We’re just a weekend away from Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference, the nerdapalooza where CEO Tim Cook & Co. reveal Apple’s latest releases.
We’ve rounded up some solid product predictions and will be covering the conference live from San Francisco on Monday. In the meantime, the tech blogs are abuzz with fresh rumors of what we might see unveiled. Below, we present the last-minute whispers of what may (or may not) be coming.
UPDATE: An OS X visual refresh
We could be in store for the unveiling of another OS X overhaul, and this time it looks a lot more iOS-like.
Images posted by Gizmodo show what look like Apple’s desktop OS sporting the new frosted glass aesthetic that its mobile OS, under the design leadership of Jony Ive, took on last year. The alleged leaks also show, among other things, a revamping of the OS X Dock that houses system programs, which, if accurate, will now look a bit more like what’s featured on the home screen of the iPhone and iPad.
As with most “leaks,” the authenticity of these photographs can’t be confirmed, but you can jump over to Gizmodo to see them all. And do be sure to keep an eye on what Apple announces Monday during it WWDC keynote.
Smart home appliance update
On Monday, the Financial Times reported that Apple planned to present a new operating system that would allow people to control their homes’ lights, security systems, household appliances, and more. But on Friday, GigaOM scaled down that rumor considerably. Instead of building an all-inclusive control panel within a person’s phone, the story goes, Apple simply will be certifying that certain smart home products work with iOS devices.
Once they receive Apple’s stamp of approval, these products would theoretically work seamlessly with your iPhone or iPad over WiFi and Bluetooth. It’s possible there might be a voice-control option for these things, but you’d still need to control appliances through separate companion apps. Bummer.
Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior VP of internet software and services, threw a lot of shade at smart TVs this week, even going so far as to call them “glorified VCRs.” Oh no he didn’t. “The TV experience sucks,” he said at Re/code’s Code conference. Oh yes he did.
Unfortunately, Cue held his tongue in explaining just how Apple might change our television dystopia. He mostly cited his annoyance with “disparate systems” and “lack of standards.” Nevertheless, this is a good sign that Apple, as a whole, wants to change what’s available out there. Whether we learn of that change on Monday remains to be seen. But considering Cue’s vagueness, it’s unlikely.
Beats + Apple
After weeks of negotiations, Apple finally bought luxury headphone brand Beats for $3 billion. With that announcement came a few others, including the unveiling of the Solo 2, a pair of $200 headphones. The good news is that the cost of a year’s subscription to Beats’ streaming music service will drop from $120 to $100.
All of this was followed up with a Q&A with Apple CEO Tim Cook at the Code Conference. There he described the acquisition as follows: “It’s not what Apple and Beats are doing today. It’s what we believe pairing the two together can produce for the future.”
Who knows if that vague statement will translate into some sort of announcement Monday, but we could very well see a hint of what’s to come. It’s clear that Apple needs to step up its iTunes game if it wants to compete with streaming services like Spotify and Rdio.
The iPhone 6
Sorry, Apple fans, we won’t be seeing the next uber-phone at WWDC. But here’s a supposedly new photo of the iPhone 6’s back shell, per Australian blog Macfixit. This is reportedly the 4.7-inch model, one of two that might come out in the fall. It’s suspiciously green.
All these items are a little thin, we know. But that’s why they’re called rumors. Frustrating, to say the least, considering that senior Apple staff have been busy promising an amazing products this Fall. We’ll have the rock-solid stuff for you starting at 1 p.m. Eastern time on Monday, June 2.