Who knows whether you MacCast readers will even see this before the actual Apple World Wide Developers Conference Keynote happens, but a few of us on the MacCast crew thought we’d take a shot at some (harebrained?) predictions for what we might see (or at least hope to see) tomorrow at WWDC.
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From Dale Mugford:
As always, there are surprises unforeseen or unlikely that Apple makes happen at each year’s WWDC. Last year for me, it was the 802.11 draft-N Airport Extreme, which was not even mentioned in the keynote but was included as an update to the online store.
This year, I am wondering whether, despite having little to no word or mention on any rumor blogs, whether the Airport Express will see some kind of revamping for N or not.
As others around the web have guessed, I think Apple’s coming out with a full force Leopard attack, to reverse the negative lull that inevitably followed the notice of its delay. They surely want to ramp and rev it up, get people excited, and unveil features which will make Time Machine look like a minor addition. Leopard, despite being still months away, is an important move for Apple, one which will hopefully build on the Intel transition and propel sales of Macs higher in the market.
And there’s that iPhone thing. One wonders whether Apple has been hard-pressed to pump out the hardware in production while pushing hard to finish up software aspects in time for release. Could there be anything else that the iPhone will offer?
Unlike Alex, I think the Mac Mini may be toast. If it isn’t, it’s going to belong in the new small square box family, adopting the form factor of the Airport Extreme and the ï£¿ TV.
From Jack Hodgson:
FWIW, I considered writing something, but when I looked around, I realized that I had no real leads on what will be announced. I’m gonna be just as (pleasantly?) surprised as anyone else.
From (me) Alex Curtis:
My top three hopes/predictions:
Newton-like Assist: If you’ve never had the pleasure of using an Apple Newton, you probably don’t know what you’re missing. One of the neatest features of the Newton, besides handwriting recognition, was an service called Assist. Assist, when asked, could examine the meaning of text and do things with it. So, if you received an email that had a lunch appointment in it, simply tap Assist, and the Newton would add the event to your calendar, with the appropriate person’s info (taken from their email address which it would associate from your Address Book), and add them to the invite list. Assist could also grab info from an email’s signature, and automatically populate an Address Book card with the info (for some time, I used to just send emails to my Newton, just so I didn’t have to type out all the info into Mac OS X’s Address Book). Google Calendar is only starting to provide these kinds of features, but it still has a long way to go before it catches up to the Newton’s technology, which is some 10 years old. It would be great if Apple remembered it had this technology and ported it to Mac OS X Leopard.
More extensible Address Book: The wealth of information that users can store in their Address Book is really staggering. And even though many Mac OS X applications can pull from that data, it’s rarely used in advanced ways. For instance, each contact can be associated with one or many other contacts (even though currently, there’s no look-up query for those fields to make it easier to populate). By tying those associations into social network-like services (maybe through .Mac?) like LinkedIn, Address Book users could find whole new ways to leverage the contacts they’ve made—and built right into the OS. Family trees could be easily generated as well. Adding this kind of basic intelligence to AB would help other apps like Mail. Imagine being able to sort incoming emails by people associated with a specific person or family. Crawling your previous emails to find relationships between contacts that you didn’t previously realize?
iSync Phone Plugin Creator: So many phones out there support SyncML in some way or another, but many manufacturers don’t bother to build support for iSync. Enabling more users to “crowd source” the problem would go a long way to more Mac adoption. There’s rumor that we may actually see this kind of app, let’s just hope it’s true! It would be nice if this app also provided ways to sync not only contacts and events, but music, photos, and video too.
From our fearless leader, Adam Christianson:
I personally think we are likely to only see a demo of the new Leopard and get a detailed overview of what is in the final release. I would also like to see Jobs announce iPhone and Apple TV development workflows, SDKs and support. I expect Apple to require development for both platforms go through matching certification programs. I think it is possible we also see the quiet roll out of new iMacs or Mac Minis during the week.
How about you? What are you hoping to see at tomorrow’s WWDC 2007 Keynote? Drop a comment below with your best predictions.