WWDC 2014 preview: iOS 8, OS X 10.10, and more!

WWDC 2014 kicks off Monday at 10am PDT with Apple's first keynote of the year. Apple will be streaming it live and iMore will be there bringing you in-depth commentary and analysis. There's a real electricity in the air this year. iOS 8 and especially OS X 10.10 seem to be generating real excitement and that excites us. So, based on what's happened in the past, what could Apple be planning for the WWDC 2014 future?

Apple values

Apple's CEO Tim Cook will likely kick off the show, his show now, with a welcome to all the developers attending the conference, and a look at how Apple is doing in 2014. That could include some mention of the recent Apple/Beats acquisition. Cook will also do what he does best — express Apple's core values. Cook deeply believes in making great products, and before they start rolling out the what, he'll once again tell us the why. Videos could roll.

Apple Stores

While Tim Cook previously updated us on Apple Retail, now that Angela Ahrendts has officially started as the new senior vice president of Apple Retail and Online, how better to get her off to a great start than bringing her up on stage? The next chapter in Apple Store starts now, and the vision for it could well start at WWDC.

iOS 8

Apple's senior vice president of software engineering, Craig Federighi will likely take the stage to show off the "tent pole" features of iOS 8. iOS got its big new redesign last year, along with some great new features like Control Center and and background refresh. That means iOS 8 can focus on refinements this year, both in style and in substance. The WWDC banners show iOS 8 under water. Whether that represents fluidity, depth, or mutability remains to be seen. Given the emphasis on OS X 10.10 this year (see below), what exactly Apple has time and resources to get into iOS 8, and what gets pushed back to iOS 8.1 or even iOS 9 is hard to say for certain. Healthbook has been in the works for while. Transit directions for Maps as well. There've been a lot more rumors as well, and there's a lot of stuff we want to see above and beyond the rumors.

iCloud and iTunes

Eddy Cue, Apple's senior vice president of services has spent the last couple events showing us new versions of iWork and iLife, including iWork for iCloud. Two years ago iCloud was facing significant developer push-back. Last year Apple mea culpa'd and moved on. Could there be something on tap for this year to take it to the next level?

Apple also now owns Beats and while incredibly recent, could Beats music get some attention on stage? Could we see the first part of Apple's downloads + radio + streaming plans?

iTunes Radio hasn't gotten the international push anyone hoped for. Beats Music is almost brand new. TV and Movie subscriptions and streaming is still a battle being fought. iCloud storage is still completely out of line with the rest of the market. Photo and video backup is still a problem in need of fixing.

Cue's section of WWDC will be among the most interesting to watch.

OS X 10.10

Craig Federighi will be back on stage for OS X 10.10. The Mac operating system is reportedly getting its iOS 7 moment this year — its redesign and reconceptualization. How depth, deferences, and clarity translate to the Mac, if indeed those same priorities translate, remains to be seen. Yet familiarity is good, evolution is good, and taking the Mac into a new visual era to match its new naming era will be good. Speaking of which, banners suggest OS X Yosemite might be the next name in the California places series. Beyond the look and the name rumor has it this is going to be a BIG update. That may even include some significant API changes for developers. Either way, it's great to see the Mac getting attention.

The Mac

Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing, Phil Schiller, typically shows off new hardware. Previous years have seen both the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro updated at WWDC. This year the MacBook Air has already gotten its speed bump, so that leaves one or both MacBook Pros. Those, and iMac and even Mac Pro speed bumps could just as easily get sent out as press releases, however, and never make the stage.

I've heard nothing about a new Mac mini, but the Mac mini hasn't been updated in so long that if Apple does have something, anything like a Haswell model up their sleeves, we could see that either in a press release or, if a new design is involved, on stage.

There's also the question of new Thunderbolt 2 displays. The Mac Pro and MacBook Pro both support 4K and Apple currently doesn't have their own 4K display on the market. Typically iMacs get the new screens before the displays do, but 4K could be an exception to that rule.

Retina MacBook Airs are harder to see. The Mac is tied to Intel's roadmap and if the Retina MacBook Air is still on the Broadwell platform, and Haswell isn't do-able, we'll have to wait until later this year when Broadwell is available before they can ship.

  • Regarding ARM Macs

iPhones, iPads, and iWatches

See you this fall!

Thanks everyone!

Just as Tim Cook starts the show, so does he end it, rounding up everything that's been announced and welcoming developers to enjoy their week. There might be a video or an ad. There might just be a summation of Apple's vision. But it'll close the show off in grand fashion.

Then the public part of WWDC will be over and the closed developer sessions will begin.

And hey, if you are a developer, Apple will be streaming both the State of the Union and the Apple Design Awards live this year, so even if you don't have a ticket, you can watch along!

Your WWDC 2014 predictions?

That's some of what I think we'll see — and won't see — come the WWDC 2014 keynote on Monday. Let me know what you expect!