Pulse Apple

Predictions for the WWDC keynote

The Apple CEO’s unique approach is understandable, considering that the bulk of the audience is made up of a large group of Mac developers interested in hearing the latest details on the next major revision of the Mac OS X operating system. Although Apple has delayed OS X 10.5 release date from spring to next October, each day brings us even closer to the debut of the long-awaited Leopard.

This does not mean that other products will not be discussed. Jobs has always used his WWDC keynote to present hardware as happened last year with the Mac Pro; And while the buzz of the iPhone is still with us, there is an Apple product whose release date is even closer than that of Leopard.

Apple has already announced on its WWDC website that it plans to show a full version of Leopard. Developers who attend the event have also been promised to carry a beta copy under their arms. The sessions also promise an OS X-centric week that will discuss Leopard Server, iChat Theater, Core technologies, and other core system features.

Of course, the WWDC sessions also show some presentations labeled “TBD” (To be determined), and that may be finalized once Jobs shows the latest features added to the product from last year.

On what those features will be, during his talk to developers last August 2006, Jobs reviewed 10 of the main features of 10.5. The CEO of Apple ended the presentation by alluding to a number of “top secret” features in Leopard. “We don’t want our friends in Redmond to turn on their copiers yet,” Jobs told WWDC attendees. Has the time come to bring these characteristics to light or will they still remain in the bag of secrets? We will have the answer in today’s presentation.

A detail about Leopard may have already transpired before Apple had a chance to announce it. Earlier last week, Sun Microsystems CEO Jonathan Schwartz stated that his company’s open source file system (ZFS) will be the replacement for HFS + in OS X 10.5.

There is also a group of developers who will attend WWDC expectantly to learn more about the iPhone, which is expected to be available in the United States on June 29. The position on the support to third parties for the development of applications directed to said device has evolved on the statements made initially in the framework of the Macworld Expo. At the time Jobs seemed to suggest that Apple would maintain control over every aspect of the phone, including the software; however in the framework of the conference D: All Things Digital indicated that Apple was “working in some way” to allow the development of third parties; stating “I think by the end of the year we will find a way to allow third parties to write applications while preserving security.” We may know more details about this in the WWDC framework.

Hardware announcements are harder to predict. The product that had the best chance of seeing the light in the framework of the event corresponded to the MacBook Pro line, whose update was already presented last week. As for Apple screens, they haven’t had an update for a long time (in fact, it’s been more than three years). Apple has also indicated its intention to use LED backlighting on all of its displays, although the 15-inch MacBook Pros are the first to use this technology.

Consumer products such as the iPod or desktops such as iMac seem unsuitable candidates for WWDC considering the nature of the conference, although some new developments in the iMac line of equipment should not be completely ruled out.