WWDC 2014 — this year's incarnation of Apple's annual World Wide Developer Conference — kicks off Monday, June 2, 2014 at its traditional home, Moscone West in San Francisco, California. If Apple holds to pattern we'll get a keynote at 10am PDT on Monday morning where we'll see the first previews of iOS 8 and OS X 10.10, and maybe some new — dare we say Retina? — MacBook Airs. If there's an SDK coming to the Apple TV, that could get a slot as well. And, of course, if iWatch is a platform, we could see that too.
Unlike previous years, tickets for WWDC 2014 were offered through a lottery system. Registered developers enter for a chance to get a ticket and were notified by email, win or lose, on April 7.
WWDC 2014: iOS 8
iOS 8, codenamed Okemo, is the 2014 version of the iPhone and iPad operating system currently in development by Apple. iOS 8 is expected to be shown off at WWDC 2014 and released on or around September 17, 2014. (Apple has stuck almost exclusively to a year release cycle for iOS, the major exception being iOS 5 which came out some 16 months after the previous version.) In addition to new features, iOS 8 should include continued refinements to the new design language show off last year, which not only included the most significant changes in the history of iOS but one of the shortest development cycles (around 10 months). That includes further polish for design, animation, interaction, and core functionality.
Rumored new features include the all-new Healthbook app, TextEdit and Preview apps ported over from OS X, a separate iTunes Radio app, as well as improvements for maps, Photo Stream, Notification Center, Voice Memo, Messages, and CarPlay, and the long-awaited introduction of inter-app communication.
OS X 10.10 Syrah
OS X 10.10, codenamed Syrah, is the 2014 version of the Mac operating system currently in development by Apple. OS X 10.10 is expected to be shown off at WWDC on June 2 and released sometime in October. (Apple has varied OS X release dates more widely than they have iOS.) In addition to new features, OS X should bring similar interface and experience refinements to Apple's desktop operating system, similar in spirit if not exact execution to the iOS 7 makeover of 2013. It should also continue the work OS X Mavericks began with energy efficiency and pro-user friendliness.
What new features can we expect? It's hard to say, though a new design language, Siri support, AirDrop compatibility, a more feature-filled iBooks app, and, of course, a future-thinking file system are likely high on everyone's list.
Retina MacBook Air
The original Retina MacBook Pro 15-inch was introduced at WWDC 2012. The current generation Haswell MacBook Air was introduced at WWDC 2013. Rumors of a 12-inch Retina MacBook Air are getting hot and heavy. Apple's been trying to get Retina into the MacBook Air for a while now but maintaining battery life has been an issue. Just like 2012 when they couldn't do a Retina iPad mini, that had to make compromises and battery one. Now, however, just like 2013 and the Retina iPad mini, they might be able to do it all. Intel's Broadwell chipset is running late, though, and that could put a kink in Apple's Retina MacBook Air plans.
New Apple TV and Game Store
The Apple TV 3 hasn't been updated since early 2012. It's hard to see iTunes going 4K this year, given adoption rates and bandwidth constraints, but there are other reasons for beefier hardware. The Apple TV SDK may well have been sitting up on blocks in the Cupertino parking lot for years. Now competitors are getting stronger and Apple may want to up the processor, RAM, and storage and start a full on Game Store, if not App Store. If that's the case, WWDC would be the perfect place to announce it, and an Apple TV 4.
4K Thunderbolt display
Rumor has it Apple has been working on a 4K Thunderbolt display to go along with the new Mac Pro. Getting the panels right will be key, and having OS X support them at the right refresh rates even more so. We're already getting there with Mavericks 10.9.3, currently in beta, and will no doubt be there by OS X 10.10. Since the new Mac Pro was announced at last year's WWDC, announcing the 4K displays this year would make for nice synchronicity.
Past WWDC events: