Special: Last-Minute WWDC 2011 Predictions

by on June 5, 2011

WWDC11

As we are on the eve of the Keynote for the 2011 Worldwide Developers Conference, I thought it was only fitting to add my thoughts of what new things Apple may show off. Rather than just list some things, I thought I’d walk you through what the Keynote may look like.

Part 1: The Boring Stuff

I’ll admit, I usually don’t care what is said at the beginning because it’s things we already know—Apple’s selling a lot of things and people love their products. Still, it’s good to recognize success and reflect on it, and why not start the keynote this way? We’ll hear about the awesome adoption of iOS 4, how so many developers are taking advantage of new technologies, probably a mention of iPad sales.

Part 2: The iCloud Stuff

I think it’s no surprise that we’ll see a big focus on the much-anticipated and discussed iCloud service. I’m betting it will be early on, so that it can be referenced in later portions of the presentation. Seeing as Apple wants to add value to hardware and software, and Amazon’s aggressive pricing on CloudDrive, I’d believe it would either be free or a free trial and a low yearly cost (the rumored $25 sounds good). It will use the North Carolina data center and allow both backups and streaming to mobile devices. Think Dropbox, but integration with everything.

Part 3: The Mac Stuff

Now we’re getting somewhere. We’ve heard a lot about Mac OS X 10.7 Lion at the Back to the Mac event, so this should be the, “Hey, we’re done!” announcement. Availability will either be later that day or in a few weeks. I’ll guess that there is some sort of App Store distribution (although Matt & I have argued on SchwarzTech Radio how this would work), along with a more traditional physical media option (I’m saying a flash drive), probably priced a little more. Since higher-adoption means more users to sell apps to, I’ll put money on $29 for a download, $49 for physical media. Oh, and a Core 2 Duo processor will be the requirement.

Part 4: The iOS Stuff

Possible interchanged with the Lion portion, this section will demonstrate iOS 5. Lots of iCloud integration, Twitter capabilities, and the biggest change will be a redesigned Maps app, notifications, and Springboard (the main menu). I suspect a lot of other changes will be under-the-hood, such as new APIs I can’t even think of, over-the-air updates, and more things to make the iPad a pseudo-computer. Going with the prior trends, I’ll guess iOS 5 requires an A4 or A5-equipped device (iPhone 4, fourth-generation iPod touch, or any iPad). It’ll be a free update and available in two weeks.

Part 5: The “One More Thing” Stuff

It’s no secret that some of the best product reveals by Steve Jobs come off as an end-of-the-presentation late addition. If these presentations were baseball, Steve Jobs would be an awesome closer. In this case, we’ll see a tease for something we haven’t thought of. I can’t think of anything, since a new iPhone is rumored to be released later this year, we just got a new iPad, and the iPod touch is probably due for a September update. If anything, I’d love some sort of major change to the Apple TV, especially in the software department. Lots of people have them, so why not roll out some new capabilities?

Anyway, we’ll just have to wait and see—it should be fun. See you tomorrow!

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