My WWDC 2014 predictions

June 2014 ยท 4 minute read
WWDC Logo

WWDC Logo

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been talking on multiple occasions about what I expect to be announced during WWDC next week. And as those predictions are all spread over different podcasts and chats, I thought I’d document them here so people can point fingers after the announcements and laugh about how wrong I’ve been.
Yes, I expect to be wrong. I have no real insight into Apple, no secret sources other than a few hints here and there from people who are better connected than me. Nothing more than my own understanding of how Apple works based on what I know and how the company has behaved in the past. Plus maybe a little bit of wishful thinking.

So, here we go. I’m ready to be ridiculed.

iOS 8

This is fairly certain. In fact, the banners are already up at Moscone West. So, what will we see?

My guess:

  • Healthbook: Just an App and an API so all the data our fitness trackers/apps are collecting can be stored/accessed at a central location
  • Siri SDK (80% certainty): Probably not available for everyone, but Devs can request access.
  • Inter-App-Communication and remote view controllers: Apps can provide views to other apps (for example to enter a new task into Omnifocus without switching to the app) or provide access to their services/data to other apps. I guess this will require some sort of authentication or confirmation by the user.
  • Better Maps: Including Transit data and better POI support. Also better/revised navigation (needed for CarPlay).
  • Payment (60%): Some sort of extension to the Passbook/iBeacon/TouchID system that allows for payments with your AppleID (I’m going out on a limb here)
  • Revised Notification Center: Actionable notifications just like on OS X and a much simpler Notification Center that uses a simple timeline instead of the grouped solution we have right now.

Mac OS 10.10

Another thing we already know will happen. The banners are up, and who would have doubted it?

My guess:

  • New Design: We’ve heard a lot about this. Most people expect an iOS 7 like look: all flat and white. I don’t. It sure will be noticeably different from Mavericks, but overall just a little cleaner and more uniform. A little bit like the Contacts App is right now.
  • Revised Notification Center: Just like on iOS and something that actually works.
  • AirDrop with iOS (50 %): Only for certain file types like images and contacts. It’s getting less and less useful anyway.

Hardware

That’s where it gets fuzzy. I don’t expect any major new hardware releases. Especially no new iPhone or anything completely new like the rumored iWatch.

What I expect:

  • New Apple TV (60%): Beefier Hardware, based on the iPad Air. Capable of running iOS Games (which also means we’ll see a SDK)
  • New Display (70%): My guess is a 4K Display, primarily for the new MacPro. Also a new “standard” Thunderbolt Display based on the current iMac (with USB 3.0!!!)
  • Silent update of the Mac Mini: Just a spec bump. Nothing wrong with this tiny machine.

Anything else

There are a few things besides the obvious that I think we’ll see:

  • XCode 6: No idea what they’ve come up with, but there are certainly things that could be improved (Interface Builder, …)
  • New Development Center: The current process for doing any kind of testing (both internal as well as public beta testing) is overly complicated. I expect a more streamlined process there, that makes it easier for both Users and Developers to test their apps.
  • Aperture 4: We’ve been waiting for it for a long time.

What we won’t see

  • iPhones, MacBooks, iMacs or anything completely new.
  • Any Apple Home Automation system (certainly no hardware).
  • The Munster TV (again)

Yes, I know. Apple is doooooooooooooooooooooomed.

That’s it. More than enough for a Developers Conference.

Now, let the mocking begin!