WWDC 2014 – What to Expect from the June 2 Keynote

A rundown of the potential announcements to go down at Moscone West

By now, everyone in tech has its calendars check-marked for the June 2 WWDC keynote, where Apple will make at least a couple of major announcements and perhaps a surprise unveiling as well. Here’s the lowdown.

Two things we know for sure are coming out at WWDC are iOS 8 and OS X 10.10, Apple’s next-generation OSes for mobile and desktop. Less certain announcements include a new range of Macs, new iPads, while some are still hoping to see iPhone 6 and iWatch unveiled.

Apple’s television plans will continue to unfold this year, but it isn’t clear if the company has anything to showcase in this department tomorrow. However, the Beats Music deal will surely be a part of the ceremony.

File these under “Confirmed”

iOS 8 packs a new Healthbook application that will leverage upcoming sensors to track health and fitness information for the user. It will use new on-board sensors in the iPhone and it will likely draw information from the upcoming iWatch as well, according to various leaks.

An enhanced Maps application with Transit Directions and updated 3D views will also be included in the software, reports say. Aesthetically, iOS 8 isn’t expected to pack many changes. Apple will reportedly retain the flat look and feel, adding just a few retouches here and there. A developer preview will likely be offered for download after the WWDC keynote.

OS X 10.10 is said to be the biggest Mac OS update in a decade, with Apple completely revamping the interface, giving it a flatter, cleaner look. The consensus among pundits is that OS X 10.10 will be heavily influenced by iOS 7, gaining the same flat design across key areas like Finder, the Dock, and System Preferences. The changes might not be welcomed by the fan base, as evidenced by the mixed reception of iOS 7 when it made its debut in 2013.

As far as new features go, nothing solid has been leaked so far. This either means OS X 10.10 will focus less on new features and more on aesthetics or that Apple has been able to keep a tight lid over the new stuff incoming in the next-gen Mac OS.

To be noted that iOS 8 and OS X 10.10 have already been confirmed through banners hung around Moscone West in preparation for tomorrow’s keynote.

New Hardware

There’s actually a pretty good chance we’ll see at least a few Mac upgrades at tomorrow’s event, including processor bumps and a redesign of the MacBook Air. The latter has been rumored to gain a Retina display, measuring 12 inches on the diagonal, and a modest redesign.

iPad Pro rumors have also been tossed around this past year, with Apple being said to unleash a bigger version of its hot-selling tablet featuring a Smart Cover with a built-in keyboard. While WWDC usually focuses on software and desktop updates, it’s not unlikely to see this product announced.

File these under “Unlikely

Apple’s iTV revision and the iWatch are by far the most anticipated hardware announcements of the year, but there’s much uncertainty hovering above these two products.

Through its Internet Servicies chief, the company has confirmed plans to “evolve” the TV business this year, but also admitted that the television space was far too complicated to undergo any radical changes in the near future. In other words, keep dreaming about the full-fledged Apple-branded HDTV.

What Apple could do is tie a game controller to an updated Apple TV set-top box and that would probably impact the gaming industry. Rumor has it they’re actually working on adding App Store support to the box, along with a brilliant new interface.

Fans hoping to see the iWatch unveiled tomorrow are likely to be disappointed. The device is reportedly still in its development stages, and the company might actually have to delay the launch until next year.

That being said, it’s also possible that Tim Cook and his troops have been very diligent in keeping some details from leaking out, which means you shouldn’t believe all the rumors. We could still be in for a few surprises tomorrow.

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