WWDC June 2007 — What Should We Expect?

by Aaron Wright Mar 19, 2007

The World Wide Developers Conference is about on par with MacWorld, where every year Apple attends and shows off to the world what they’ve been up to since the last update. For many websites such as Apple Matters, it’s our chance to speculate, and when the time arrives, it’s time to praise and criticize.

If you can cast your mind back to last year’s WWDC event, which took place in August, you’ll remember the feeling of an incomplete show—when Steve Jobs thanked everyone for coming, many asked themselves, “I thought there was more, are you sure you’ve not left something out Steve?”

It probably comes down to over-expecting once again, but all we really got last year was the Mac Pro which featured some new specs, and not a lot more. Of course there was also the announcement of Leopard which tickled a few Apple lovers for a couple of months, but the hype soon died when what we really saw was a slightly more efficient Tiger with novelties that will most likely wear off after 2 weeks of use.

So what can we expect at this year’s event?

The iPhone

The iPhone rumour mill started running wild when it was announced that WWDC 2007 would arrive two months earlier this year; of course those rumours have now been confirmed and it’s pretty obvious why the event is arriving two months earlier. As far as I know the FFC hasn’t given Apple the all-clear to sell the device yet, although there shouldn’t really be a problem there. The biggest problem Apple faces at the minute is convincing those with perfectly good, working mobile phones why forking out nearly $599 for a new mobile phone is worth it, despite all the cool features the iPhone has to offer.

It’s also hard to imagine many people buying the phone straight away when it doesn’t have expandable memory, a detachable battery, or even the best camera (3-mega pixel is bog standard now guys, not 2!) available. I’m also curious as to how the internet communications device the phone has to offer will benefit those in Europe, whose internet bandwidth charges will cost almost as much as the phone itself after two months of browsing the web. Oh, and don’t get me started on 2.5G data transmissions—it’s all about the 3G now.

Of course, the phone does have its perks. The beautiful display is combined with the awesome multitouch technology, which promises up to 15 simultaneous touches, allowing 10 fingers, the palms of both hands, and three “other” devices to caress the screen. There’s also the fact that it has a built-in iPod, which will most likely compete head-on with the real iPod, and OS X all bundled into one. Who needs Windows Mobile when you can have your Apple equivalent?

There’s still no release date for the iPhone, which will arrive on Cingular networks in the States, but Apple has stated that it will be unleashed to the public this June, with rumors of Europe seeing it as early as September, Asia by the end of the year, and Australia in early 2008.

OS X Leopard

There are many out there who are going to buy Leopard as soon as it arrives, regardless of what it has or hasn’t got to offer, then there are others who are contemplating buying Leopard but will wait until WWDC to see if Apple has added anything worthwhile to justify forking out our their hard-earned cash, and of course there are those who aren’t the least bit interested in buying Leopard—fair play.

When Apple announced Leopard’s features at last year’s WWDC, I was overwhelmed with excitement like the majority of Mac geeks, but the excitement soon died when I realized that Leopard doesn’t really have anything worthwhile, except of course Spaces, which I have no doubt will increase my productivity at home.

There were a few other features but most are minor enhancements to things like iChat and Mail that no power user will really ever use.

Many are seeing Leopard as the direct competitor to Microsoft’s already out-of-date Windows Vista, yet Tiger, Apple’s current OS released back in 2005, is more advanced than the severely criticized Windows OS, so I’d like to see Leopard change the way we use operating systems, rather than enhancing the way we use them with a couple of face lifts.

I’ll wait until WWDC 2007 before I decide whether or not a purchase of Leopard will be beneficial, but Apple has a lot of work to do to convince me at this moment in time.

Once again, Apple has yet to issue a release date for Leopard, simply stating “Spring” back at last year’s event. Of course, if Leopard hasn’t been released by WWDC then it will be delayed once more, as June is technically Summer and not Spring—this is just me being picky though.

What else?

Unusually, I’ve not heard many rumours of upcoming Apple releases, but those I have heard have been surrounded by “touchscreen technology” of some sort. Leopard is expected to have the capabilities of dealing with touchscreen controls, so it’s no wonder many are expecting a touchscreen Mac to arrive in our local Apple store some time soon, but the more realistic approach is that Apple will release a PDA of some sort to accompany business folks in their day-to-day lives. The PDA could also go hand-in-hand with the “another iPhone model” rumour.

According to RumourWire, Apple has been working on a second iPhone model which is likely to arrive in 2008. While this probably goes without saying (you don’t see Nokia releasing just one model at a time), there’s a good chance another iPhone could actually be a PDA aimed at businesses. Will WWDC tell all?

One other thing that I am expecting to see at this year’s event is a new revision iMac. Whether this new iMac has touchscreen controls or not, I do expect either a new design for the iMac range or at least a few specification enhancements, such as a faster processor or a better graphics card.

Only time will tell, but what do you expect to see at this year’s WWDC event? Is there anything in particular you’d like to see Apple release or are you happy with what the fruity technology giant currently has to offer?


  • To be a total pedant, June is Spring right up until June 21/22 which is technically the first day of Summer. wink

    All presupposing Mr. Jobs was speaking relative to the Northern Hemisphere. wink


    reinharden had this to say on Mar 19, 2007 Posts: 7
  • Actually June 21/22 is the middle of summer, not the start of it.

    Lets face it, Leopard is going to be delayed,  we are almost at the end of March, without even a hint of release date, and no clue of any of those ‘special, secret” features, that you would assume would be beneficial to the coding community.

    Apple just seems to have been too preoccupied with the iPhone,

    barrowman had this to say on Mar 19, 2007 Posts: 15
  • Leopard will be released with new Mac models. Apple is at the step of turning models over to new chip tech’s. There are 3 new chips being released by Intel this quater, all three pervious versions are running in Mac’s currently.

    Why release an OS with newer mac models? No brainer, but it’s better for the consumer to get the latest hardware with the lastest OS in one shot.

    What we’ll see is FAR MORE 64bit support!!! And once again propelling Apple and it’s developers farther forward in time. But I think entertainment development will be more of a front running issue than before. Security will be on the back burner as it’s a non-issue with leopard. But CONVERGENCE is the key word this year, and 64bit.

    xwiredtva had this to say on Mar 19, 2007 Posts: 172
  • “Apple just seems to have been too preoccupied with the iPhone, “

    That’s maybe what they want everyone to think…

    iPhone release date I think was leaked through the FCC papers as June 15th.

    xwiredtva had this to say on Mar 19, 2007 Posts: 172
  • I’d love for my new cell phone purchase to have video capability, which the iPhone inexplicably lacks.  And a GPS would be nice, but I’m not sure if that feature is available anywhere.

    The one iPhone feature I’d really love to have is the voice mail thing.  Super cool.  I’d imagine Cingular will eventually implement this feature down the product line, though, and not just make it Apple exclusive.

    As for Leopard, I’m not seeing anything particularly interesting.  It’s all bells and whistles so far.  Time Machine is probably the most useful, but the hardware requirements are relatively steep (and Mac people complain about Vista hardware).

    Beeblebrox had this to say on Mar 19, 2007 Posts: 2220
  • I think Leopard is going to be geared toward the 64bit CPU’s, and multiple at that. But if anything it’s going to gobble ram and video resources for the “splash”. Chances are it will auto-off anything it doesn’t feel the system is up to doing or dumb it down. If you’ve ever used XGL/BERYL/COMPIZ on a linux machine that’s probably what they’ll add in. It’s COOL but messes with the video and colors so bad it’s worthless, hopefully we’ll be able to turn that crap off so the system responds faster (another negative of the graphics enhancements).

    There’s a widget you can get from Apple (although I don’t think it’s developed BY apple) that ties into cingular now that operates your voice mail in a similar fashion to iPhone interface. Haven’t played with it cause I just listen to mine one at a time as it came in but I saw it in the widget section.

    Video over a cell connection is WAY too much bandwitdh, maybe 3G (which has TV as well as other features) and EDGE but not basic cell service.

    GPS… Integrated with Google Maps… NICE… Voice recognition to boot… I can see that working. I can see me yelling at the phone too.

    xwiredtva had this to say on Mar 19, 2007 Posts: 172
  • Geez, what a load this bunch is shoveling…  So why is Apple under any obligation to a release date beyond ‘Spring’ in mid March?  And yes, in the US, Spring is counted as ending on the solstice, 18:06UT on June 21 this year.  Spaces is the only new feature in Leopard?  (Time Machine? LDAP throughout? accessibility? iCal server? Core Animation? screen sharing in iChat?)  Mac Pro was the only new thing at WWDC last year?  (Intel XServe?)  Leopard works great on older hardware (Core Solo mini anyone?) and it’s not even optimized yet.  Not sure what specs you’ve been reading, but it’s been standard (and remains so with Leopard) that each iteration of OS X runs faster, not slower, than the one before on existing hardware.  I have a Cube and an original form-factor iMac that run Tiger smooth as silk.

    If you don’t have something informed and useful to say, it really would be best to avoid contributing.  Blathering does us all a disservice.

    michmacadmin had this to say on Mar 19, 2007 Posts: 1
  • ” Leopard works great on older hardware (Core Solo mini anyone?) “

    That’s older? As in 1 year old (older)?

    xwiredtva had this to say on Mar 19, 2007 Posts: 172
  • Yeah, bunch of crabby posts.  Negative much?

    Ballmer, is that you?

    ricksbrain had this to say on Mar 19, 2007 Posts: 14
  • “Ballmer, is that you? “

    He’s still chugging Pedialyte to replenish the sweating from the Vista launch… Vista, Vista, Vista…

    xwiredtva had this to say on Mar 19, 2007 Posts: 172
  • Video over a cell connection is WAY too much bandwitdh, maybe 3G (which has TV as well as other features) and EDGE but not basic cell service.

    Actually, I mean shooting video.  WATCHING video is a pipe dream right now in the States.  In Japan they’re watching real TV on the go, but no one can do that here, so I can’t slight Apple for that.

    But lots of phones shoot video, so at the very least I’d expect a “revolutionary” multi-media behemoth from Apple to do the same.  It doesn’t.

    Cool deal about that widget.  I’ll have to look that up.

    Beeblebrox had this to say on Mar 19, 2007 Posts: 2220
  • I think a camera attachment would be better. Becuase the last thing you need from a $500 phone in 3 years is a 3 year old camera… If you make the camera an extra attachement then you can upgrade that without spending another $500 for the next iPhone, prolonging your device usefullnes and reducing waste.

    xwiredtva had this to say on Mar 19, 2007 Posts: 172
  • If you have to wait until WWDC 2007 to decide on if you’re going to buy Leopard or not you’re simply not a MacGeek.  More like a MacGeek in training or a MacGeek lite. 

    A power user “would” use iChat Theatre to help family and friends managed their computer user.

    A power user realizes the benefits of a Resolution Independant OS (especially given that 22” moniters are $300)

    A power user wants a 64-bit full stack

    A power user wants OpenGL 2.1 with threading for a responsive UI.

    A power user wants Core Animation.  A power user wants Core Text for fast text rendering without the bugs.

    A power user wants Xcode and Interface Builder with Xray (DTrace) and Garbage Collection (opt in/out)

    A power user wants a system level Calendar Store for unified iCal access.

    A power user wants a Core Data that is 10x faster. A power user wants an improved Quicktime and Automator and improvements to interapplication scripting (Scripting Bridge)

    There’s a reason why the Developers of Delicicious Library (Shipley) and Texmate( Odgaard)  are making their next apps Leopard only.  They like what they see and Apple hasn’t even spoken about the Top Secret features

    A geek can see improvement even at the minute level that will translate into the type of applications and usability improvements that fuel groundbreaking advancements.  If Leopard doesn’t have groundbreaking technologies then please someone tell me what groundbreaking technologies are missing that shouldn’t be.

    hmurchison had this to say on Mar 19, 2007 Posts: 145
  • Becuase the last thing you need from a $500 phone in 3 years is a 3 year old camera…

    Wouldn’t the same thing apply to a still camera as well?  But they included that.  They also make the battery non-user replaceable.  So the idea that they are concerned about obsolescence.  And I hardly see the advantage of lugging around a video camera accessory when it could come built-in to your phone like other video-capable cell phone.

    Beeblebrox had this to say on Mar 19, 2007 Posts: 2220
  • So the idea that they are concerned about obsolescence….

    ...seems unfounded.

    Is what that should have said.

    Beeblebrox had this to say on Mar 19, 2007 Posts: 2220
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