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WWDC Announced for June 10-14

WWDC Logo and Date
In case you’ve missed it (and I know I’ve been gone for a long time) but Apple announced way back in April that their annual WWDC (Worldwide Developes Conference) is going down from June 10 – 14, 2013. Can’t wait.

Besides the fact that this event is mainly focused at bring together app/software developers from around the world, Apple has in past used this event to unveil some new products and tweaks to existing products, but mainly OSX and iOS in recent years.

Here’s a quick run down of what to expect and what could happen.

FOR SURE

iOS 7 IconiOS 7This will be officially announced and previewed at the week-long event. Apparently we’re in for a “flattening” affect when it comes to the entire iOS interface and experience. Apps going from ‘bubbly’ to flat and simple. Combine that with a slew of other updates, this update appears to tweak rather than WOW anyone.

OS X 10.9
As is the case with the last two years at WWDC, there’s a new version coming… but not public yet. Things that could be making an appearance in the next generation of OSX included things like Apple maps, Siri and even more iOS-like options. They’re slowly blurring the lines between the mobile and desktop operating systems.

MAYBE

Fingerprint recognition and security features in the next software update
Considering the fact that Apple applied for a patent of this technology a few years ago, there might finger print recognition software or some other variable that allows user more security when using their mobile devices. Heck, we could even see the first announcement of NFC coming to the next generation of iDevices.

iRadio
This is one of the ones that seems most likely to happen than any of the others. I’ve even seen a few leaked images of possible logos for iRadio coming to all iDevices and possible built right into iTunes. Not entirely sure on the details of this one, but I personally stopped listening to Radio 3-4 years ago. It’s boring. Maybe this will bring it back.

iWatch
For months (actually years) people seem to want to believe there’s an iWatch out there somewhere that people would like if you could integrate it with your phone so you can see who’s calling before you look at your phone to see…. who’s calling. I don’t know, but let’s see if this happens.

Cheaper-priced iPhone
Tim Cooke mentioned something that would appeal to vertical markets… Whatever that means, maybe a cheaper price point iPhone? Not sure if this is legit yet, but might happen.

New Mac Pro debut
While there hasn’t been a major update in two years, Apple still claims that this market is “very important” to Apple and they have something really cool to show the world.

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OS X “Mountain Lion” Preview

Mountain Lion IconIf you just got used to OS X Lion and how it works, get ready to expand what you’ve learned, Apple has released a developer’s preview of the next cat-themed operating system for the Mac; “Mountain Lion”. Just like the previous version, this new version has taken more bits out of iOS in appearance and functionality. Features included in this revamped OS will include iMessage, Game Center, Reminders and even Notifications right into the operating system.

Starting today, Mac developers are able to begin testing this latest version with an expected public release in the second or third quarter of 2012 – I’m going to guess it will be available in the summer 2012. While price has not yet been established, you can expect this to be readily available for download from the Mac App Store. Considering the OSX Lion was available for $30, I’m going to assume that the upgrade price will be fairly reasonable, if not free for those that already paid for the Lion update seven months ago.

In case you were paying attention in October 2011 when Tim Cook took centre-stage at the keynote address which unveiled the iPhone 4s, he was serious when he said that iCloud will be the company’s strategy for the ‘next decade’, and that’s clearly more evident with the iOS integration of this desktop OSX release.

Mountain Lion on Mac Devices

Here’s a short list of features you can expect from Mountain Lion:

Built-in iCloud integration. Setting up iCloud will be the second thing you do after setting up a new Mac with Mountain Lion. The big new thing in this version will be the ease with which you can access Documents in the Cloud, which will allow your documents created in Pages (or some other third-party apps) to be available on any Mac OS or iOS device.

iMessage on Mac. Many people have been asking for this, and finally we’re going to get it. The Messages app, which will appear very familiar to iOS users, replaces iChat. It’ll let you start a conversation on a Mac and continue it on a different device, like your iPhone or iPad.

Notes and Reminders. Any notes you make on a Mac or iOS device, along with any reminders you set for yourself, will show up on any of your Mac or iOS devices. Both apps can be searched and look easier to navigate with the additional screen space of a desktop. Notes can be “pinned” to your desktop.

Mountain Lion Notification CentreNotifications. Just like the drop-down Notification Center on iOS, the Mac is getting its own version in the top right corner of the screen. All reminders, app alerts, calendar appointments will appear there. And just like iOS, Mountain Lion Notification Center has its own swipe to bring up the window — two fingers right to left from the right edge of the trackpad.

Mountain Lion Sharing OptionsSharing from apps. That sharing arrow that appears in iOS apps? Apple has inserted it in many Mac applications and dubbed it Share Sheet. That button will let you share web pages, notes, videos, Quicktime files, docs and photos via email, Messages, AirDrop, Twitter or post photos or video to Vimeo or Flickr.

Twitter integration in the OS. This is kind of a big deal for Twitter. When you share something via Twitter in Mountain Lion, a Tweet Sheet pops up, which looks like an index card with whatever it is you’re tweeting attached via paper clip.

GameCenter. Apple’s social gaming network comes to the desktop, and brings with it a new opportunity for developers. With a new set of GameKit APIs, game creators can develop games for both Mac and iOS, so players can compete whether they’re on an Apple desktop or mobile device. Current Game Center-compatible iOS games will have to be converted to appear in the Mac App Store.

AirPlay Mirroring to Apple TV. Just like an iPad or iPhone 4S, you will be able to mirror your Mac desktop on your TV via an Apple TV (as long as your Mac has an Intel Core i3, i5 or i7 processor).

New security features. Gatekeeper lets users select settings to control which apps can be downloaded to a computer. You can choose to allow all apps, or only apps with a developer-signed ID program (run by Apple) to be downloaded. Or, for the most conservative choice, only apps from the Mac App Store.

Mountain Lion on IMac and MacBook Air

As you can see from all the feature seeing added, the heart of this newest OS X will be iCloud – it doesn’t matter where you start a game or save a document or note, it will be available for you anytime, on any device. Sounds a lot like the iPad or iPhone, now in desktop form. And why not? … This is strategically the way Apple plans to get more and more non-Mac users to make the switch and come on over.

Siri App IconOne glaring omission on this latest release is Siri; the personal assistant unveiled as an iOS standard app for iPhone 4S users, hasn’t been announced as part of this release. Likely since Apple feels like Siri is still in beta mode on the iPhone. I’m going to say that while Siri isn’t ready for a release in OS X yet, she will be making an appearance in the near future.

There you have it. Get ready for all this to be officially announced in March and/or June at Apple’s annual WWDC.

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