It's that time of year again - Apple have announced that the WWDC, or Worldwide Developers Conference, will kick off on June 10th in San Francisco. This yearly event is where Apple gathers together their many software developers, external engineers and the associated press to announce upcoming products, as well as providing hands-on lab and feedback sessions for outsiders. Though historically the WWDC has focused on showcasing new software, 2002 marked the first time hardware was unveiled. Ever since then the WWDC has become a counterpart to Google's celebrated I/O conference, with past WWDC events focusing on both new products such as the iPhone 4 (2010) and new iterations of the MacBook (2012), as well as software upgrades such as FaceTime (2010) and iCloud (2011).
Above: the annual WWDC is a melting pot of developers, and showcases some of Apple's best new products.
So what can we expect from WWDC 2013? Well, there are certain things we can rule out right away. One of Tim Cook's recent statements was "... we've got some really great stuff coming in the fall and across all of 2014". Downplaying the summer season suggests that any radical software refreshes or new product ranges are unlikely, at least until Q3. That said, this could be Cook playing up the salesman angle so expertly adopted by his predecessor Steve Jobs, and attempting to reduce excitement to lend any announcements that much more weight - however, given Apple's recent slump in stock prices and disappointing projections for the next quarter, we think it unlikely that Cook would give more fuel to the detractors by downplaying future developments.
Nevertheless, we're hopeful for an announcement or at least an update on iOS 7. Even if rumours about a delay in the development of iOS 7 are true, it would be a good idea for Apple to unveil some of its upcoming features pending an autumn release, so developers know exactly what to expect. Besides, iOS 6 was released at WWDC 2012, so we're right on schedule for a refresh - especially considering that software and hardware design were recently folded together under the aegis of Sir Jony Ive. Ive's award-winning work on the design of the iPhone itself has earned the company acclaim from even ardent Apple detractors, but the general consensus is that the look and feel of iOS has only grown more and more outdated as time has passed. A keen eye for visuals - and a general disdain for the tacky skeuomorphic design that has typified past iterations of iOS - means that we can expect a flatter, simpler and more elegant design philosophy to emerge for any future versions of iOS. Placing Ive in charge of its look is a savvy decision, and one that we're confident will pay off in the long run.
Above: Sir Jony Ive, award-winning English designer and Senior Vice President of Industrial Design at Apple, designed products such as the iPhone, iPad, iPod and iMac.
WWDC 2012 also marked the introduction of the new Mac desktop OS, Mountain Lion. Pending any announcements about the subjects closest to our heart (the iPhone, the iPad and iOS), it would be interesting to see what Apple has planned for their range of personal computers. We can probably expect to see an increase in convergence between the features of iOS and the desktop OS X; most pundits are anticipating Siri functionality for desktop, which would be a step in the right direction. However, Apple have historically been against the concept of convergence; and since all of Microsoft's attempts to converge their phone and desktop platforms were met with a lukewarm reception, it's possible the two operating systems are simply too different to combine features effectively.
Other rumoured innovations this year include: a refresh of the desktop line-up, with a possible new MacBook to look forward to; a greater focus on the hardware and OS of Apple Television, which Steve Jobs famously called "a hobby" back in 2010; and maybe even a MacBook Air with retina display, which would certainly draw some customers away from tablets and back towards the laptop scene. Whatever happens this year, we're confident Apple will approach the WWDC with their usual enthusiasm and showmanship intact. Whether unveiling incremental upgrades to their software or surprising the masses with a budget iPhone (and what a surprise that would be!), the Worldwide Developers Conference will always remain one of the most exciting events of the year for developers, and if nothing else happens on the Apple front in 2013, we can at least look forward to some excellent new apps and start-ups finding their footing at WWDC 2013!
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It's that time of year again - Apple have announced that the WWDC, or Worldwide Developers Conference, will kick off on June 10th in San Francisco. This yearly event is where Apple gathers together their many software developers, external engineers and the associated press to announce upcoming products, as well as providing hands-on lab and feedback sessions for outsiders. Though historically the WWDC has focused on showcasing new software, 2002 marked the first time