WWDC just a day away

WWDC 2010 is taking place tomorrow and the Internet is awash with rumours of what Apple might be announcing.  After dominating the tech news in the last few months with the iPad, iPhone OS 4 preview, the leaked iPhone and the release of the new MacBook Pro devices (though admittedly this was a little quieter than the others), what will Apple be covering?

First and foremost this is a developers conference, but this hasn’t stopped Apple from using this as a more general communications platform in the past.  In fact the launch of iPhones has been linked in  the past with WWDC so this is something I think we can be reasonably certain might make it to the announcements tomorrow.

Based on what has been seen so far and some technology advancement extrapolation I would expect that the new iPhone will have a front facing camera, an improved resolution and optics rear facing camera perhaps even including a flash.  The battery will have been improved but is likely to be eaten up by a faster processor and higher resolution screen.  In all I think the new iPhone will simply be a souped up version of the old one with an additional camera and the new operating system.  I doubt that there will be much if anything in the way of surprises.

The new iPhone OS 4 has been in public beta for several months now so I think that it’s also fair to expect something around a formal public release date for the final build.  I hope it will actually be tomorrow as my iPod touch could certainly make do with the update and I’d also like to update one of our office 3G’s to determine if we should be using this on all of our phones - the enterprise facilities sound potentially useful.  I would also expect that something might be released about how OS 4 might appear on the iPad and some sort of date against it.

Whilst the MacBook Pros have had a hardware update I guess that there’s a chance there might be an update to the Mac Pro.  I think the focus will inevitably be on the iPhone given the exclusion of OS X apps this year, but there may be a nod to the fact that the developers need to develop on the OS X platform for the iPhone/iPad.

The recent Google IO conference had a big chunk on Google TV and there have been some rumours about an iPhone sized new line for a streaming Apple TV.  Combined with the purchase and recent closure of the Lala music service this points to some sort of pure streaming portable media centre.  WWDC would make a great place to announce this, but Jobs’ will want everything in place before a public push and I’m not sure that Apple will have absolutely everything they need in place.  Hopefully we’ll see some clues, but otherwise I think we may be looking for another announcement in a few months time for the run up to the end of the year holiday purchases.

The last thing that has had some rumour about it that I think might make an appearance is something around MobileMe - Apple’s cloud storage system.  I’m a Dropbox user myself, but if the recent data centre work has been to not only set things up for streaming, but cloud storage as well … could we be looking at a cloud storage system that could give a more seamless way for iPhone apps to pass data between them and back to your Mac.  Pie in the sky perhaps, but it is an interesting possibility.

I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s announcements and I hope Steve Job’s delivers on his “You won’t be disappointed” statement.  For me the main interest will be in any new iPhone.  I’m just out of contract with my smart phone and I’ll be looking to balance a new iPhone against several Google Android based hand sets to see which one fulfils my needs best.  There are definite pros and cons to both sides, but unless VMWare suddenly releases a virtual phone client I guess I’m going to have to make a choice.

Author: Stephen Millard

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