Apple announced its WorldWide Developer Conference (WWDC) 2014 for developers will be held from June 2nd to June 6th at the Moscone West Convention Center in San Francisco, California.
The Conference will most likely kick off with a Keynote from Apple’s CEO Tim Cook and other Apple Executives. We expect Tim Cook to be the first to take the stage and reveal a lot of statistics and numbers related to the entire ecosystem of Apple’s products.
Apple is also expected to give us a sneak peak at iOS 8 and OS X 10.10, the next generation operation system for iOS devices and Mac. Here are some of the details we’ve heard so far. We expect a lot more details to be revealed as we get closer to the event.
Since iOS 7 featured all-new design, we don’t expect Apple to make radical changes in iOS 8. We expect Apple to showcase 8-10 major new features and improvements in iOS 8 such as:
- Healthbook: iOS 8 will come pre-installed with a new app called Healthbook that will monitor health related parameters like steps taken, calories burned, weight lost and track vital signs like blood pressure, heart rate and other blood-related parameters like glucose levels. The data will most likely be obtained by sensors in the rumored iWatch. The app will feature an interface similar to the Passbook app. Here’s a mockup:
- Improved Maps app: With iOS 6, Apple took a bold step to build its own mapping service, replacing Google Maps. The launch wasn’t great, as the point of interest data was limited, and a number of features like transit, street view weren’t available. Apple is expected to announced major improvements to the Maps app in iOS 8 with improved points-of-interest data, public transit directions in select cities, augmented reality and indoor mapping.
- Preview and TextEdit apps: TextEdit and Preview, two very frequently used applications on the Mac, have supported iCloud syncing since quite some time. According to rumors, Apple will finally build iOS versions of these two apps to make the synced documents through these two apps accessible on iPhone and iPad. For more on these two apps, read this post.
- Inter-App Communication: Apple is considering adding inter-app communication abilities in iOS 8, a feature that has long been requested by the iOS developer community to better facilitate sharing of information between apps. With inter-app communications, you could edit a photo in one app, and post it to another, without the need to hop between the two apps.
- Tips app: Leaked screenshots of iOS 8 reveal that Apple is working on a new Tips app, with a light bulb icon. The Tips app could possibly give users tips to better use their iPhone and iPad, but it’s exact purpose isn’t known yet.
- Standalone iTunes Radio app: iTunes Radio is Apple’s new free, ad-supported music streaming service, that lives inside of the Music app on iOS 7 devices. Apple plans to make iTunes Radio a standalone app in iOS 8 for better visibility, and increased engagement.
- Improved Notification Center: Notification Center in iOS 7 includes three tabs, Today, All and Missed. With iOS 8, Apple is reportedly thinking of including just two tabs, Today and Notifications. The Notification Center in iOS 8 may also include more information from your online accounts powered by Apple’s acquisition of Cue.
Apple will most likely release the beta version of iOS 8 to developers of its iOS developer program immediately after the announcements.
There isn’t much information available about OS X 10.10 currently. The internal code name for OS X 10.10 is “Syrah,” and is expected to sport a flatter user interface, but not as stark as iOS 7’s look.
It has been widely speculated that at some point of time, Apple will merge Mac OS X and iOS operating systems. However, don’t expect that to happen in 2014, as Apple executives during an interview with Macworld in January categorically denied that the company has plans to merge the two operating systems.
Apple is also likely to release beta version of OS X 10.10 to developers of its Mac developer program immediately after the announcements.
While the focus of the event is expected to be software, like last year it is possible that Apple will unveil new products at this year’s WWDC as well. Apple could unveil the rumored 12-inch Retina MacBook Pro, the next generation Apple TV and the new Mac mini.
12-inch MacBook Air
Apple is said to be working on a 12-inch Retina MacBook Air that will “redefine” notebook user experience.” The new MacBook Air will feature a thinner form factor than current models, with no internal fan, a buttonless trackpad and a high-resolution display. KGI Research analyst Ming-Chi Kuo who has a good track record when it comes to predicting Apple’s product plans based on his supply chain sources detailed this revolutionary notebook in one of his research notes:
“We expect the unprecedented 12” model will boast both the portability of the 11” model, and productivity of the 13” model. The high resolution display will also offer the outstanding visual experience of the Retina MacBook Pro. The offering will likely be lighter and slimmer than the existing MacBook Air to further highlight ease of portability in the cloud computing era. We think the form factor will showcase a much improved clamshell structure, and that it will redefine laptop computing once again following the milestone created by the MacBook Air.”
Apple has already brought the retina display to its MacBook Pro line, but the current MacBook Air still includes a lower-resolution display. This refresh to a higher level display will bring the Air closer to the MacBook Pro, offering quality performance in a very portable 12-inch size.
There have been rumors that Apple will unveil the next generation Apple TV in April, however according to the latest reports, the launch may have got delayed, and could be one of the new products showcased at the WWDC Keynote, and launched later in the year.
The new Apple TV set-top box is set to receive a refresh later this year, with the updated device playing a “key role” in Apple’s ecosystem. The new device will include a plethora of innovative new features including motion control, which will allow users to interact with the device without the need for a remote control.
It could come with a “revamped OS” that’ll be able to run its own apps and games rather than relying on iPhones and iPads via AirPlay.
Apple hasn’t updated the Mac Mini since October 2012, so it is possible that Apple will unveil the new Mac mini at the event. The new Mac Mini could come with Haswell processors with Iris integrated graphics and support for 802.11ac Wi-Fi.
iPhone 6, New iPads and iWatch
We don’t expect Apple to unveil the next generation iPhone, iPads at the WWDC 2014 so don’t get your hopes up. We expect Apple to unveil the new iPhones in September or October timeframe, the new iPads in October or November.
Apple is also expected to launch iWatch towards the end of the year, but there is a remote possibility that Apple will unveil the iWatch at the WWDC alongside Healthbook, which is expected to be one of the major new features of iOS 8.
Apple had live streamed the WWDC Keynote last year, so it is very likely that Apple will also live stream this year’s Keynote as well. We’ll also provide up to the minute updates on the day of the event.
We expect a lot more details to be revealed as we get closer to the event so don’t forget to join our Facebook Fan page, follow us on Twitter, add us to your circles on Google+ or subscribe to our RSS feed for the latest updates.
Are you looking forward to this year’s WWDC? We would love to hear what’s on your wish list in the comments below.