This year's Apple WWDC (World Wide Developer Conference) is set for the week of June 7. WWDC is where Apple and its software and hardware developers get together to show off new products. It's also where developers can participate in workshops designed to help them with new Apple software and hardware. This year, Apple has already brought out some amazing new hardware, like the iPad, but there are more things to come and WWDC will likely be the place to showcase them.
Jobs is definitely back at the helm of the company he co-founded. Last year he took a six-month leave due to poor health, which culminated in a liver transplant. Recently, Jobs has been very active in running the company, showing up in several places during events and also in supposed negotiations with publishers and such before the launch of the iPad, Apple's new tablet style 'computer'. Jobs is set to open the weeklong conference with his usual flair as keynote presenter.
The end of last year brought us new iMacs. At the beginning of this year Apple announced the iPad and spent the last few months getting it to market. Just after the iPad release, here in the U.S., they released new MacBook Pros and MacBooks. In the Mac product line that leaves the Air - Apple's smallest and lightest laptop, the Pro - Apple's tower workstation, and the mini - Apple's smallest and lowest priced Macintosh, poised for upgrades.
Apple software could also be updated this year. The current version of OS X, 10.6 Snow Leopard, is ready for an update. Apple will likely release the 10.6.4 update either just before or possibly during the show. It will be interesting to see if Apple will make any kind of announcement for 10.7, which we have not heard or seen anything about, yet.
Other Apple software products due for updates include: iLife, iWork, Final Cut Pro, Final Cut Express, and Aperture. Apple's multimedia suite, iLife, is at version 09, for 2009, and is a likely candidate for updating. Final Cut Pro (FCP), Apple's very popular and almost industry standard film and video editing package, is set to be updated. It has even been reported that FCP will be more 'mainstream' and not cater to only high-end pro users.
Then we get to the mobile market. Here we have the iPhone, iPod Touch, and now the iPad. These devices all use similar processors and operating system (OS). Currently, the iPhone and Touch run OS 3.1 and the new iPad has OS 3.2.
The new mobile OS, version 4.0, will be a big part of this year's WWDC. Due for release this summer, OS 4 will bring several new features to the iPhone/Touch. At the top of this list is multitasking. The iPhone has been around now since 2007 and it has taken this long for competitors to catch up. Some even think the new smart phones with Google's Android operating system have actually surpassed the iPhone.
While multitasking, the ability to do more than a single process at a time, is high on the list of new features, there are other impressive additions in OS 4. These include: home screen wallpaper, spell check, tap to focus video, 5x digital zoom, Places in Photos (geotagging with GPS info), create playlists, and the ability to use a Bluetooth wireless keyboard are just a few of the 100+ new features.
To ward off Google and other potential rivals like Microsoft, Dell, and the new owners of Palm - HP, Apple has both a new OS and will likely show a new model iPhone. If you missed it, and I don't know how you could of, Apple reported lost a few prototypes of a new iPhone. There was and still is an investigation over the finding and selling of a 'special' iPhone to a web based news/gossip site.
As has been reported, this found phone has a new design and what looks to be a front facing camera. This camera is used for photos, likely a 5 megapixel sensor, but if it were placed in the front of the phone instead of the back it could be used for video conferencing.
Apple has started creating their own mobile processors. The iPad uses a new Apple A4 chip, the iPhone will likely benefit from this technology. The actual processor is unknown at this time, but if Apple could put the same chip that is in the iPad in the new iPhone, it will easily be the fastest iPhone yet. The iPhone screen is also likely to get bigger. The current iPhone has a 480 by 320 resolution screen. The new one will likely be in the area of 800 by 400.
This year's WWDC should be an interesting show. Jobs is once again in the limelight, where he should be, and is set to wow the audience once again. It is pretty definite that he will show off the new iPhone and OS 4, possibly even the version for the iPad. Whether or not there will be new Apple software and Mac hardware is still to be seen. I'm just looking forward to seeing Jobs back on the stage doing what he does so well.