That important yet inevitable staple of the Apple event calendar is almost upon us. The World Wide Developers Conference is Apple’s annual software show off session and a chance for developers to learn more about Apple’s platforms.
The WWDC always has an impact beyond that of the development community, considering it’s the consumers that keep developers in work. This year will be no different in that regard.
What will make this WWDC different however, is that from most reports, this year’s event will be thin on the ground for hardware announcements. Even a replacement for the old faithful Thunderbolt display is somewhat disputed. Given that and that Intel’s new processors aren’t due till the end of the year and iPad and iPhone launches typically fall in Q4 and Q3 respectively, it’s fair to say this is going to be a software show (but I live for Apple to prove me wrong!).
That’s not a bad thing. Apple have some work to do where iOS and OS X are concerned. As iOS has matured, it’s slowly become more what consumers expect of it. New features never come quickly to iOS. It took 3 versions for copy and paste for instance.
No, extended functionality at OS level has never been a big deal for Apple. That’s because the developer’s apps always did that work for them. The OS is a frame for other people’s innovation.
The time has come for Apple’s own innovation capability to be deployed. The first big area to look out for this is in Siri. The opening of Siri to developers will allow it to be more useful for people. The vast majority of people I know barely even use Siri and many forget they have it. In iOS 9, Apple rolled the smart assistant features in to the OS. To call this ‘Siri’ and have the mixed data and engine available to developers to read and add too. With Google, Microsoft and even Facebook pushing forward with their artificial intelligence efforts, expect Apple to do the same, but I’d be surprised if they use the term AI more than once.
The big things to look out for in iOS will be:
- More Safari APIs, as to make web apps more powerful
- Redesigned default apps or the ability to replace / hide the default apps
- Better control over video in the Photos app (it’s been crap in iOS 9)
- Apple music overhaul (design and functionally improvements being that we’re nearly one year on)
- Lots of pushing of the graphics engine ‘Metal’ and how this will open iOS to VR and AR applications
As well as Apple’s iOS, its largest ever OS, the trusty Mac will receive an update and it’s expected that the name OS X will finally move on and be replaced with ‘MacOS’. That way it will match the rest of the other platform naming conventions.
There will be things more important than the name though! We can expect:
- New iTunes
- Better Photos app
- Siri on the desktop
- More powerful Safari
One thing that has not been mentioned in anything I’ve heard / read relates to this next point, but it would make logical sense. iCloud for Business. Apple sucks at the Internet, they have been getting better but connected services have always been a failing of theirs. The best way to win people back would be for iCloud to receive a business version that would take iCloud Drive and have it’s strength at OS level available for teams and businesses. This would allow for greater, more profitable storage tiers and give services like Exchange, but with MacOS server in the iCloud.
It’s wishful thinking, but would make parts of mine and other people’s lives easier.
We don’t have long to wait. The keynote address will be on Monday the 13th of June and your Tame Geek will have a round up of the event shortly after!