Like a lot of you, I’ve been gorging myself on a steady diet of rumors ahead of next week’s WWDC keynote. It’s impossible for Apple to deliver on 1/10 of what’s swirling the tech blogosphere, but I do think there’s going to be some interesting announcements that will eclipse some of the things thrown together by Microsoft and Google this past week. Here’s my list, in order of most to least likely:
- iOS 6 and Mountain Lion (100%) – These will be the focus of the keynote. For the iOS portion, expect to hear Apple’s response to Google’s hastily-assembled mapping event. Other likely features will probably include a more aggressive use of Siri with an enhanced feature set and improvements to the notification system. With Mountain Lion, expect a release date (“available now in the App Store” would be nice, but I doubt it). There may also be some new-to-you features announced, but it seems kind of late in the cycle for Apple include anything radically new.
- New Apple hardware (90%) – it’s that time in Apple’s product cycle. There’s been a metric shit-ton of evidence that Apple is going to refresh most, if not all of its hardware – even the languishing Mac Pro. I expect to see svelter MacBook Pros and bumped specs on Airs, iMacs and the Mac Pro.
- More content available on the AppleTV (70%) – Microsoft announced 24/7 access to ESPN content on the XBox 360 that, in addition to their existing annoying partnership with HBO, is shaming the content available on Apple’s set-top box. I expect that to change Monday.
- A refreshed interface (50%) and apps for the AppleTV (20%) – Along with additional content, there’s a possibility that Apple will blow the barn doors off expectations with a totally redesigned interface for the AppleTV, complete with the presence of apps. The ATV has limited on-board storage (currently 8GB), and just released a new version of the device, so the probability of new kit to address the storage issue is low. Given that restriction, I’m not sure how many apps can reasonably be offered.
- An AppleTV SDK (20%) – the ability for 3rd parties to create apps for the AppleTV would be huge, but given the storage limit, I don’t see an SDK announcement yet.
- The iPhone 5 and an Apple television (0%) – Apple has another 3 months before it announces a new phone and Apple won’t make a television, so stop talking about it.
My expectations are modest and always available for trouncing should the management in Cupertino deem it necessary to do so. Check out live feeds from The Verge (who I recommend based on their excellent uptime, unlike some other live feeds *cough* Ars *cough*) on Monday and keep your expectations manageable.