Apple have confirmed that their keynote presentation at WWDC (World Wide Developers Conference) is going to take place on 10th June. The rumour mills have already started churning out all sorts of predictions, but this is the same each and every year, and the truth is that if you listen to the predictions, having watched WWDC you will no doubt feel disappointed as the carrot which was shown before you was just a mirage for what you wanted so desperately to appear.
The same is true for some of the artist impressions that find themselves doing the rounds on Twitter, technical sites and alike. Some of them are beautiful, be it a newly designed iWatch or new release of the iPhone, but once again the truth is that if the product is released, the chances are it will not look anything like those designs that we have ‘oohed’ and ‘ahhed’ at.
I could just follow the crowd and make predictions as to what Apple are going to show us this year at WWDC, however the truth is, despite what other blogs and sites will have you believe, there are probably only about 10 people on the whole planet who actually know, and whats more they have probably signed so many non-disclosure agreements that if they so much as sneeze in the wrong manner they are liable to give up their first-born child.
Therefore, instead of saying “oh this is going to come”, I’m going to go through 6 things which I would like to see (re)released at WWDC.
Some have been talking about Apple’s making of the iWatch for over three years now, with the first mockup being created in May 2010. It was such a beautiful design that I even wrote a post about it.
Generally speaking I don’t need a new watch, as I am very happy with my Polar gym watch, however generally speaking I was happy with my portable CD player right up until Apple invented the iPod.
This year Google released the first few thousand copies of Google Glass that brings the world-wide web and other 21st century technology right into the sight of the wearer without having to pick anything up. It aims to consolidate certain functions of several devices into one stylish product. Although there is a long way off before the product is launched, and the price will need to come down to make it accessible to the general consumers, there has been a huge buzz that has since surrounded ‘wearable’ technology.
The same is true with the iWatch, indeed one could argue that Apple have already toyed with the idea of an iWatch by selling straps that allow the user to wear an iPod Shuffle on their wrist.
I think it would be dead cool to be able to reply to texts using Siri on an iWatch and having tweets and other push notifications pushed to a wrist device that can be seen instantly without having to pull your phone out of your pocket.
To be honest I can’t think of other functions which I would like on the iWatch apart from the obvious contacts/calendar – however I think its safe to say that if it did make an appearance at WWDC there would be more to it than that.
For those of you who are not too sure what iWork is, it is a suite of products that aim to fulfil similar functions to Microsoft Office. iWork is made up of Numbers (the Excel alternative), Pages (the Word alternative) and Keynote (the PowerPoint alternative).
I personally am a huge fan of iWork, and if I am honest, my love of iWork has increased dramatically since Microsoft have announced that (at least for the Windows versions) their Office products are going to start being ‘subscription based’. There are quite a few people out there who are a fan of the software subscription model, however needless to say, I am not one of them. I like to know that once I have purchased some software it is mine, and mine to keep. I am not hugely bothered if a new version comes out with newer features that I have to pay to upgrade to, I like to know that to buy a certain application, it’s going to cost me a certain amount and once I have paid it, that’s me done.
Subscription based model means that we will all have to keep an eye on our bank statements even more closely, especially if you opt for the monthly subscriptions, perhaps the most problematic for students or those who are self-employed and don’t have regular income. If you don’t have the ability to pay that months fee you simply wont be able to use your software. I can’t imagine that excuse going down too well if I was unable to write an essay!
Anyway back to iWork. To say that iWork has been neglected for sometime is perhaps the understatement of the year. Although versions have since made it onto the Mac App Store (allowing you to use it on any computer with the same Apple ID – a much better way to purchase software in my opinion), it hasn’t had a refresh since 2009 – yes that’s over 4 years!
I can’t think of any reason why Apple are not actively developing iWork. Yes they are issuing security updates and the odd remedial update, but it needs to be completely re-written for it to not only be brought up to todays standards, but if it has any attempt to compete with Microsoft Office.
As hard as it may be to stomach, I recon if we don’t see an iWork update this year, iWork may have been given orders to take a long walk of a short plank.
Retina Display iMac’s and iPad Mini’s
As a student, I don’t have
a lot any disposable income, and so if WWDC did see a release of a new retina iMac or retina iPad Mini there is no way on earth I would be able to purchase one.
However that doesn’t stop me dreaming.
I think ever since Apple announced the retina display on the iPhone 4 several years ago, it has been slowly moving towards putting retina displays in all of its products, with the iPad and MacBook Pro being the first to see the high-def facelift.
Whilst id imagine it would be technically easier to produce a retina screen for the iPad Mini, can any Apple fan boy out there think of anything more beautiful than working on a 27 inch retina display? I know I can’t!
Watching movies on it would be a cinema like experience, and as for editing photos on it, I don’t think there would be a better device for it.
One thing is certain tho, if Apple did announce a 27″ retina iMac, they would need to release a 27″ retina display to go along side it should you want to upgrade your old Cinema display.
As it would be connected by thunderbolt, you could probably daisy-chain them together, meaning if you had enough money, you could have a wall made of retina displays! Now there is a dream worth having!
Aperture is almost as unloved when it comes to releases as iWork, but not quite, as its last major update to version 3 was in 2010, one year after iWork.
Since then whilst it has been updated from a security point of view, little Apple love has been shone on its photography application that it targets towards professional photographers.
There are several reasons why I have not moved from Aperture to its rival Lightroom despite the fact that Adobe have added several feature updates to Lightroom since 2010.
The first of which is that I like the cataloguing system, being able to put photos into projects, albums and create smart albums with ease is perhaps Aperture’s greatest feature. Secondly it does edit photos quite well, (although I have to hold my hands up and say that I am increasingly exporting images from Aperture to use plugins for more functionality adding to my workflow time) and does quite well when it comes to colour correction, sharpening et al. Finally I live in hope that Apple will announce Aperture 4 with features that will far surpass that of Adobe Lightroom.
Whats more, and perhaps the two biggest concerns is that Lightroom may well move to subscription a model (so how would you access your images if you don’t keep up your subscription?), and the amount of time that it would take for me to move over 10 years worth of images from the Aperture way of working, to Lightroom.
Knowing my luck, the minute I decided to make the move, purchased Lightroom and got halfway through the migration process, Apple would announce Aperture 4, something which may just push me over an emotional edge!
What Will We See At WWDC?
The chances are of course that we wont really see any of these products, instead we may get an announcement of the iPhone 5s with the new version of iOS on it, but apart from that as much as I would like to see the above, I have a funny feeling that we are going to get reviews of financial performance, game demo after game demo and maybe (if we are very very lucky) a name of what OS X 10.9 will be called.