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WWDC 2011, What Can We Expect?

Ankit Tyagi |
June 4, 2011 | 10:20 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

With Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) starting soon, rumors about Apple's new product releases are all over the Internet. Coming back from a medical leave-of-absense, Steve Jobs is expected to make the Keynote presentation, as based on Apple's press release. Although Apple gave a relatively clear look at what the WWDC Keynote presentation has in store with their statement, let's break down what these products mean and what they will do. 

Steve Jobs giving the Keynote Presentation at WWDC. Photo courtesy of Creative Commons.
Steve Jobs giving the Keynote Presentation at WWDC. Photo courtesy of Creative Commons.

Mac OS X Lion

First previewed in October 2010, Mac OS X Lion will probably be the last major update to the Mac operating system (OS). Promising visual cues from iOS, Lion will try to merge the two OS's together with the help of Launchpad. Imagine the desktop as a grid of icons, exactly like the iPad or iPhone, and all icons are launchable apps, with the ability to go full-screen as well. Along with many other additional features, Lion will be one of the most advanced operating systems released by Apple. More features can be previewed here

Steve Jobs will undoubtedly give a release date for the OS, most likely late August to early September, as well as potentially provide some more feature updates and previews of what to expect. Releasing the OS during WWDC doesn't make sense because of past OS X release dates and timing for developers to build apps for the OS. Expect Lion to be a big focus at WWDC, particularly for developers. 

iOS 5

Whenever iOS is mentioned around this time of year, there are usually rumors about a new iPhone. Sadly, that will most likely stay a rumor this year. Even with Apple's secrecy about new products, there would have been something to signal the possibility of new hardware, yet Apple has continued to focus on software advances, as per latest press release. That being said, Apple could surprise everybody with an "iPhone 4S."

iOS 5 will definitely bring a revamped notification system, as this has been one of the biggest complaints of iOS users. With this, and the addition of widgets, iOS hopes to take care of all previous shortcomings of their famous mobile OS. One interesting addition that Apple may provide is upgraded voice recognition. Even though Voice Control is already baked into iOS, Apple's deal with Nuance highlights a potential new feature to iOS. With video conferencing last year being the tech that Apple brought into the spotlight, voice recognition could be the next piece of tech for Apple. Late rumors also include "over-the-air" sync and Twitter support built-in, so users can tweet a picture directly from the camera app. 

Expect Jobs to try to truly sell this as the next great mobile platform from Apple. The rumored upgrades are huge, and the widespread user base of iOS devices lead this software update to be one of the more important releases from Apple at WWDC. Apple will probably make the new OS available shortly after WWDC, once again to allow developers time to take advantage of new features.


Most of Steve Jobs' Keynotes end with a new and exciting product launch, prefaced by a "one more thing..." which will probably be iCloud this year. Expected to be a revamp of MobileMe, iCloud will be Apple's introduction into cloud computing, putting data into a server and allowing access from any device that has Internet access. 

With many music labels already signed on, Apple will definitely announce streaming music access with iCloud, along with MobileMe's previous offerings, including calendar, contacts, and email sync. Many believe that Apple's hoping for movies and TV to be streamed as well, but that is at the mercy of licensing of the shows and films. Pricing for the new service will most likely be tiered, with a free option, as well as a discount when purchased with Lion. Media has predicted a possible education discount as well, coinciding with the free iPod with a Mac promotion typically seen during the summer.


Reach Ankit Tyagi here.

Follow him on Twitter @ankittya.



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