Apple's WWDC 2013 conference: What to expect, from iOS 7 and Mac OS 10.9 to iRadio

New MacBook air and Mac Pro are possible, but Apple needs to revamp its software most of all

UPDATE: Check-out our live blog for the very latest WWDC updates

 

This morning in America - 6pm GMT - Apple will begin its annual developer’s conference, WWDC 2013 (Worldwide Developers Conference). Rumours, as ever, have been a-swirling around the internet, but one thing that seems certain is that WWDC will be focused on software, not hardware; platforms, not products.

It’s neither the time nor the place for major hardware releases, and traditionally Apple launches significant new products (say, a new iPhone or iPad) later in the year to take advantage of the seasonal sales rush.

This is also corroborated by Tim Cook’s comments at Apple’s quarterly earnings announcement in April, where the Apple chief promised that they were working on “amazing new hardware, software, and services that we can’t wait to introduce this fall and throughout 2014.”

Reading between the lines this means no significant new products in June though updates will probably be featured, including a new Mac Pro – Apple’s professional-grade desktop that’s been untouched for a couple of years now; and possibly a new MacBook Air – especially likely considering the boosts to battery power that could be gained from integrating Intel’s new Haswell chips.

iOS7

This will most likely be the keystone of WWDC, with the revamp centred on visually ‘flat’ design: the outlawing of skeuomorphs, the eradication of drop shadows, and a general move towards minimal thinking, and looking. There’s even been mocked-up screenshots based on what insiders have been able to describe, though frankly these illustrations- courtesy of 9to5mac - are unbearably awful.

The iPhone is being increasingly challenged by Samsung’s phenomenally successful Galaxy S line, and as well as continuing to up the ante with regards to hardware specifications, Samsung have been pushing ahead of Apple by simply offering more features – from a language translator to a fitness tracker.

The increasing personalisation of smartphone operating systems have also passed Apple by slightly, and it seems likely that they'll be looking to bring these features to the iPhone - think Windows Phone's personalised tiles for example - with big updates to iOS’s notification centre.

Apple also needs to open up the platform more to third-party developers. Better connectivity for Siri would allow voice control to be capitalised on, and having more companies’ apps as standard would also help. Twitter and Facebook were both incorporated last year, and this year it’s rumoured that Flickr and Tumblr may also be added.

Mac OS X 10.9

The other big software update for Apple will be to their desktop operating system. A banner at the conference center has shown a slim sans-serif X set against some sort of watery vegetation. As with iOS 7 we can certainly expect a cleaner, more minimalist design, but beyond this predictions are uncertain.

Apple might be bringing more of the mobile world to the desktop with possible additions of Apple Maps, and iBooks, and Siri apps. The latter would probably be the most striking addition. The Mountain Lion update brought dictation tools onboard, and using Siri to carry out routine tasks - say, booting up a certain set of programs with a keyword - could be a step ahead of Microsoft’s reworking of its desktop system with Windows 8, though oddly similar to their use of the Kinect.

iRadio

A new streaming music service also seems pretty likely, with reports las week surfacing that all three major music labels are on board, allowing Apple to provide a free service to users supported by ads. The main advantage that Apple has over competitors such as Pandora is iTunes: a service that is trusted by users and that has already been using its ‘Genius’ feature to learn about individuals’ preferences and make targeted listening recommendations.

However, as good a service as this might be, it's still not a big enough change to get really excited about. If Apple really wanted they could just buy out Pandora, and unless they're doing something different with music streaming, this is likely to be just a nice feature and not world-changing. As with iBooks, it's really too much of a generic idea to impress.

‘One more thing’

The ‘one more thing’ portion of Steve Jobs’ keynote speeches were often where the most important products were revealed. Jobs would feign an end to the announcements before turning around, Columbo style, to deliver something new. These 'one more things' have included successes such as the iPod Mini and MacBook Pro, but also some a couple of turkeys  – the U2 edition iPod and the Power Mac G4 Cube come to mind.

Jobs’ showmanship may be sadly absent from today’s announcement but it doesn’t mean that Apple won’t be able to bring out something surprising. A product along the lines of an iWatch or TV set are extremely unlikely, but it doesn’t mean there won’t be a couple of innovations outside of software for Apple to talk about.

Arts and Entertainment
Ramsay Bolton in Game of Thrones
tvSeries 5, Episode 3 review
News
peoplePair enliven the Emirates bore-draw
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband (R) and Boris Johnson, mayor of London, talk on the Andrew Marr show in London April 26
General electionAndrew Marr forced to intervene as Boris and Miliband clash on TV
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Ashdown Group: Head of IT - Hertfordshire - £90,000

    £70000 - £90000 per annum + bonus + car allowance + benefits: Ashdown Group: H...

    Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - SQL Server, T-SQL

    £28000 - £32000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...

    Ashdown Group: Systems Analyst / Data Analyst (SQL Server, T-SQL, data)

    £28000 - £32000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Analyst...

    Ashdown Group: European Recruitment Manager - Cheshire - up to £48,000

    £40000 - £48000 per annum + bonus and benefits: Ashdown Group: European Recrui...

    Day In a Page

    Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

    Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

    How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
    Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

    Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

    Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
    Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

    Aviation history is littered with grand failures

    But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
    Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

    Fortress Europe?

    Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
    Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

    Never mind what you're wearing

    It's what you're reclining on that matters
    General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

    Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

    The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
    Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

    Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

    Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
    Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

    Marginal Streets project documents voters

    Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
    Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

    The real-life kingdom of Westeros

    Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
    How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

    How to survive a Twitter mauling

    Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
    Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

    At dawn, the young remember the young

    A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

    Follow the money as never before

    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

    Samuel West interview

    The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
    General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence