Predictions for Apple’s WWDC

Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference kicks off one week from today, on Monday June 13th. The keynote for the event is at 1:00 PM Eastern, 10:00 AM Pacific time. Back in April I posted my wish list for iOS and OS X. Here are my predictions for what we will see next week.

Hardware

WWDC has seen its share of new hardware being released. However, last year as well as in 2014, WWDC did not see any new hardware released. Even though the past couple of years have been hardware free, I think this year’s WWDC will see some new hardware. This will include things that developers will love; a new Mac Pro and a new Thunderbolt display. If Apple were to announce high-end hardware like this, WWDC would be the best place to do so. Besides this, developers are one of the target audiences for the Mac Pro, and there is no where better to announce new hardware for developers.

Emoji

Language is a fluid and dynamic entity. New words are being created, and other words are being re-appropriated for other uses. There are times though that words do not always accurately evoke the sentiment that we are looking to express. This is where Emoji come in handy. Emoji are handled by the Unicode consortium. The latest release of Emoji are to be included with Unicode 9.0, which will be released on June 21st. It is almost a foregone conclusion that we will see the Emoji of Unicode 9.0 in iOS 10. It may not be in the first beta, but it will likely be in the 2nd or 3rd beta, and most definitely by the first public beta.

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Swift

I am thinking that Swift will be a giant portion of the conference. There are a couple of indications that this is the case. The first is that the WWDC site is full of Swift code. This is the first indication. The second is that Apple is preparing Swift 3 for release. Swift 3 is set to bring many new features to the language, including it being the last one to do any major code-breaking changes.

iOS

Apple’s biggest selling product, the iPhone, is supported by iOS. There haven’t been any rumors leaked as to what we will see with iOS, but here is what I think.

Naming

With this year’s WWDC, it will be the 10th release of iOS. If tradition were to continue, Apple may just name the release iOS 10. Alternatively, Apple could name it iOS X and start changing the numbering she me. However, the 10th release is a good time to change tact. Instead of continuing to use the same numbering scheme, it may be time to change to a code name instead. Apple could start using the same code name as OS X. Given that there are times that the feature of iOS work best with the corresponding release of OS X. This approach may just work best in the long run. Yes, it would require users to know the name of the OS installed on their iPhone, yet the version of the OS could still appear under Settings.

Audio

The audio on the iPad Pro is excellent. One of the areas where iOS lacks is in the audio arena. Currently on iOS you can only record audio, but not listen at the same time. This limitation makes it difficult to be able to do a podcast entirely on an iPad, or even an iPhone. I predict that Apple will announce the ability to not only listen, but also record simultaneously. If Apple does indeed add this, there will be many happy podcasters. Additionally, this would make it even easier for non-techies to create and edit their own podcasts.

tvOS

tvOS is Apple’s latest operating system, based on iOS. There are many features that could be added to tvOS. One that users have been asking about is the ability to allow developers to be able require a controller for their game. Currently, Apple does not allow this to occur. If Apple really does want to make the Apple TV viable as a gaming platform, the ability to require a controller is key. I think this will be an increase in the number of podcasts, with decent audio, being released; beyond what is happening now.

watchOS

watchOS has been around for just about 18 months. It was originally released in November of 2014 with the first release of Xcode with WatchKit. Last year at WWDC 2015, Apple unveiled watchOS, which allows developers to create applications that run natively on the watch.

I think there will be a slight improvement with watchOS. I think the biggest improvement will come with applications becoming faster. Some of the current speed issues is due to limitations in the hardware, but the applications do need to become faster.

The only other feature that I think we will see is the ability to create and use custom watch faces. Imagine that any company, or developer, could release a custom watch face that was able to look how one wants. It could allow for even more customization for the Apple Watch.

OS X

Along with the developer betas of iOS 10, tvOS 10, and watchOS 4, comes the oldest Apple operating system, OS X.

Naming

One of the rumors for OS X is that the name of the operating system will be changed from OS X to macOS. I did not originate this idea, but as I stated in my OS X post then:

On Episode 123 of The Talk Show with John Gruber Apple’s Vice President of Marketing, Phil Schiller, was asked about the casing of the various operating systems of Apple (iOS, tvOS, watchOS). Gruber asked why OS X was different. Schiller responded “give us time”. As Jason Snell of Six Colors has postulated “OS X will be renamed to macOS”. This is entirely possible and given the hints, it is likely to occur.

I think we will see this. Instead of being macOS 10.12, it will just be called macOS, without any numbering. If Apple is going for a cleaner look, this will definitely assist in that coming to fruition.

During the 3D Touch demo at the September 2015 event, “…Apple showed an email with three place names within it. These names are Manteca, Tehachapi, and Arroyo Grande”.

As mentioned above, iOS could utilize a codename instead of continuing the numbering that has been prevalent since its initial release. I think macOS and iOS codename will be “Arroyo Grande”.

Siri

There have been rumors that Siri will make its way onto the Mac. The rumors also state that Siri will replace spotlight. Siri will be able to do everything that is possible on iOS. In addition, Siri will be able to search users files, much like Spotlight can do now, except it can be done via voice.

With having a large battery, power conversation is less of a concern for the Mac, but it is still important. I think Siri will gain the ability to perform tasks via voice. For instance, you will be able to say “Siri, turn off the screen”, and the screen will turn off. Or something similar, like “Siri, open Tweetbot”, and the Tweetbot application will open.

Recap

Here is what I think we will see, in order of likelihood.

  • Some news about Swift 3.0.
  • New Emoji that are included in Unicode 9.0.
  • OS X will be renamed to macOS.
  • Siri will appear on the Mac, replacing Spotlight
  • Siri on the Mac will gain the ability to open applications.
  • iOS will get enhanced audio abilities that podcasters will like.
  • iOS and macOS will both use code names; that name will be Arroyo Grande.
  • Apple will allow developers to require controllers for tvOS games.
  • watchOS will get faster applications and customizable Watch faces.
  • New Hardware with the Mac Pro and Display

Regardless of what Apple does end up unveiling next week, I know I will be watching the keynote live. I will also be installed the iOS on my iPhone and my iPad, macOS on my iMac and my MacBook Pro, tvOS on my 4th Generation Apple TV. I will also be posting a recap of the event as well as how well my predictions did. So be sure to check in again next week.

Wish List for WWDC: OS X

Apple has already held their “early” 2016 event, the next big event for Apple will likely be its World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC), which is typically held in June. While we do not know anything that Apple will unveil at the conference there are a few things that we could possible end up seeing.

OS X

Apple released Mac OS X 10.0 in March of 2001. In the intervening 15 years, Apple has gone from the name of Mac OS X to just OS X. On Episode 123 of The Talk Show with John Gruber Apple’s Vice President of Marketing, Phil Schiller, was asked about the casing of the various operating systems of Apple (iOS, tvOS, watchOS). Gruber asked why OS X was different. Schiller responded “give us time”. As Jason Snell of Six Colors has postulated “OS X will be renamed to macOS”. This is entirely possible and given the hints, it is likely to occur.

OS X 10.12’s Name

OS X 10.0 through OS X 10.8 all had codenames. These were based on “big cats”. After Apple unveiled OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, many questioned what the next name would be. Beginning with Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, Apple initiated a distinct naming convention. Leopard gave way to Snow Lepard. Lion gave way to Snow Leopard. 10.9 was skipped over. Following OS X 10.10 Yosemite came the current operating system, OS X 10.11 El Capitan. Each of these indicated that it was a refinement to the prior name.

When Apple unveiled the name of OS X 10.9, they indicate that they joked about going with “Sea Lion”. Instead they opted to set up naming for the next decade and those names would be based on places in California. Some have begun wondering what the next version of OS X will be called. Given the indication by Apple that they were setting themselves up for the next decade, it will likely still be a place in California.

During their September 9th, 2015 event, Apple announced a new feature for the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, 3D Touch. During the demo Apple quietly announced the release date of OS X 10.11 El Capitan. This was done while showing off 3D Touch on an email. Also during that same demo Apple showed an email with three place names within it. These names are Manteca, Tehachapi, and Arroyo Grande. It is entirely possible that Apple was being facetious in revealing the names. It is also equally possible that one of these names is the name. This is purely speculation, but it is possible that it is true. We will see when WWDC happens what the actual name for OS X 10.12 will be.

Siri

Since Mac OS X 10.7 Lion Apple has been bringing parity between iOS and OS X, in terms of applications and features. One of the features that many users would love to see on the Mac is Siri. Siri has become a very useful tool on iOS. Bringing it to OS X could allow for an even more powerful Siri engine. With running Siri on OS X it could also bring additional functionality to Siri itself.

One possibility for additional functionality is the ability for Siri on OS X being capable of searching for a file. At first glance one might think that this is not possible, but if you look at Siri on the 4th Generation Apple TV, the voice transcription on tvOS is pretty accurate. Given the amount of power that an OS X machine has today, bringing this functionality to OS X one could easily imagine being able to use Siri to find a file. More over, it may even be able to be triggered with the same phrase, “Hey Siri”.

Accessibility is one of the areas where Apple focuses their attention. One method of being able to do this is to have Siri on OS X be able to do dictation. While OS X’s dictation has been decent, it seems as though Siri’s dictation and transcription is much better than the built-in dictation on OS X.

Along with Siri coming to OS X, it would also be nice to have developers be able to integrate with Siri. I am imagining that developers would be able to add their own custom actions. For instance in a podcast app, an iOS user could play a podcast directly from Siri. If not completely custom actions, Apple could ease into this by allowing certain actions. This would be similar to the way that Apple introduced multitasking in iOS.

The downside to this is that there are currently 33 languages supported by Siri. Enabling developers to access Siri would mean that Apple would have to add the names, words, and the like to Siri. Even so, if there were to be limited actions, Apple would be able to control the custom words that would be allowed.

UIKit

Some individuals have noticed that OS X has not received a significant amount of attention by developers. One of the ideas of attracting developers back to OS X is to bring UIKit to OS X. The rationale behind this is that doing so would allow iOS-only developers to feel more comfortable with programming on OS X.

In theory, this is a sound idea. There is a possible downside to this idea though. OS X has a different set of paradigms than iOS. Some of these includes, a browse-able filesystem, … and a mouse for pointing. This last one is the biggest hurdle to overcome. UIKit itself is designed for touch and not

iTunes

One of the things that you will hear from a cross-section of the population is just how bad iTunes is. It is not that it does not function like it should, it does. The issue is that it is just too bloated. iTunes has to perform many different functions and they are all contained within one application. I could easily go into breaking it up, but this site has already done the hard work. It would be really nice to see Apple re-think iTunes and break up the functions into individual applications. Doing this would allow individual applications to be updated on their own.

Final Thoughts

While this is only a few things that we could possibly see at this year’s WWDC, specifically for OS X. There are likely many things that we will not know about ahead of the date of the keynote. Even though I tell myself that I will wait to install the betas, I will most likely install them on day one. I know I will be very interested to see what new features and refinements that next version of OS X.

OS X 10.11 El Capitan e-book is now available

As is the case in the previous years, I have written an e-book about OS X 10.11 El Capitan.

It is available now on Apple’s iBooks Store in both iBooks format as well as ePub format. You can also purchase it from Amazon if you prefer using the Kindle app or e-reader. The cost for the e-book is $3.99.

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OS X 10.11 El Capitan for Users, Administrators and Developers covers many of the new features within the operating system. For users, we cover the new Split View, the changes to the cursor, the new San Francisco Font, changes to Spotlight, upgraded Notes, improvements to Apple Maps, and the new features of Safari.

For administrators we cover the big changes to application assignment and other changes to Profile Manager, the overall look, some file sharing changes, the improved softwareupdate command, the implications of security changes, and built-in application versions.

For developers we look at the new Apple Developer account, Xcode 7, the new frameworks like Metal, GameplayKit, and Network Extension. We also look at the changes developers need to make for security, Swift 2, changes to Objective-C and CloudKitJS.

OS X 10.9 Mavericks: Client and Server Review

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Please Note, the page will be updated as the items become available on the various places. The server portion will be readable over at Macgasm.net very soon.

As I did last year with OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, I have written a review for OS X 10.9 Mavericks.

As with my other books this one is available in a variety of formats and from various vendors.

OS X 10.9 Mavericks is available from Amazon in Kindle Format, ePub from the Google Play store or iTunes, or in iBooks format. It is priced at $2.99 for each version.

iBooks: OS X Mountain Lion Review Issues

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I posted about pre-ordering my OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion Client and Server Review from the iBooks Store. For some reason it is not available on the iBooks Website. I apologize to anybody who wanted to purchase it. It’s currently Not any of the 32 stores worldwide.

If you must have it today, You can purchase it in another format.

Apple iBooks version.
Amazon Kindle version.
Barnes and Noble Nook version.
PDF version.

Again, I apologize for the inconvenience. As expected it is hurting sales of the review. If you do purchase a copy, I thank you. I also will be happy to listen any feedback regarding the review.