Digital Spy

Search Digital Spy
24

Tech Feature

Apple WWDC 2012: All you need to know on iOS 6, Mac Pro, Retina, more

By
WWDC 2012 logo

© Apple

Apple chief executive Tim Cook is expected to unveil new iPhone software, updated Mac computers and improvements to Apple TV when he launches the company's annual developers' conference in the US on Monday.

Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) is a five-day event, running from June 11 to June 15 at the Moscone West Center
in San Francisco. It will host more than 100 technical sessions presented by Apple engineers, along with the Apple Design Awards.

The event grows in popularity every year. It sold out in just 12 hours in 2011, with touts reported to be selling tickets for $4,600. This year, all WWDC tickets were snapped up in just two hours.

Cook is expected to use his keynote to announce a number of new initiatives for Apple's product lines, in an attempt to stave off growing competition from rivals such as Google and Samsung.

Here is what we expect to see from the planet's biggest technology company:

A new Apple iPad on display
iOS 6 confirmed

The announcement of new iOS software for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch has already been confirmed by banners at the Moscone Center last Friday, proudly pronouncing "iOS 6". Apple has also previously used the WWDC conference every year to announce new software for its mobile devices.

So, what can we expect from iOS 6? Well, Apple is likely to more closely integrate Facebook into the operating system, in the same way that it did last year with microblogging site Twitter in iOS 5. This would make it easier for Apple device users to post Facebook status updates within Apple's apps.

Siri, the voice-activated assistant that debuted on the iPhone 4S last autumn, is also expected to be introduced to the iPad tablet computer, after the new iPad launched earlier in the year with just a voice dictation system.

One of the biggest areas of change, though, could come in maps. There has been widespread speculation that Apple is about to drop Google Maps as the preloaded mapping service on iOS devices, in favor of a new in-house system, potentially including 3D maps.

Most tech journalists believe that iOS 6 will form the basis of Cook's keynote and the follow-up sessions, accompanied by a technology preview aimed at getting developers familiar with the new features.

What is less clear, though, is when the operating system will become available to consumers. That largely depends on when the next generation of the iPhone launches.

New iPhone? Don't bank on it...

Apple had historically used WWDC to announce a new model of the iPhone, but that changed last year when it delayed the iPhone 4S launch until October.

Most people expect this pattern to be repeated, which would mean the expected iPhone 5, or "new iPhone", would not arrive until the autumn.

The US firm could therefore wait until that time to make iOS 6 available to download for various Apple devices.

Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks during the event
New Mac computers incoming

What is expected at WWDC is a refresh of the Mac computers product line. With current Mac stocks running low, rumors have been flying that the range is about to get a big upgrade.

Speculation is that Apple will introduce new MacBook Pros featuring a more industrial design, a new graphics board by Nvidia, solid state memory drives instead of hard drives (just like the MacBook Air) and the Ivy Bridge chipsets, new chips introduced by Intel that are faster but less power-hungry.

However, the most exciting rumor is that Apple could announce a flagship 15-inch MacBook Pro with a Retina screen, offering the same high-resolution display as the new iPad launched in March.

Some commentators also expect the MacBook Air line to get a refresh too, potentially bringing the Ivy Bridge chips to the Ultrabook to keep it up to date with competitors.

OS X Mountain Lion ready to roar

In February, Apple announced the launch of OS X 10.8 'Mountain Lion' for Mac computers, and developers are expected to get a much closer look at the new operating system at WWDC.

Mountain Lion, the ninth major release of OS X, will bring Mac users more features from iOS, such as messaging, notes, reminders and Game Center, as well as Notification Center, Share Sheets and Twitter integration.

Mountain Lion is the first OS X release that is fully integrated with iCloud, the remote storage system launched by Apple last year, and unlocks AirPlay Mirroring, which will offer an easy way to wirelessly send a secure 720p video stream of what is on the Mac screen to a high-definition TV using the Apple TV product.

The preview release of Mountain Lion has been in the hands of Mac Developer Program members since February. Mac users are expected to be able to upgrade to Mountain Lion from the Mac App Store in "late summer 2012".

Apple TV
The mystery of Apple TV

One of the biggest mysteries about WWDC is what is coming in Apple's television plans. The rumor mill has been in overdrive ever since the biographer of late company founder Steve Jobs revealed that the tech pioneer felt that he had "finally cracked" TV before he passed away last year.

Apple already offers an Apple TV set top box product that connects to a TV and displays content from iTunes. However, there has been speculation that the firm is planning to launch a full-blown web-connected TV set, but few people expect to see this at WWDC.

What is more likely is that Apple laying the foundations for its Apple TV set by introducing new software for Apple TV, potentially introducing more apps for the box.

This could involve specific content providers, such as ESPN or Warner Bros, creating dedicated apps for Apple TV involving streaming of content. There could also be a new system that more closely integrates the box with the Mac, iPad, and iPhone.

Something is certainly coming with Apple and TV, but what exactly will remain a mystery until Cook takes to the stage in San Francisco.

Which announcements are you most excited about or hoping for? Post your comments below.

You May Like

Comments

Loading...