As we wait for Tim Cook to headline Monday's WWDC 2012 keynote, we're all getting excited about what's to come. We're dusting off the old crystal ball to see what WWDC will bring us this week.
Here's what some of our TUAW bloggers predict for Monday. Plus, we want to invite you to join in as well. What are you most looking forward to on Monday? New tech, hardware, and software?
Tell us what you expect to see and where you think our predictions have merit -- or are full of monkey wax. Jump into the comments and let us know your take on WWDC 2012.
Predictions will be added by TUAW bloggers throughout the weekend, so revisit this post early and often!
I'm predicting a surprisingly modest WWDC: iOS 6, a preview of Mountain Lion, and that's about it. Why do I think this to be true? Well, I think it's time for Apple to give devs some real lovin', and the words on the banner -- "Where great ideas go on to do great things" -- seem to be more focused on the act of development than on new hardware.
Sure, it would be awesome to see a new iMac, new MacBook Airs, new Mac minis, a new Mac Pro, and maybe even some announcements of Apple-branded Thunderbolt peripherals. But my guess is that Tim Cook and Company are going to really focus on the software technologies that make Apple great.
The thing I most want to see on Monday -- and the thing I'm not really counting on -- is an Apple OS Roadmap, similar to the one that Steve Jobs offered in the October 2010 "Back to the Mac" event. During that presentation, Jobs announced Lion and the Mac App store and discussed how OS X would grow to take advantage of advances in technology innovated on the iOS side of the house.
While I expect Tim Cook to introduce iOS 6 and demo Mountain Lion, which may enter its first "gold master" release at WWDC, I hope he will have the flexibility to discuss where the two operating systems are going next, and how much convergence we'll see over the next 3-5 years. I'd also like to hear about how supporting technologies like AirPlay, iCloud, and 802.11ac will bring the entire Apple line closer together over time.
I wouldn't be surprised if we saw some hardware introduced as well, specifically brief mentions of a new MacBook Pro (feels like an Air, works like a Pro, docks to upgraded Cinema Displays).
I suspect a lot of the Monday keynote will focus, however, on iOS 6 and Mountain Lion features. I'd really like to see some 10.8 surprises due to hardware refreshes and iOS 6 innovation for iCloud, reminders, and other key lifestyle support technologies.
Like Erica and Steve, I think the keynote Monday will be focused on Mountain Lion and iOS 6. However, I do feel that new hardware will be introduced as a means to promote development. This is the Apple hardware's moment to shine outside of the iOS family, and I'd be disappointed if new systems weren't announced.
We know Mountain Lion is coming. iOS6 is a given. The only blank is the hardware, and it's past time it had a refresh.
Victor Agreda, Jr.
I believe there will be enough amazing features in iOS 6 to continually raise the roof and the bar on Monday. From advancements in maps to upgrades to Siri, Apple will show why anyone considering the use of tiles on Windows Phone or whatever it is that makes Android compelling should consider switching or keeping iOS on their phone or tablet.
Mountain Lion is less of a mystery, although I would expect the cloud efforts from Cupertino to be a key ingredient of the wow soup they are no doubt rehearsing at this moment. We've seen a lot of nice, new features, plus integration of iOS notions that will make life easier for the average user -- several of which Erica mentioned above.
As for hardware... Isn't WWDC a software thing? It's possible we'll see the new MacBook Pros, or they could do it a week later (when "normal humans" continue their annual blissful ignorance of WWDC's purpose) so as not to distract. Further, the Pro may be due for a revision, but unless there are developer-specific niceties baked in, why not wait a bit later? It's not like we'll be so busy with the latest BlackBerry to notice.
Guaranteed: iOS 6 and Mountain Lion demoed.
Likely: "iMaps," Apple's replacement for Google Maps.
Maybe: Updates to at least one Mac model announced. Apple TV apps/SDK. Third-party access to Siri APIs.
I'll believe it when I see it: Updates to all Mac models announced. Retina Displays on the MacBook Pro, iMac.
Not a chance: iPhone, iPod touch, iPad hardware updates.
"Are you inebriated?": iPad mini, Apple HDTV.