WWDC Expectations

Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) is only a couple of weeks away and everyone is wondering what the company will unveil during the keynote address. As much as we all have long wish lists for what we would like to see, I think it’s important to balance those with realistic expectations for what’s likely to happen.

The important thing to remember about WWDC is that it is a developer conference. It’s not a place where Apple is going to show off the newest iPhone or iPad 1. These are Apple’s flagship products and they demand separate events. Entire industries watch these products because they shape what will happen in the mobile space. They are that important.

So, don’t expect an iPhone or iPad at WWDC 2.

If not an iPhone or iPad, what can we expect in the way of hardware from the conference? Personally, I would look squarely to the Mac side of Apple’s product line.

The Mac is still an important part of what Apple does, but I don’t know that Apple would hold a special event specifically for a Mac product anymore. If they did, it would have to be quite a spectacular product.

For me, the Mac products fit well with a Tim Cook keynote at WWDC. That’s all I really expect from Apple in the way of hardware at the conference.

That leaves us with the one thing that everyone does expect from the conference — the introduction of iOS7 and OS X. The operating systems are why most of the people attending WWDC go to the conference.

This is where developers get one-on-one time with Apple engineers and get advice on how to make their products better 3. WWDC is also the place where developers learn about the new APIs they’ll be able to use in the operating systems and any changes they’ll need to make to take advantage of them.

iOS 7 is the thing everyone will be watching and talking about. Since Jony Ive took over software design, people expect the operating system to move to a more flat design, rather than the skeuomorphic design that Apple has favored for years.

Personally, I don’t think that Apple will take it as far as what some might think. The way I envision iOS 7 is more of a modernization of the look and feel of the operating system. Kind of like what Apple did with OS X over the years.

Take a look back at the first version of OS X with the Aqua interface and compare that with what we have today. You can see a lot of the same types of elements in the OS design, but it’s more modern — it’s smoother and less dramatic in its effects.

OS X will be very interesting for me. We have shifted our attention away from the Mac operating system over the past few years, but part of what we have come to expect from Apple is deep integration with all of their products and services.

That’s what I’ll be watching for with OS X. The continued integration between iOS and OS X, through apps and services, like iCloud.

There is no doubt that WWDC will be an interesting conference for developers. I suspect the promise of iOS 7 and OS X will cause a lot of talk for days and weeks to come.

  1. If you are going to write an article that Apple will release the new iPhone or iPad at WWDC, don’t do it. 

  2. If you write a story after WWDC stating that since there was no iPhone or iPad, the keynote was a bust, you are just stupid. 

  3. This is why consumers want developers to go to WWDC too. Better products make us all happier.