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On Monday morning (US time), Tim Cook and co will have their first Keynote address of the year. The World Wide Developers Conference is an event that has gone through quite a shift in the last few years and now carries with it the hopes and aspirations for Apple’s software for the year to come. What can we expect this year?

iOS 8

Apple’s iOS may not be the world’s largest operating system, but it is one of the world’s most consistent. With the better part of 85% of capable devices running the latest operating system, it gives life to devices that are 4 years old. That’s better than any other mobile OS.

With such a large and loyal following, changes to iOS have to be deeply considered. That is why, when iOS 7 arrived last year, it was so shocking. The change was tectonic and jarred some but was the most quickly adopted update to an OS in history.

iOS 8 will not be as tectonic. The heavy lifting was done with iOS 7, this time round, we will be looking at refinements and optimisations that will drive the OS forward. So, in no particular order, here’s what I’d expect we will see:

  • Updated icons and some subtly visual tweaks
  • Some customisation options to notifications and control centre
  • New ringtones and sounds
  • Big Siri improvements including acting more like Google Now in the Notification Centre
  • Healthbook, taking data from the M7
  • Multiple users on the iPad
  • Having two apps on screen at once on the iPad
  • Maps with public transport info

As for anything else, those will, as ever, be held for the new hardware arriving in September (i.e. as I said in January, I expect the new iPhones to be announced on the 9th and available on the 19th).

Hopefully, there will also be something delightful, that no one has seen yet and will be a nice addition, as enhancing and delighting is what Apple do when it comes to software.

 

OS X 10.10

When OS X 10.9 launched last year, there were two big changes. The name and the price.

OS X is no longer codenamed for big cats, it’s now all about places in California. Apple’s home and the state they love. Apple also made it free. That was a very big deal, as OS X is now in line with iOS when it comes to upgrades. Lets be fair, OS X Lion and Mountain Lion were only about £20 and thus under cut Windows 8 by over £100! Making it free makes it more likely people will download and be on the newest OS and this has been true with Mavericks.

  • So what can we expect with OS X 10.10? How’s about another list:
  • User Interface changes – it won’t be any were near as drastic as iOS was, but there will have been some serious thinking about what a desktop OS should look like and how we interact with it.
  • AirDrop transfers to and from iOS (I hope).
  • Better built in apps – Mail, Calendars, Reminders, Contacts. If those four apps worked better together and looked like they were made by the same team, we’ve be off to a winner.
  • iLife apps on a diet – The new versions of iPhoto, iMovies and GarageBand got very, very large in Mavericks, lets see them lighter and faster. The same goes for iTunes there too.
  • Lots of under the hood stuff that no-one will see or comment on but will make the OS the best one ever. Again.

 

Some Hardware?

Well, perhaps. It’s not unlike Apple to throw in a hardware announcement to a WWDC. It can also be used to kill some. So, On a gamble, I’d venture that a new 4k display may be on the cards, along with an iMac with the same screen, pitched at the top of the product pile. Also, all those rumours of a larger iPad will be put to rest when a 13 inch MacBook Air with Retina Screen lands.

 

That’s the conjecture done with for now! Be sure to follow the Tame Geek on your favourite social network for the latest on the announcements, as they happen, next Monday.