WWDC 2011: Last Minute Thoughts, Predictions And Rumors [Updated]

BY Jason

Published 6 Jun 2011

WWDC 2011

TechCrunch has published a photo of what the revamped push notification system and Twitter Integration may look like in iOS 5 with just a few hours to go for Apple’s WWDC 2011 Keynote where Steve Jobs will unveil the much awaited iOS 5, iCloud and Mac OS X Lion.

TechCrunch isn’t sure if it is the real deal or just a mockup, but they’ve heard it’s the “right idea”.

We’ve heard rumors that iOS 5 will get widgets, revamped push notifications and Twitter integration, so even if the image is a mockup, it’s generating some buzz as it covers the last two features or potentially all three if the weather app is showing the temperature dynamically.

John Gruber of Daring Fireball has posted his thoughts about today’s event based on the information he has received from his sources. The most interesting thing he had to say was about iCloud – Apple’s new cloud based services:

Dont think of iCloud as the new MobileMe; think of iCloud as the new iTunes.

iTunes, the desktop app, currently syncs the following things with iOS devices: audio, movies and TV shows, iBooks e-books, App Store apps, contacts, calendars, bookmarks, notes, and any sort of files shared between iOS apps. All of these things would be better served syncing over-the-air via the so-called cloud.

Kevin Fox who has worked with Apple and currently a lead designer at Mozilla Labs has also posted his predictions on what Apple will unveil at the event on his blog. Here are some of them:

  • Seamless remote access to any data kept in your Documents folder, and synchronization across machines
  • Universal login using your Apple account: Walk up to any Mac, sign in as a guest using your Apple account credentials and you’ll be brought to the same desktop you get on your personal machine. Files will be downloaded from the cloud (or your home network) on demand, and you’ll have access to all the apps you’ve purchased via the Mac App Store, downloaded and installed on-demand, and removed securely, along with your data, upon logout.
  • Realtime, continuous syncing of iOS devices will mean never having to plug your iPhone or iPad in to your computer again, or even the need for a computer for syncing at all.
  • Built-in screen sharing of Mac OS to the iPad, to do lightweight actions on your Mac from your iPad.
  • Continuous media play across devices: Play music on your mac, then with a tap shift the music to your iPhone when you’re on the go. A sizable portion of the playlist will quickly transfer over so there’s no reliance on continued wi-fi access or 3G streaming.
  • A major theme will be the concept that a task doesn’t reside with any particular device, but instead with the person, so shifting devices doesn’t mean you have to shift or restart tasks. Devices will simply be windows into what tasks you’re currently doing.
  • The only new devices announced at WWDC will be updates to facilitate the new software functionality. Some have speculated on new Airport base stations built around iOS to make VPN easy and mainstream. This seems very likely. It will be important to have one device that is always on and available, and Airport is a sensical bet.
  • AppleTV + App Store updates probably aren’t there yet, but I wouldn’t be surprised to hear announcements in order to get developers building apps.

And don’t forget to checkout our iOS 5 wish list.

Update 1:

Folks at Thisismynext are reporting that they’ve received the following last minute information about iOS 5:


This one is a doozy, and will strike a crazy blow to RIM if true. The word is that Apple is readying its own MMS / SMS protocol which will be a native part of the phone. We’re not entirely clear on how this would work, but apparently it will be able to automatically identify iOS users and route the message accordingly. We’re told the functionality would be similar to third party applications like Textie, but with less fuss. If this pans out, both carriers and the folks in Waterloo should be very concerned about their ownership of messaging. This would be a game changing addition to the platform.


This is the sore thumb that everyone has been drilling Apple on, and based on what we’re hearing, the pop-up pain is going away forever. Notifications will now be handled in drop down located at the top of the screen (similar to MobileNotifier, seen in the image above). Messages will appear and then slide back up in a unobtrusive manner, similar to webOS. There have been some leaked screenshots floating around the web for the last 24 hours, but those are not the real deal. The actual window looks more like a white, gradient Growl notification. But that’s not all…

Widgets / notification window

The notifications will be constantly accessible through a pulldown window which you reach by swiping at the top of the screen downward… just like Android. Not only will this screen house your recent notifications, but it will tout proper widgets like weather, stocks, and more. Sadly, we’re hearing that the weather icon will still not be live, meaning no matter what the weather actually is, you’ll see 73 degrees and sunny every time you look at it. An odd choice, but at least Apple has seen fit to add some glanceable info here.

Lock screen

Surprisingly, Apple is making significant changes to the lock screen as well. There will now be notifications shown on this screen with a small icon to the left of each notification — you can drag that icon as you would the unlock slider and you’ll be taken directly to the app itself (similar to TouchWiz for Android). You won’t get weather or stock widgets here, only notifications — and it’s not clear if upcoming calendar events or the like will be represented.

They’ve also published the following screenshot, we’re not sure if it is the real deal or a mockup.

Update 2:

It looks like Wal-Mart has dropped the price of the 16 GB iPhone 4 model from $197 to $147. Is Apple planning to launch iPhone 4S/iPhone 5? Or is Apple also planning to drop the prices of iPhone 4 until it launches the next generation iPhone this fall?

If you want to share your thoughts or make predictions about today’s event then please drop us a line in the comments.