As the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2015 is about to start in San Francisco, it’s time for a recap on what we can expect from the keynote. But beware: this is my personal speculation. Apple will stream the WWDC 2015 keynote live on Monday 6/8/15 at 10am PDT … and it will be fun to see what expectations will be right and what will be wrong.
Apple Music – timing: for sure
Apple acquired Beats Music & Beats Electronics last year right before the WWDC14 and got Jimmy Iovine on board. So they had one year to prepare their big step into the music subscription business with Apple Music. The service itself won’t be a surprise at the keynote – but it may get quite interesting when it comes to the service from the artist and record label perspective … and when we’ll learn more about the international rollout schedule.
iOS9 – timing: for sure
It’s a developer conference … so, presenting the next step in iOS-evolution is essential. The interesting question is: What will be the core differentiator from iOS8.
Some highlights from previous iOS versions (for more visual history of iOS take a look at TheVerge iOS History):
- iOS5 – Introduction of Siri, notifications & over-the-air-updates to make the iPhones independent from a Mac/PC.
- iOS6 – Apple maps with turn-by-turn navigation, Passbook & centralized Twitter & Facebook integration.
- iOS7 – Complete UI design reboot, major multitasking improvements, Touch ID for Apple apps.
- iOS8 – Touch ID for 3rd party apps, 3rd party keyboards, HomeKit, Apple Pay, HealthKit, WatchKit.
watchOS – timing: probably
WatchKit is quite limited, right now … and opening up the Apple Watch for native Applications would be the natural next step. And Apple just included a filter in their WWDC app called “watchOS” 🙂
Apple TV – timing: maybe
There’ve been a lot of rumors around the Apple TV. The last one: That we’ll not see any new Apple TV hardware at the keynote. Somebody also whispered, that Apple stopped their initiative to enter the television set market a year ago.
But maybe it is time for Apple to bring their “hobby” to the next level.
Apple already showed, how they want to enter the market of TV content streaming with their exclusive launch partnership with HBO Now. So we’ll see more of that. They brought gaming with iOS devices to the Apple TV via Airplay for quite some time. And silently they made Apple TV the digital hub for HomeKit to control it away from home.
Apple conquers the living room with the Apple TV, so this may be an epicenter of change: Opening up Apple TV as a platform to developers for native apps … the only thing you might miss is a proper controller for now. But there are rumors about a new kind of remote, there are iPhones, iPads & Apple Watches, there is Siri and there is PrimeSense. Apple bought the Kinect Sensor startup in 2013.
OSX 10.11 – timing: for sure
Apple did the transition to free OSX updates two years ago with OS X Mavericks. So, Apple does not need to have some easy to communicate “killer features” to sell the latest OS version. So, I expect the transition for the enduser may be smooth. That may help Apple to focus on stability & deep integration of features. For developers, this new version may be much more revolutionary under the hood: Apple introduced their new programming language Swift last year – so hopefully Apple took the chance to bring the SDK for developing OS X apps to the next (swift-based) level.
Apple AR augmented reality – timing: too early to show
Augmented and virtual reality is starting to be a hype these days. There’s been a lot of expensive stuff in the labs for years. But the times change: Facebook bought Oculus Rift, Microsoft working on HoloLense, Google experimenting with Google Glass & tinkering with Cardboard to bring low tech VR to everybody who has a smartphone. We did not here too much from Apple … yet. It is quite an opportunity for Apple – and I do not think Apple misses it. Just weeks ago, Apple bought the Metaio from Germany. They’ve been quite active in AR and have SDKs for iOS and AR-Authoring tools running on OSX. But the timing to present an AR initiative at the WWDC15 keynote does not feel right. But … maybe they’re preparing something big for next year 🙂
Apple Car – timing: … it’s not 2020, yet
Under the hood – there may be a lot of R&D at Apple in that area … but if Apple uses it’s power to be a fast follower in that area, they’ll still be fast if they enter the market of electric cars in some years.
I still think that Apple has to be very active in that area as the key competence is also key in mobile computing: storing energy & be energy efficient. So, mayor innovations in theres areas will result in advantages for iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, Apple Watches … and maybe sometimes even Apple Cars 🙂
One more thing … timing: maybe
This keynote may end without any new piece of hardware announcement … but there may also be one more thing … the long rumored iPad pro with a 12 -13″ retina display can fuel the enterprise market cooperation with IBM and push iPad sales in general. Stylus & handwriting recognition worked so well in the old days of the Apple Newton MessagePad, so I would love to see them in an iPad pro. And this move would put the creative power of a Wacom Cintiq into the hands of Millions of people.