WWDC 2014 Roundup: What to Expect

WWDC 2014 Roundup: What to Expect

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Apple's 25th Worldwide Developers Conference is here and the company will kick things off with a keynote presentation Monday, June 2nd at 10 AM PST, 1 PM EST.

WWDC 2014 Roundup: What to Expect

Here's what to expect...

iOS 8
We know Apple is going to announce a new version of iOS -- just like it has in previous years. Last year Apple introduced iOS 7, bringing the biggest revamp the mobile OS has seen since the iPhone's inception. However, this year, iOS 8, codenamed 'Okemo' will most likely fine-tune the rough edges of iOS 7 and bring some new features. Apple has already teased the eighth version of iOS by hanging up banners at the Moscone Center (venue for WWDC).

One of Apple's biggest features it's bringing to iOS 8 is Healthbook, a standalone application that aggregates health data from different applications, accessories, and hardware, including the iPhone. Healthbook will have a similar UI to Passbook, but will be able to track information such as bloodwork, heart rate, hyrdration, blood pressure, activity, nutrition, blood sugar, sleep, respiratory rate, oxygen saturation and weight. There will also reportedly be an 'emergency card' tab that provides a single location for first responders to get a quick overview of your name, blood type, birthday, emergency contact information and more. Healthbook would work great in conjunction with an Apple wearable product, such as an iWatch, but more on that later.

WWDC 2014 Roundup: What to Expect

Apple's Maps app for iOS will reportedly be getting revamped with much needed enhanced mapping data, and other new features. According to 9to5Mac, Apple will be bringing improved POI data, better labeling, tweaked notation for bus stops, train stations, airports, and finally built in transit functionality. Thanks to the many transit company acquisitions Apple made last year, the Maps app will finally have native transit support without relying on third-party applications.

WWDC 2014 Roundup: What to Expect

Apple also plans to shift around some default applications. iTunes Radio is said to become a new standalone app in order to drive more traffic. Apple might also cut the Game Center app from iOS, but keep its functionality available for developers to use in their games. Finally, Apple is rumored to introduce TextEdit and Preview applications that are optimized for iOS as a way to quickly access documents in the cloud.

WWDC 2014 Roundup: What to Expect WWDC 2014 Roundup: What to Expect

Notably, iPad could soon see a huge change in the way it does multitasking with the introduction of a split-screen multitasking interface. Unfortunately, this feature will most likely not be demoed/announced at WWDC, but it definitely is in the works.

Apple has also been rumored to be working on a way to use the iPad as a secondary display to your Mac. Users could connect their Mac to their iPad wirelessly and use it as an external monitor. No word on whether or not this feature will make the cut for iOS 8.

Other tidbits include an improved Siri with Shazam functionality, a tweaked notification center (with no more 'missed' tab!), automatic iMessage cleanup, VoLTE support, some stock application improvements, more iCloud storage (finally!) and other 'under the hood' changes.

Sources have been saying Apple is 'rushing' to include many of these features in time for the first iOS 8 beta. However there is a good possibility many of these could get pushed back until iOS 8.1.

OS X 10.10 "Syrah"
Apple will likely update OS X with a design that feels more like iOS. That means more white space, sharper corners, iOS-like toggles, and a flat look and feel. The result may be jarring for some, similar to the move from iOS 6 to iOS 7. We've seen some concepts show what this might look like already.

WWDC 2014 Roundup: What to Expect

New features for OS X 10.10 may include the ability to finally use AirDrop to share files with iOS devices. That means you could easily send photos from your iPhone to your computer and vice-versa. Another rumored feature is Siri for Mac. Currently, OS X features dictation support but does not have the ability to perform queries or execute tasks based on voice commands.

As rumored, it appears the name of OS X 10.10 will be either 'Yosemite' or 'El Cap'. Banners for the new operating system feature the El Capitan vertical rock formation located on the north side of Yosemite Valley.

Smart Home Certification Program
Recent reports suggest that Apple will launch something similar to its MFi program for connected devices. The program will focus on easily connecting devices via Wi-Fi and would likely offer Bluetooth voice control. Unfortunately, at this point, it doesn't look like Apple will offer a software based automation layer. It's possible that you could control some device functions without opening app, perhaps with a voice command.

While this isn't as exciting as we hoped, it is a step forward.

WWDC 2014 Roundup: What to Expect

Xcode 6
Xcode 6 is said to be a major update that includes a much improved iOS Simulator. The new simulator offers improvements to handling resolutions and scaling. These improvements may be important if Apple releases a larger, higher resolution iPhone 6. In addition, there are improvements to rapid protyping and testing, integration of frameworks, and custom element creation in Interface Builder.

WWDC 2014 Roundup: What to Expect

Hardware
Unfortunately, we don't expect any major product announcements at WWDC, but there definitely could be some incremental hardware updates to products. The most recent prediction has been the unveiling of a lower-priced iMac and 8GB iPhone 5s. However, those predictions have been dismissed by The Loop's Jim Dalrymple.

Apple is also said to have a 12-inch Retina Display MacBook in development; however, there's no indication that the device is ready for unveiling tomorrow. Apple has been expected to finally discontinue the non-retina Macbook Pro.

Major products such as the iWatch, iPhone 6, and new Apple TV are predicted for later this year. Some minor updates that would be welcomed include an updated Mac mini, a 4K Thunderbolt display, and processor bumps for the iMac and MacBook Pro.

WWDC 2014 Roundup: What to Expect

Keynote
We'll be covering Apple's keynote tomorrow with a live blog. Stay tuned for the link by following iClarified on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or RSS for updates.
riker - June 2, 2014 at 9:51pm
The good thing is, is that I do not trust IOS maps. I used them once and was completely lost thank god google maps was there to save me. so whatever they say they fixed im sure google had perfected long before then.
Lolwut - June 2, 2014 at 11:32pm
Who wants to use something to steal our data, besides google was once a good map app to use, I used apple maps from the first time up to now and not one problem since, even my current location is right but it can even map multiple routes for directions and tell time by walking or riding, and 3d view is way better, on google it's just one view in 2d, no move around, so thank god we have superior apps on superior products and maps is here for a reason. If we prefer iPads over nexus which no one ever talks about, why not maps?
MBA Doesn't Need Higher Resolution - June 2, 2014 at 11:03am
Why does everyone want a higher resolution Macbook Air? I own a 2013 Macbook Air and there is nothing that makes the screen bad, it is perfectly fine. In fact owning a higher resolution Macbook like the Macbook Pro would result to making apps that don't support the Retina Display crash and the font would look like it's a thousand years old. All in all, the Macbook Air is a perfect laptop, adding a Retina Display wouldn't really make it perfected because it's already perfected. It doesn't need a Retina Display, adding it would make apps crash and font on other apps look bad. In addition, it is most likely if Apple would make the Macbook Air with higher resolution that it would have to be thicker and heavier unless Apple finds a way around it.
Bdiz - June 2, 2014 at 7:34am
I was hoping for the retina or a higher res MacBook Air. Maybe next time or maybe never.
K - June 2, 2014 at 10:58am
There is going to be retina MacBook Air, for now it's an upgrade for MacBook Pro and imac.
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