Apples has announced that its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) will take place from June 8-12, so what can we expect from this important event? The WWDC is always one of the most significant dates in the calendar for Apple – and indeed the consumer electronics calendar as a whole – as it is from this annual confab that we can deduce a lot of Apple’s plans for the remainder of the calendar year.
Plans are afoot for the manufacturer of the iPhone to get the conference underway with a keynote address that will map out its iOS initiatives for the forthcoming year. Apple usually has a new version of the iOS operating system ready for this WWDC event, and this year will be no exception to this rule. iOS 9 is expected to be unveiled at the WWDC, with thousands of developers present keen to get their hands on this significant new piece of software.
WWDC – no iPhone
Times have changed from years ago, when Apple used to announce the iPhone in summer. The corporation has since altered its schedule significantly, and now the focus of the WWDC is elsewhere. Although Apple fans are currently waiting to find out what plans the corporation has for the flagship iPhone series, we shouldn’t expect to hear anything about this at WWDC. But that doesn’t mean that it won’t be a very interesting and informative events and one that could spring a few surprises.
The importance of this event to developers is underlined by the fact that Apple charges $1,600 for registration for the event, and has absolutely no problem in attracting takers. Seats at San Francisco’s Moscone West will indeed be hard to come by, and it is useful for would-be developers that the keynote speech will also be streaming live online on the Apple website.
Of course, as we have learned from previous Apple streams, the corporation can be rather finicky regarding the devices which can be utilized in order to watch such broadcasts. However, at least a secondary option is available for developers wishing to see the show.
With IOS 8 having made significant changes to Apple’s proprietary operating system, it is generally expected that Apple will focus on stability and performance with IOS 9. This will be a software release that runs like clockwork, rather than one which introduces a raft of new and exciting features. However, there are a few nifty upgrades expected in iOS 9, among them the Maps application being updated with indoor maps and transit data for public transport.
It is also suggested that iOS 9 will include a split-screen mode for the iPad, iPhone-based remote ignition to CarPlay. With Apple having been strongly linked with the electric car manufacturer Tesla in recent months and years, one can expect an increasing focus on music from Apple in the foreseeable future. A major marketplace for the corporation in the coming years is expected to be software for vehicles, and Apple will step up its interest in music in order to assist in its quest to gain a significant chunk off this marketplace.
Beats Music Streaming
Speaking of music, one of the most intriguing, and indeed expensive, acquisitions that Apple has made in recent years was that of the buyout of Beats. The deal that reportedly made rapper Dr. Dre a billionaire has not really caught fire for the corporation in terms of content yet, but this is expected to change at WWDC 2015.
According to rumors, Apple will finally roll-out Beats music streaming at this California event. This service is now set to be a major part of Apple’s drive to become a primary provider and streamer of media. This has been another important battleground in recent years, as streaming becomes a major part of the mainstream culture. Apple is well-placed to gain a foothold in the living-rooms of people all over the world thanks to its iTunes service, and now Beats could be integrated with this existing package.
It has been suggested that Beats and iTunes will be amalgamated, effectively forming a single music destination. This would then be offered as a subscription service at a rate of around $10 per month. This would place Apple in direct competition with existing streaming services such as Spotify, and help develop its music-focused strategy.
Mac OS X 10.11
The new desktop operating system is also a certainty for the developers’ conference. This has been a very hushed-up piece of software, but it seems extremely likely that collaboration between Apple’s computing and mobile platforms will be central to this release.
As Apple continues its push to become a major provider of streaming services, television also has a major role to play. With this in mind, Apple will probably unveil fresh hardware and a new service for its Apple TV set-top box at WWDC 2015. It is still rumored that Apple will launch a physical television set at some point in the next 18 months, but it is extremely unlikely that this will materialize in San Francisco.
Apple fans always gets a little hot under the collar contemplating all of the possible hardware releases that could be unveiled at the WWDC. But often these do not come to fruition, and Apple has tended to focus more on software in recent conferences.
Among other devices that fans of the consumer electronics giant would love to see confirmed are the iPad Pro, an update to the MacBook Pro, and a 4K resolution iMac 21.5. All of these products seem inevitable sooner or later, with Apple having already produced a 5K resolution iMac with a 27-inch screen, the iPad Pro long since rumored, and Apple having already updated its laptop MacBook Air range earlier this year.
None of these devices should be expected as a matter of course, but previous years indicate that there is always one announcement that flies in under the radar. Fans of Apple will want to pay close attention to this conference with the hope of a particularly tasty morsel being revealed.