Not your usual WWDC predictions

Not your usual WWDC predictions

Summary: Mac blogs and news sites are filled with hot predictions about what will and what will not be announced at next week's Apple World Wide Developer Conference. Televisions. iOS stuffs. Some are gaining more traction than others. But there are plenty of interesting guesses coming from the actual target audience: developers.

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Mac blogs and news sites are filled with hot predictions about what will and what will not be announced at next week's Apple World Wide Developer Conference. Televisions. iOS stuffs. Some are gaining more traction than others. But there are plenty of interesting guesses coming from the actual target audience: developers.

Of course, many Apple watchers are focused on the Mac hardware announcements predicted by 9 to 5 Mac, including new generations of iMac, MacBook Pro, MacBook, Mac mini, and especially the Mac Pro, which is long overdue for a refresh.

A bit of WWDC banner icon soup

A bit of WWDC banner icon soup

Developers expect details for iOS 6 and Mac OS X Mountain Lion. And then there's all the talk about Apple replacing Google's mapping technology in Maps with its own home-grown version.

Developer Oliver Drobnik starts off his predictions with an analysis of this year's WWDC banner already hanging at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. He identifies some 40 icons, all of which he says are iOS apps. Again, the dueling dynamic between iOS and Mac platforms can be seen (what was once a Mac-only conference is now the Apple platforms conference with iOS getting most of the time and mindshare).

Drobnik reads a lot into the banner. It's his WWDC Ouija board. He derives all kinds of predictions from the icon mix, including an embedded version of iOS 6, greater integration of social media through the OAuth API and third-party server-side applications for iCloud.

Many more apps are basically acting as windows to the proprietary data silos of the likes of AirBnB, Evernote or all the social networks. All of this tells us that the future of mobile apps will still require some business logic and data storage in the cloud. Two things that are – in my humble opinion – also still missing from iCloud.

Which brings me to my final prediction: as soon as Apple is satisfied with the general stability and scalability of iCloud they will begin to offer to developers a backend system using the iCloud servers. The kind of system that companies like Stackmob or Parse are offering right now. Or what many small companies are building on top of Amazon EC2 or Google Apps. Phase 1 was cloud-backup and -synching. Phase 2 will be to run server-style applications on iCloud, possibly written in Objective-C. (One can dream)

Programmer Clark Goble at Clark's Tech Blog made a number of predictions. With developers so concerned about sandboxing, he expects some new inter-application scripting or communication technology, similar to that of Android or Windows Phone.

I honestly think the big thing coming is inter-application communication as the replacement for Services, Applescript and much of the Open/Save dialog box. Surprisingly while some have mentioned Windows Phone for this I think Apple’s aiming much more deeply and that it’ll be surprisingly robust in conception. (If perhaps half baked in implementation — see last year’s iCloud announcement for a parallel) My bet for simple inter application communication ala Android or WinPhone is 85 percent. A robust solution that’ll make many of the sandbox complaints somewhat moot is probably 60 percent.

Sandboxing is the big concern for developers, especially those targeting Mac content professionals, Mac consultants and in the enterprise. More about this in an upcoming post.

Check out these other WWDC posts Reports say full-fledged Siri coming to iPad with iOS 6 Do Mac and iPhone users really need a file system? To WWDC or not to WWDC, that is the question Will Apple’s success kill the Mac as we know it?

Topics: Operating Systems, Apple, Cloud, iOS, Software Development

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4 comments
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  • develop 3rd party apps on iCloud?

    Isn't iCloud itself supposedly running on Windows Azure?
    PB_z
  • No

    There is no evidence it's running on Azure. Just a rumor from notoriously anti-Apple The Register. And the rumor was before Apple had set up their data center in NC ( not to mention their next one in Central Oregon that will run on 100 percent renewable energy.)

    They put 12 petabytes in the NC data center. No need for Windows Server 8 with lipstick to do the job.
    ewelch
  • New Mac Book Pro models, Mac OS X Mountain Lion, New iMac,

    Updated Mac Book Pro and iMAC hardware. Mountain Lion release.

    WIth new iMACs sporting ivy bridge i7's and new high end GPU. 32GB of RAM max capacity? Who needs Mac Pro. THe iMAC will be powerfull enough for most MAC power users. I beleive this why Apple has not realsed one in a very long time.

    no iphone 5 news as it's not ready for release. iOS 6.0 will be realsed at iphone 5 launch.

    Windows 8 epic fail + killer new MACs = Mac resurrgance.
    Bakabaka
    • The Mac Pro

      The Mac Pro has served for workstation class and server applications. The iMac, although great, is just an desktop system. It has no expansion capabilities (not needed on desktop) and sometimes you need exotic interfaces, such as fibre channel.

      Apple did well to ignore the last two iterations of Xeon CPUs and can jump right on much higher performance platform. Anyway, the Mac Pro is niche product.
      danbi