Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference Kicks Off June 13 in San Francisco

Apple today announced that it will hold its 27th annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), hosting the creative talent behind the world’s most innovative apps, from June 13 through 17 in San Francisco. At WWDC, Apple’s developer community comes together from all corners of the globe to learn about the future of Apple’s four software platforms — iOS, OS X, watchOS and tvOS.

Monday’s kickoff events, including the keynote address, will be held at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. The rest of the week’s conference sessions will take place at Moscone West.

“With four innovative operating systems and a new, intuitive programming language powering over 1 billion devices worldwide, there has never been a more exciting time to bring our developer community together,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “WWDC 2016 is going to be a landmark event for developers who are coding in Swift, and building apps and products for iOS, OS X, watchOS and tvOS. We can’t wait for everyone to join us — in San Francisco or through the live stream.”

Developers can apply for tickets via the WWDC website (developer.apple.com/wwdc/register/) now through Friday, April 22 at 10:00 a.m. PDT. Tickets will be issued to attendees through a random selection process, and developers will be notified on the status of their application by Monday, April 25 at 5:00 p.m. PDT. For the second consecutive year, there will be up to 350 WWDC Scholarships available, giving students and STEM organization members from around the world an opportunity to earn a ticket to meet and collaborate with some of the most talented developers of Apple’s ever-growing app ecosystem (developer.apple.com/wwdc/scholarships/). Additionally, this year, we will provide travel assistance to up to 125 scholarship recipients to ensure aspiring developers with financial limitations have an opportunity to participate.

WWDC 2016 activities include: over 1,000 Apple engineers supporting more than 150 hands-on labs and events to provide developers with code-level assistance, insight into optimal development techniques and guidance on how they can make the most of iOS, OS X, watchOS and tvOS technologies in their apps; access to the latest innovations, features and capabilities of iOS, OS X, watchOS and tvOS, and best practices for enhancing an app’s functionality, performance, quality and design; the opportunity to connect with thousands of fellow iOS, OS X, watchOS and tvOS developers from around the world — last year, 80 percent of developers attended for their first time, and in total, more than 70 countries were represented; a series of get-togethers for attendees focused on particular topics with special guest speakers and activities; engaging and inspirational lunchtime sessions with trailblazers and influencers from the worlds of technology, science and entertainment; and the Apple Design Awards which recognize iPhone®, iPad®, Apple Watch®, Apple TV® and Mac® apps that demonstrate technical excellence, innovation and outstanding design. Worldwide Developers Conference sessions will be streamed live throughout the week via the WWDC website (developer.apple.com/wwdc/live/) and through the WWDC app, giving developers around the world access to the week’s news and events.

What to expect from Apple in 2015

Since Apple stopped attending Macworld which is normally held in January we have seen very few product releases in the first half of the year from Apple. This year things might change. For starters Apple is expected to release the Apple Watch early in 2015 but we suspect Apple will draw this product launch out.

Apple Watch

Announced in September of 2014, the Apple Watch (or Watch) is Apple’s first wearable device and one of the first Apple products that may launch during 2015. Available in two sizes of 38mm and 42mm, the Apple Watch has a heavy focus on fashion and will be offered in six different casing materials with a range of interchangeable band options.

A lot still remains unknown about the Apple Watch, The price is still up in the Apple with Apple only giving the price of the low end Sports watch starting at $349. Battery life remains totally unknown with suggestions of Apple aiming for 18 hours.

In September at the unveiling of the Apple Watch, Apple announced that the Apple Watch would be available in early 2015. Tim Cook confirmed during Apple’s Financial Results meeting that the Apple Watch will ship in April. How long the Apple Watch will take to get to South Africa in not known but we don’t expect it to been before June.

iPad Pro

Yes you are reading that right, Apple are creating a 12inch iPad which will be called the iPad Pro or the iPad Air Plus. The iPad Pro in most likely to be announced in October with a possible preview in June.

iPad Air & iPad Mini

Apple generally updates it’s iPad line up in October so expect the same this year. The is very little news at this time about possible iPad updates. We will most likely get some more info after WWDC in June.

Some rumours have suggested that Apple will discontinue the iPad Mini but we don’t think this is likely to happen.

iPhone 6s

We have seen a new iPhone every year since 2007 so this year we predict that Apple will NOT release a new iPhone. Just kidding. It’s almost guaranteed that we will see an new iPhone this year and we expect to get some insight into what it will be like during WWDC in June.

12 inch Macbook

The is a significant amount of rumours suggesting that Apple will release a 12 inch Macbook with Retina Display that will eventually replace the Macbook Air. The new Macbook is rumour to come in iPhone colours.

Although there are many rumours we believe this will be a minor upgrade with a name change for Apple.

Apple’s Desktop Line Up

Apple seem to have lost interest in their desktop line up with very few design upgrades. Don’t expect much more than some processor upgrades along with some new Retina displays. All minor upgrades.

Many people have been waiting for an upgrade to the Mac Mini which hasn’t been upgraded for over 2 years. The changes that we made in late 2014 were almost a downgrade. It would be great to see a Mac Mini that looks like the Mac Pro in 2015 but don’t hold your thumbs.

Apple TV

2014 saw a great deal of rumours about the Apple TV but those rumours has slowed down. Recent rumours suggest that Apple will update the Apple TV in 2015. We expect to see the App Store come to the Apple TV with some gaming support.

iOS 9 & Mac OS X 10.11

Apple has been updating iOS and OS X very year, 2015 will be no different. Traditionally Apple previews both iOS and OS X at WWDC in June with iOS becoming available some time in September and OS X in October. We know very little about iOS and OS X at this point but expect some new features but no real major design changes.

Apple To Preview OSX 10.10 At WWDC

Along with a preview of iOS 8 Apple will preview OSX 10.10 at WWDC later today. OSX 10.10 is rumoured to be called Yosemite or El Cap based on banners on display at the Moscone Centre.

Apple’s desktop and mobile platforms have never looked more different. When iOS ditched textures for flat design in iOS 7, OS X took a few of those cues, but it didn’t go nearly far enough. System and app icons still look very textured, and the “layering” of windows over backgrounds — which looks great in places like Launchpad — could use more of a presence.

At the same time, the basic UI of Apple-grown apps such as iTunes, iPhoto and Aperture is long overdue for a refresh. Other music services, including Xbox Music and Google Play, have shown how well a strong visual UI can work, while Adobe Lightroom completely outclasses the experience in Apple’s photo apps. It’s time for some more spice in the iLife.

AirDrop

OSX and iOS both have Airdrop however these service don’t work with each other. Apple is rumoured to fix this issue in OSX.

Siri

OSX already has some sort of voice assistance but it is not Siri. OSX will most likely integrate Siri throughout the OS.

Apple To Preview iOS 8 at WWDC

Apple’s WWDC conference begins today and Apple will preview iOS 8 during the Keynote presentation. iOS 8 will be available for developers for beta testing immediately after the keynote and will become available to the general public in September.

Little information is known about iOS 8 but here is what we can expect:

Maps

Apple purchased a number of mapping companies last year and their technologies are expected to be included into Maps. How these improvements will improve maps in South Africa is yet to be seen.

Siri

Every year Apple improves Siri but this year developers are hoping to get an SDK for Siri that will allow them to integrate Siri into their Apps. Rumours also suggest that Siri could get proactive assistance, such as telling you the weather every day instead of waiting for you to ask.

HealthBook

The biggest announcement it expected to be the HealthBook App. Since the inclusion of the M7 chip in the iPhone 5s the iPhone has had the ability to track you motion more accurately. Many Apps now track all sorts of health related activities from running, sleeping to how you eat. The HealthBook app could capture steps taken, heart rate, hydration, nutrition, blood-sugar level and other factors. Each one of these would exist as a “card” within the app.

ll this is expected to be in preparation for the iWatch.

Apple Begins Decorating Moscone Centre for WWDC

Apple has begun installing banners at Moscone Centre in San Fransisco ahead of it’s WWDC conference which will start on Monday 2 June 2014.

WWDC 14, Write the code. Change the World
WWDC 14, Write the code. Change the World

More banners will surface as the week progresses which might hint at what Apple plans to talk about during the Keynote however banners advertising specific details will be covered until after the keynote.

WWDC to be held from the 2 – 6 June

Apple has announced that WWDC will be held from the 2 – 6 June 2014 at Moscone West convention center in San Francisco. Every year Apple hosts WWDC for it’s developers to assist with developer programs, including the iOS Developer Program, iOS Developer Enterprise Program, or Mac Developer Program.

During WWDC Apple announces updates to iOS and OS X software with some minor product launches. It however has made some major product launches including some iPhone models.

During WWDC this year Apple is expected to announce iOS 8, an Apple TV and the iWatch.

New Mac Pro

During WWDC, Apple did something they never ever do and that was give a sneak peak at a product they haven’t released. High end professionals have been asking for an update of the Mac Pro for years and Apple has remained silent until the end of last year when Tim Cook responded to an email saying that a new Mac Pro would be coming late in 2013. 

Mac Pro, New, 2013

Mac Pro, New, 2013

Apple did what only Apple can do and set out to reinvent the pro desktop.  The new Mac Pro is an incredible 25,5 cm tall and 1/8 the size of the current Mac Pro. Apple didn’t mention exact technical specifications and has said that the information they have published is subject to change.

Apple didn’t give a time frame for the release of the Mac Pro but our guess is that it will be released in October or November. South African will have to wait a little longer to get their hands on the new Mac Pro as new products generally take about 2 months to reach South Africa and in some cases like the iMac there is still a delay. 

The new Mac Pro will be available in South Africa toward the end of February 2014

Apple updates Airport Extreme and Time Capsule

Alongside the updated Macbook Air’s, Apple announced new Airport Extreme and Times Capsules that support 802.11ac wireless standard. 802.11ac is almost three times faster than 802.11n and has a maximum data rate of 1.3Gbps.

Apple also introduced redesigned AirPort Extreme and AirPort Time Capsule base stations that feature three-stream 802.11ac Wi-Fi technology with a maximum data rate of 1.3Gbps, almost three times faster than 802.11n.

Airport Extreme, Time Capsule

The redesigned Airport Extreme and Time Capsule are designed to make the best use of the antenna to create the best wireless network. 

The Airport Extreme and Time Capsule are available in America immediately but should reach South Africa but the end of July. 

The Airport Extreme is expected to cost about R2200 in South Africa. 

The Time Capsule is expected to cost R3200 for the 2TB and R4300 for the 3TB. 

Apple previews iOS7

As expected during WWDC Apple gave a preview of iOS 7 which is the most significant update to iOS since the release of the iPhone in 2007. The new design takes away the skeuomorphic elements found in previous versions of iOS, instead favouring a clean and gloss-less “flat” look.

iOS 7

Among the updates were the following: 

Notification Centre: Notification centre received a complete redesign like the rest of the software and can now be accessed from anywhere including the lock screen. Notification centre will also sync between devices so you don’t keep getting the same notifications.

Control Centre: Control Center offers new preference controls. Swipe up from the bottom of the screen (including the lockscreen) to find quick access to preferences. It has switches that allow users to access Wi-Fi, turn on Airplane Mode, toggle Do Not Disturb, adjust brightness, and control music, among other things. The best part of Control Centre is that it has its own flashlight, so no more searching for your flash light app.

Multitasking: Users now have the ability to switch between their apps in a more visual and intuitive way.

Safari: Safari now includes one bar to search and type a web address and includes all the improvements that Mavericks has. 

Airdrop: AirDrop is an entirely new way to quickly and easily share content with people nearby. When you’ve got something you want to share, AirDrop shows you your contacts close by. Just select who you want to share with and AirDrop does the rest. AirDrop transfers are peer-to-peer so you can use it anywhere, without any network or set up required, and transfers are fully encrypted so your content is protected and private.

 Camera: iOS 7 introduces an impressive new camera app that allows you to quickly swipe between taking still photos, film and panoramic pictures. Along with the camera app comes the Photo’s app which now organises your photo’s into moments and has ability to share photos on the same photo stream.

Activation Lock: Activation Lock is a feature that requires your Apple ID and password before you can turn off Find My iPhone, erase data or re-activate a device after it’s been remotely erased. This is a great help for people living in South Africa as the phone will become unusable.

iOS 7 is available to developers as a beta and will be released to the public before the end of November. Apple will make iOS available to the public when it announces the  iPhone 5s or the iPhone 6. Based on the speed of the testing by developers we will be able to more accurately predict when the iPhone 5s or iPhone 6 will be released.