Twas the week before DevCon
  and all through the net
all the banners were leaking
  more news yet to get.

  The rumors were hung
by the bloggers with care
  in the hopes that this rev
was filled with great flair.


Okay enough with the really bad filking. With just a hair over 5 days until the keynote of WWDC 2012 it’s time for my annual predictions. Some will carry vegas style odds which I will not cover or take bets on.

The post is rather disjointed as I am in the middle of crunch on a project that we wanted to fire off before or during WWDC… But, we’ll get it when it’s done. Not when it’s convenient.


HARDWARE:
It’s obvious that the Mac hardware line has gotten very long in the tooth. We’re definitely seeing an upgrade of the entire line. Also, as mentioned in my 2012 overview posting. Expect there to be some mixing/realigning of the Macbook Air/Macbook Pro line. With external monitors the 17″ may not be long for this world. (A shame because it’s been my primary model for about 6-8 yrs)

The Mac Pro may FINALLY see a body redesign. There’s a lot of wasted space in there. The device has somewhat subsumed the XServe which had that nice 1U body form. So the Tower may see a form factor change to make it more compact for the server room. I’m thinking something akin to the Mac Mega (Opposite of Mini). I don’t expect it to look like a Mini except maybe something a little more streamlined.

The Mini and the Airport Time Machine have continued to sort of drool into each other. We may finally see the fusion there.

Hardware updates?

  • The delayed intel chips,
  • thunderbolt and BTLE everywhere.
  • Better cameras.
  • Better video cards.
  • Better RAM and drives.
  • And likely more devices with OUT the DVD. (Anyone else remember, “No Floppy”?)

The OS? Well we’ll get to that next.


OS X 10.8:
By the rumours boards it would seem that we’ve seen 5 seeds of the OS. Or more correctly 3 with 2 updates. Comments from forums by people breaking NDA is that the new OS:

  • For starters is snappier. (I had to)
  • Is more stable that 10.7
  • Has good feature add.

So, Is 10.8 ready for Prime time. Will the new devices release with 10.8?

I’m going to give the release of 10.8 an even 50% chance of being released either at the keynote or within a week of it. I will give the announcement of a release date 100%.

How much will OS X 10.8 be?

My belief is that there is a 75% chance that
    OS X 10.8 will be free
to 10.7 users and
    $29.95 for 10.6 users. There will also be a direct upgrade path for 10.6 users.

Is there anymore to OS X 10.8?

I believe so. But as for what. I’ll return to after my comments on iOS.


iOS 6:

So lets talk about iOS 6. There’s been no actual word from Apple that there will be a release of iOS 6.0. However… 5.0 announced at WWDC 2011. Apple has stated that it wants to move to once/year OS updates. So… 6.0 is a reasonable assumption. And now my wish list and percentage chances. (Please note… percents are per line… not additive)

We’ll start with the easy OS features and changes:

  • Open GL improved (100%)
  • UIKit improved (100%)
    Gaming and UI are iOS’ bread and butter. A lot of effort goes in here both in presentation and development. Struts, storyboard, etc. Expect some nice things here.

  • Multiple exchange calendars. (40%)
    A common wish list item for enterprise. (I know I could use it)

  • Built in VNC.(65%)
    Apple remote desktop and screen sharing between iOS devices and between iOS, Mac, and Apple TV products. Would also work with XCode for debugging. (65%)

The next set are my big ticket items. Things that we’ve been hoping for that will be full developmental APIs.

  • Core Mapping(80%)

    A reworking of Mapping and Core Location. Now includes full non-Google maps, find my friends/phone and 3 dimensions of location.

  • Core Dictation (Includes Siri)(75%)
    Many times a product has started on one device and then spread. Siri will wind up on all iOS not just iPhone and likewise dictation will be on the iPhone4S. The API will be opened to developers. Apps will be Siriable. Dictation will be programable.

  • tvkit.framework (Apple TV 2 & 3 only)(65%)
    In the pre push for the TV, Apps will finally be allowed on the Apple TV.

  • Core Messaging (IM and Mail)(60%)
    Finally taking a page from address book and media… Mail and Messaging will be open programable. The messaging backend will be federatable so that other systems can use it.

  • Core Profile (Parental/Enterprise settings)(55%)
    Configuration of a device will be upped with Core User to allow both an enterprise device with FULL configuration and also Parental Supervisory controls. (Which on retrospect are really the same thing)

  • Core Process(40%)
    True backgrounding processes – The ability to create small daemon like code to run in the background and signal notifications. (Great for accessories)

  • Core User (Multi User) (Feature: 65%; API 30%)
    At long last an iCloud alternative to having more than one user on an iOS device. It may not be pretty but it will work. A core OS will live on the device and then you’ll iCloud shift active user.

  • springboard.framework(25%)
    Configure the look of the home screen, app pages, and folders.

  • Core “Something Else”(65%)
    I still think there is a WHOA feature that no one has touched on. I think that Core Something Else will be on both iOS6 and OS X 10.8


FOR DEVELOPERS:
I think we’ll see

  • XCode 4.5 / 5.0 – Depends how much the UI and the engine get revamped. (90%)
  • Raise the beta bar over 100 users – a common complaint (50%)
  • iOS Developer Frameworks – iOS devs will have a way to build framework bundles not just linked libraries. (Also requires an approval process) (40%)
  • There will be discussion on Radar. (25%)

THE APP STORE (iOS/OS X)

  • Tiered Upgrades. A common complaint

ANNOUNCEMENTS:
iPhone5. If the phone will be releasing by the end of Summer/Early Autumn (with iOS 6)… Then there is a 60% chance of announce. After that… don’t hold your breath. I do not Believe they will be releasing the iPhone for a while because it probably depends on iOS6 which I believe is also still under dev.

The famed Apple GOD TV. (As opposed to the Jesus phone, as it used to be referred to)… I think that the TVKit.Framweork will be the tip of the iceberg. I think it will tell people that the AppleTV (2 and 3) aren’t a hobby anymore.

That being said… I don’t think we’ll see the TV announced. No sensational “Thus spake Zarathrustra” moments on this. It needs an event to stand alone.

Other things that I just don’t have the effort to get all crazy about:
iTunes updated
iLife updated

I think this year’s WWDC may be worth writing home about.

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