WWDC 2012 Predictions

I figure, might as well get these on the record, and afterwards we can all laugh at how wrong I am.

The Mac

It’s dead. Just kidding, it’s being revitalized.

  • As for all the retina rumors, I suspect we’re going to go back to three lines of Mac notebooks. A Macbook Air, the entry level machine that is for every student looking to head off for their first semester of college. The Macbook (making it’s triumphant return), the middle of the line notebook, the one that has a spinning platter disk, but an oh-so nice retina display. And the Macbook Pro, for all those old fogies that need to have their Firewire and do some real hardcode video editing on the go.

  • The iMac will receive an incremental update. I find it hard to believe that they’re going to be able to bring a retina-capable display to a 27” screen, but Apple have surprised me before, so I wouldn’t rule it out. To me, this seems like something they can phase in over time, when they get margins down on the process through practice with other Macs.

  • The Mac Pro, should be getting new hardware, since it hasn’t been updated since Barack Obama was successfully convincing us about change you can believe in. Nothing surprising here, just the latest series of Xeons thrown in there, with upgradability to SSD.

iOS

(In order from most likely to happen, to least likely)

  • Native Facebook integration. Facebook is everywhere, heck, it’s even over the hill to lots, so it really ought to be a part of iOS by now. You’ll see that, posting photos and status updates much like Twitter in iOS 6.

  • New Maps app and APIs. This has been everywhere. Apple and Google are on the rocks, this is the logical move. I’d expect backwrads compatability with current APIs, but anything new ought to be tempting to anyone who deals with the CoreLocation and MapKit frameworks on a regular basis.

  • A personal wallet-type app, which lets you keep credit cards, coupons, etc. In the fall, an NFC enabled iPhone 5 to supplement this app. Much like when Reminders was announced for iOS 5 and everyone said, uh, “that’s nice”, until Siri was announced.

  • More iPad-specific UI. Tiny notification center banners that you have to squint to see on even the retinaiest of iPads just shouldn’t cut it. iOS users aren’t stupid enough (I think?) that they can’t make the connection between some changes between the iPad and iPhone.

  • Better notification center. Easier to close out things, and a swipe to delete functionality for individual notifications. A new animation for notifications coming in, which doesn’t just oddly flip over.

  • Siri comes out of beta in iOS 6. So Siri that makes a beta of the update which brings it out of beta. Confusing enough to make me stop writing more on this matter.

  • A step back from skeumorphism. The leather stitching on Notes is cool, that’s fine, but why do I need rich corinthian leather to help me find my friends?

  • No file system, but the ability to share information between applications. A way for a developer to tick a checkmark that says ‘let x file-type be used globally’. So a camera app would say ‘I can make a file that is of type .png, let any other application that says they can handle .png use these files.’ This is what I would be most excited about in iOS 6 as a developer, and a user. You could establish a workflow this way, taking the iPad from one stupid designation of ‘consumption device’ to another stupid one of ‘creation device’.

  • Backing away from modality. Quick reply to text messages, and other type of functionality that does not necessarily just bring you into an app.

  • Just a dark-horse guess, Pull to Refresh becomes an Apple UI standard.

Other Apple products

  • Apple TV SDK? I’m very hesitant on this one, I’d have to say no for now. To me it just doesn’t feel like the time is right, but I’d love to be wrong and see what developers can do when given a 42” screen to play with. Just imagine, scam Pokemon apps that crash right away when you open your TV, in 1080P glory!

  • Expect iCloud to get Reminders and Notes added to it’s list of apps, which should be no surprise since they’ve already started testing that out.

  • Some accessory updates, like a Gigabit Wireless N Airport Extreme.


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