that a reality at WWDC 2012. Twitter integration was introduced for iOS 5 at WWDC 2011, and just as you can now tweet out any photo from your camera or website from your browser on your iPhone or iPad, so too will you soon be able to do share that content on Facebook. 9to5Mac has a reasonable mock-up of what this "Post to Facebook" button might look like on the iPhone.
- Unspecified improvements to Siri are also on their way. Tim Cook confirmed as much a couple weeks ago, without going into detail about Siri's future:
You'll be really pleased with the things you'll see [with Siri] over the coming months. The breadth that you're talking about -- we've got some cool ideas about what Siri can do. We have a lot going on on this.
A few things that Siri could be able to do in the near future: launch apps, post updates to Twitter and Facebook, fetch current sports scores via ESPN. There has been some talk that Apple will open up Siri to third-party developers, allowing for all kinds of voice-commanded madness. That's not likely.
- A few other less probable iOS 6 whispers: the addition of Android-like widgets or Windows Phone-like Live Tiles to the homescreen; automatic updates to apps, like in Android; redesigns for many of the native apps, including the Newsstand and Weather apps.
The Apple TV set-top box -- you know, the little web-connected hockey puck that Apple sells? -- could also be getting a redesigned interface. According to a report from BGR, this will also be the interface for Apple's long-awaited, unicorn-esque high-def television. BGR also claims that Apple will allow third-party programmers to develop apps for its set-top box (and, eventually, for its television). Some have predicted that Apple's big surprise will be a first look at that TV set -- also unlikely, though crazier things have happened.
There have been dozens of MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, MacBook, and Mac Pro rumors, piling up like like emails from your mother as we've gotten closer to WWDC. Here are the most plausible, and the most persistent:
- 9to5Mac says that every single computer Apple makes will be refreshed, marking (wait for it) "the biggest simultaneous launch of new Macs in Apple’s history." That means refreshes of the MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, Mac Pro, Mac Mini, and iMac. That's a lot of Mac updates, if true.
- Retina display-quality screens have been heavily rumored for the MacBook Pro, specifically the 15-inch model (though the 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Pro could also get the high-def display). We might also see thinner MacBook Pros across the board, per noted Apple analyst and supply chain-whisperer Ming-Chi Kuo.
- Intel's new Ivy Bridge chips figure to be included in the new MacBook Pros. That would mean better battery life, faster processing, and quicker startup times, among other improvements. USB 3.0, which would allow for faster data transfers, are also in the mix. Here's a sketchy spec sheet for the refreshed MacBook Pro units.
- The Mac Pro, which hasn't been refreshed since 2010, might also see a refresh, though details are scant.
- If Apple updates its MacBook Airs, expect those to get the Ivy Bridge chips, and perhaps Retina displays as well.
- Finally, Apple might shock the world and unveil a new laptop with the MacBook moniker, joining the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. This new MacBook would be sized between the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air and come with Retina display, according to (again) Ming-Chi Kuo.
Phew! If all these rumors hold up, then Apple's WWDC is going to be WWD-seriously busy, am I right?!
Anyway, that about covers what the Internet thinks Apple is going to unveil at its WWDC keynote on Monday. Make sure you check back with HuffPost Tech on June 11, as we'll have up-to-the-minute coverage of Apple's big day.
Maybe it's because we're so close to an Apple event -- the Worldwide Developers Conference starts June 11th -- but the Apple rumors have been flying faster than a hummingbird on a caffeine kick, I tell ya what. For example: We have a boat-load of iPhone 5 rumors this week. And not a small boat, either: A really big boat! Loaded up with iPhone 5 rumors. First off the boat is this rumor from 9to5Mac. The Apple-focused site claims to have images of the back shell of the upcoming iPhone, one of which you can admire at left. As you can see, it's got a bit of a two-tone look -- the white one, particularly, looks like a bowling shoe. Aesthetic concerns aside, you might also notice that the dock connector is much smaller than on previous versions (start saving for a new car charger now...) and that the headphone jack has mysteriously moved to the bottom of the device. Hey, Little Buddy! How'd you get down there? For more photos of what could be the next iPhone, and a bunch of thoughts about what these leaks mean, head over to 9to5Mac. Like we said, though, this isn't the only iPhone 5 photo to slip onto the Internet this week. Oh no. Here's another one, coming at you in FIVE, FOUR, THREE....
In addition to 9to5Mac's leaked iPhone 5 photos, a website called uBreakiFix.com -- which, I am told, fixes things that you break -- unveiled a mysterious iPhone 5 picture of its own. It's a similar, lower-quality version of the one posted on 9to5Mac, which makes me think the two might have the same leaker (You guys should all have lunch together or something!). Like the snapshots from 9to5Mac, this model iPhone (via our buddies at Engadget) also shows the transported headphone jack and smaller dock connector. Also, the two-tone-bowling-shoes color scheme. This isn't Nam, Smokey. There are rules, etc., etc. Bowling jokes aside, the new design sure is striking, huh? (So sorry). But what's that? You're still thirsty for more looks at the new iPhone? Well then DRINK THIS MILKSHAKE ---
This blueprint, supposedly of the next iPhone, comes to us via Cydiablog.com. Cydiablog -- which I have on good authority is a blog covering Cydia -- received the blueprint in their mailbox and trusted the sender enough to publish the dang thing. As you can see, the display is the same width as the one on the iPhone 4S; this one, however, is a bit taller, hypothetically giving the iPhone 5 afour inch diagonal. As a hero of my childhood once said: "Hey, it could happen!" (And it probably will happen, if the clusters of reports from the likes of the Wall Street Journal, Reuters, and Bloomberg over the past weeks are accurate). So when will this bad boy come out? When do we have to stop speculating about whether this leak is real, or that photo is authentic, or whether I'm calling my mother enough? One analyst thinks he has an answer...
RBC Capital Markets Analyst and amateur dubstep DJ* Amit Daryanani says that a new line of MacBooks should be ready for June release and that the new iPhone will be out this fall with 4G LTE. That's in line with the thinking of -- well -- just about everyone. New MacBooks in June. New iPhone in September or October (probably October). Write it in Sharpie on your wife's forehead: That's the schedule. Speaking of new MacBooks... *not really though
AppleInsider reports that some SECRET STUFF has been going down at several Apple stores, with CLANDESTINE executive visits and all-hands meetings SHROUDED IN SECRECY. The Apple site doesn't think these SECRET MEETINGS are concerned with new hardware (though MacBook Pros are totally coming in June); rather, NO ONE KNOWS why these SECRET MEETINGS are taking place. As if this couldn't get any better, there's this, an actual sentence from the AppleInsider report: Separate and perhaps even more mysterious claims were also shared this week with AppleInsider, alleging that network engineers from Apple's retail headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., showed up at several retail stores unannounced, wielding a mysterious "black box." Those who arrived reportedly had back-of-house access codes and keys, along with passwords for local servers in the retail stores. A MYSTERIOUS BLACK BOX. PASSWORDS. CODES. KEYS. Let's move on -- SOMEONE COULD BE LISTENING.
So, WWDC -- Apple's conference for developers around the wide world -- takes place in June, and now that it's getting closer, the rumors around what Apple will unveil are flying. Here they are, in bullet points, for your convenience: - Apple will probably show off iOS 6 for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch, featuring a new 3D version of the Maps app. Boy Genius Report has what it says are pictures; 9to5Mac has all the details here. - Apple might also show off a new interface for its Apple TV set-top box, says BGR. The well-connected Jon Gruber surmises that this may be true, especially if Apple opens up the OS to third-party applications. That would mean Apple would get to pitch the developers in the audience on Apple TV and inspire them to code for it. - Apple could, JUST MAYBE, show off a prototype of its "iTV" television set -- again, to inspire developers to write apps for it. The first two seem likely; the third one is more of a longshot, though a possibility, I suppose. After all the television talk and innuendo from the company's CEO at the All Things D, who knows what Apple is Cook-ing up? I'm sorry for that pun. I am so, so sorry for that pun. That's all for This Week In Apple Rumors. Check back next week for more, and if you can't wait that long, you can get up-to-the-minute Apple rumors by following me on Twitter right here.