Apple fans, the moment you have been waiting for is almost here. WWDC, the event responsible for the unveiling of such technology as the original iPhone (and every iPhone since then), Mac OS X Leopard, iOS 4, and more is finally upon us. Steve Jobs will hit the stage at 10 AM Pacific / 1 PM Eastern time tomorrow, and from what it sounds like he has a plethora of new goodies for everyone. We covered the announcement of what was going to be talked about in the keynote, but since then more and more juicy rumors have been floating around with more specifics. Here’s what we’ve seen in the days leading up to the event:
We know iCloud is going to be announced. We have seen the logo / icon (left), but what we don’t know exactly is what iCloud will entail. It’s almost certainly a cloud music streaming service, but it might be more than that and encompass online backups and more, perhaps working together with updated Time Capsules to provide you with a local AND a remote backup of your important documents, which is of course what any backup expert would recommend.
As for the music service, the rumor is that it will cost $25 a year after a free trial, and at least for now, will only stream music you’ve already bought from iTunes. While this might seem like an annoying restriction, it was probably the only way Apple could get the big labels on board, and once it takes off there might be some more negotiating room for Apple to allow your personal non-iTunes music collection to be streamed in the future.
2. New iOS 5 Features
It’s almost a given that iOS 5 will have a new notification system and perhaps a feature similar to Dashboard widgets on Mac OS. Another juicy rumor that has been circulating based on some language that might have been added to iTunes a little prematurely is automatic app updates.
A MacRumors.com tipster noticed that some interesting language has been added to iTunes in the last couple of days:
If your device has Automatic Download enabled for apps, your updates will download to your device without having to sync.
What we could be seeing here is a new iOS 5 feature: automatic app updates. No more going to the App Store and updating manually; you’ll be able to set an app to auto-update and always be on the newest version without having to do anything. This could also foreshadow OTA untethered iOS updates as well, but there’s no official information about those at this time.
There are a few videos out of people with ideas / concepts of what iOS 5 could look like, here’s one from TiPb and one with a little humor added from YouTuber iOS Magic. I guess the iPad really is magic!
The other rumor that seems pretty likely to come true is deep Twitter integration. Twitter is launching a photo-sharing service for its users, and it’s likely that iOS 5 will have Twitter photo sharing baked into the OS. Take a pretty picture? It’s now only a few taps away from your Twitter feed, much easier than having to copy and paste the photo into your Twitter app like you have to do now. We don’t know if there will be any other Twitter features in iOS (Android’s Twitter integration with contacts is very nice), but it’s awesome that Apple will be taking steps to make photo sharing on iOS easier.
3. OS X Lion
Mac OS 10.7 Lion is the one area of WWDC that we aren’t seeing tons of rumors about. Maybe its because there are already developer previews of the OS floating around the Web, but I am sure that Apple has some new features up its sleeves that it will impress us with tomorrow at the conference. After all, it already had a press conference announcing and revealing the Lion that we have now, so why would the company dedicate more time to it unless it’s to wow us with some new features? Hold your breaths on this one, but in my opinion I don’t think we have seen all that Lion has to offer.
See you tomorrow for the keynote, everyone! If you’re interested in following along, you can check out liveblogs from Gizmodo, Engadget, Ars Technica, MacRumors, and many, many others. No word if Apple is going to be live streaming this event, but if it does, it will be here.