TUAW predictions for WWDC 2011
With Steve Jobs' WWDC 2011 keynote just a few hours away, we already know a lot more about the content of this year's WWDC keynote than in years past. But, it's always fun to dust off the old crystal ball and see what WWDC will bring us this week. Without further ado, here's what some of our TUAW bloggers predict today will bring:
- End-of-life for the classic iPod
- A new Time Capsule with cloud storage tied in
- One more thing: A new MacBook Air
- iOS 5 with completely revamped notification system and over-the-air software updates. Compatible devices: iPhone 3GS and above, 3rd gen iPod touch and above, all iPads. Limited feature set for older devices (iPhone 3GS, iPod touch 3rd gen). iOS 5 developer beta live, targeted public launch July.
- OS X Lion demoed, Gold Master candidate released to developers. Lion targeted for July public launch. $69 for Snow Leopard users, $99 for Leopard users.
- iCloud replaces MobileMe. Basic syncing services free to all iPhone 4/iPad owners. First year of online storage/music streaming free for existing MobileMe customers or those who upgrade to Lion. $25/year. iCloud allows wireless syncing of iPhones/iPods/iPads to iTunes library; syncs apps, music library/playlists/play counts between devices automatically.
- New Time Capsule running iOS. Tied directly to iCloud, allows backgrounded software update downloads for networked devices. Allows limited backups to online storage locker and Time Machine downloads from iCloud if needed. Same prices as current Time Capsule line.
- No: iPhone 5 or 4S, iPad 3, new iPod touch, or Mac hardware updates of any kind.
- iOS 5: What Chris said.
- OS X Lion: demoed, targeted for September public launch. $29 for Snow Leopard users, downloadable through Mac App Store. $99 for Leopard users on DVD. Lion Server a separate purchase from Mac App Store, $199 for unlimited users.
- iCloud replaces MobileMe, basic syncing services and email free to all owners of Apple products. First year of online storage / music streaming free for existing MobileMe customers or those who upgrade to Lion, $25 / year after that time. iCloud allows wireless syncing of iPhones/iPods/iPads to iTunes library; syncs apps, music library/playlists/play counts between devices automatically.
- iWork '11 is in the cloud, replacing the Pages / Numbers / Keynote on disk for Mac and enabling easy collaboration on documents. It's HTML5-based and allows offline use. iOS versions can work with documents in the cloud. *Updated MacBook Air / Mac mini lines with Thunderbolt
- New Time Capsule as a home/office gateway to iCloud-based backup and "Dropbox" capabilities.
- iOS 5: What Chris said.
- OS X Lion: Demoed, will be available around June 14, but no later than the end of June. $29 upgrade for Snow Leopard through the Mac App Store, $79 for Leopard and other users via DVD.
- iCloud replaces MobileMe, current MobileMe offerings (sync, email, limited iDisk storage) available for free to Lion upgraders, iPad and iPhone 4 owners. Cloud music storage is $25 a year for everyone.
- New Time Capsule with much of the same features as Steve mentions above. Time Capsule is now seen more as a home/office server for consumers rather than an enhanced router. Possible retirement of the AirPort Extreme line -- you either go Express or Time Capsule.
- iOS 5: What Chris said, with the addition of expanded voice control. That rumored deal with Nuance and its purchase of Siri has to be used for something. It would be nice to see navigation with turn-by-turn directions but Eric Schmidt's comment that Apple has signed on with its Google Maps service again may squash that idea.
- OS X Lion: Another demo with a confirmed launch date, likely in early July. Upgrade will be $29 for Snow Leopard users, downloadable through Mac App Store and $99 for Leopard users on DVD.
- iCloud replaces MobileMe. Basic syncing services and email, similar to what Google offers, will be free to all owners of Apple products. Advanced syncing of multiple calendars, sharing of accounts (so you can see your spouse's calendar), and online document editing will be extra. $25 per year is the rumored price, but that seems low to me. $49 or $99 is more likely.
- This is a wild one but maybe Apple has delayed iWork '11 because it is moving it to the cloud, similar to Google Docs and Office 365. At first, just documents may be stored and shared in the cloud, but I wouldn't be surprised to see the whole suite eventually become web-based and device independent.
- Music streaming service and wireless syncing of iPhones/iPods/iPads to iTunes library. This may be distinct from iCloud which focuses more on productivity. It will require a monthly subscription fee with unlimited streaming to any iOS device, the Apple TV and Mac desktop/laptop.
- MacBook Air refresh that will include Thunderbolt and integrated 3G compatible with Verizon Wireless and other carriers
- Time Capsule: same as Steve.
- iOS 5: Absolutely guaranteed to get a revamped, less annoying notification system. (Note: I also said this about iOS 4. And iOS 3.) iCloud support for streaming music from an online locker that holds your files. Lots of new APIs (WWDC is a dev conference, after all), which may give us some hints about future iOS hardware. Please, Apple, please: a cloud syncing solution for app data across iOS devices, in particular saved games. Some sort of Twitter integration into the OS. Bonus wildcard prediction! Apple and Twitter will jointly announce a new BlackBerry Messenger-like group messaging system, built-in (but not exclusive to) to iOS.
- Mac OS X Lion: we've already seen a lot of the iOS-like tweaks. I also expect discounted pricing through the App Store, but I'm not convinced it'll be quite as cheap as the Leopard-to-Snow-Leopard $30, which Apple presented as a special deal because not much had changed in the UI layer between 10.5 and 10.6.
- iCloud: Could be a music locker (upload your media and it streams it back to devices), could be cloud syncing of files (a la Dropbox) across Macs and iOS, could completely supplant Mobile Me. I think it's all three. I expect to see a basic plan for free and more than one premium plan for more storage space and maybe more features like "extra calendars" or something. That huge server farm is going to be very expensive to run and there's no way Apple could afford to give it away free. If the rumors of a free subscription with iOS device or Lion purchases are true, it'd be a middle tier that encourages you to upgrade. I'm not sure if iCloud v1.0 will be the total iTunes replacement, however -- Apple tried an aggressive launch with Mobile Me and it went very badly. Plus not everyone has the bandwidth to make cloud storage of tens of gigabytes practical. I think it's more Apple-like for that to be the target for iCloud v3 or so, and what we'll see later will be the foundations rather than the whole house.
- Time Capsule: Apple will take pains not to use the term, but the new Time Capsule will be its de facto take on a home server. It'll use the hard drive to sync with your iCloud account and do clever stuff like pre-download app and OS updates so when you hit "update all" on your iPhone it'll feel like it's instant. It'll also act as a local cache of all your iCloud content, meaning you rarely have to wait for upload or downloads to happen. I'd also really, really like to see wireless backups of iOS devices.
- iOS 5: Revamped notifications that use a similar tray/bar to the multitasking bar, plus possibly icons in the status bar, maybe.
- OS X Lion to be $29 through the Mac App Store, to be released before the end of June. It'll also be available on DVD at some point in stores, for more moolah, but under $99.
- iCloud will unify existing services, adding in cloud-iTunes syncing. Some parts of it will be free, possibly with pay-for extra space. Content streaming will be a pay for service, but may have a trial period. iCloud will be integrated into the Apple TV allowing you to stream your music collection, plus other media, without your computer having to be on to serve it.
- Possibly some sort of iCloud-Time Machine integration, linking with new Time Capsules. Perhaps, backup to a Time Capsule, with the Time Capsule then mirroring your backup to iCloud. Would mean you don't have to have your Mac on 24/7 to get the initial/large backups to the cloud done.
- iOS 5 demo with lots of crowd-pleasing goodies like revamped notifications, cool voice control features and a customizable lock screen. Late summer launch.
- iCloud will offer remote access to your iTunes library and some files, depending on the subscription you purchase. The big deal will be "iTunes in the sky" (can't you just hear Steve saying it?).
- Mac OS X Lion will be demonstrated in full, developers will receive the gold master and a September launch date will be announced.
- iOS 5 with many features we've seen in the jailbreak community once again making their way to the big time, such as improved folder management and lock-screen widgets. I'm guessing that the iPhone 3GS is pretty close to end-of-life in the iOS 5 world could support only a subset of new features. Internally, I am expecting some cloud API support and better asset management. (The current Asset Library APIs are pretty much half written. It would be nice to see those work without requiring Core Location calls.) Other likely improvements include continued multimedia enhancement from a code level, especially for off-device media sources and AirPlay on steroids.
- I wrote extensively about where iCloud could go but I'm not entirely convinced that Apple is ready yet to support offsite Time Machine integration. I think iCloud will take over the Mobile Me space for the moment and take on Amazon and Google for music streaming as its first phase. But there are tons of rumors out there about a new way to use Time Capsules, so I'll say "something cool and time-machine-y" in the announcements, whether or not that involves iCloud to a large extent.
- We're promised some Lion demonstrations, and I'm hoping those demonstrations focus on extending the OS to touch -- although I'm obviously not holding my breath on this. Otherwise, what everyone else is saying, which is Lion by September but probably earlier.
- iWork '11/'12 in the Cloud. Hey, why not?
- Since no one else is saying it, I guess I will: refreshed MacBook Air and iPhone. Not a huge stretch on either one although iPhone could likely be September and not today.
And what are your predictions? Let us know in the comments.