At Apple’s WWDC: Truth, rumours and hardware launches

Here’s what’s in store at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference
Attendees and media members walk through the main lobby of the Moscone West Convention Center following the keynote address at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco June 6, 2011. REUTERS/Beck Diefenbach (UNITED STATES - Tags: BUSINESS SCI TECH)
Beck Diefenbach/Reuters

With the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles over and done (more thoughts on the show soon, but in the meantime check out my top 10 games of the show), I’m off to San Francisco for Apple’s annual
on Monday.

What’s in store? As usual, the rumour mill is in full blow. This particular event, however, is shaping up to be a little more predictable.

As its name implies, WWDC is aimed at developers. It’s where Apple shows off the latest tweaks to its operating systems so that the people who create software and apps for them know where things are going. As such, it’s likely that iOS 6, which will power iPhones and iPads, will be the star of the show. Mountain Lion, the next iteration of Apple’s OS for desktops and laptops, will also figure prominently.

A few dribs and drabs from the rumour mill are also likely. Expectations are high that Apple is going to move on erasing Google Maps from its devices with its own replacement. There’s also a good likelihood that the Retina display functionality from the past two iPhones and latest iPad will find itself on Macs. I, for one, hope so, given that my photos are looking better on my mobile devices than on my computer, which just seems wrong.

WWDC has also played host to a number of hardware launches in the past, particularly computers. It’s almost a given that there’ll be new Macs, but some analysts also think a new iPhone is in the offing. It seems unlikely since the iPhone 4S only launched in October, but then again, anything is possible.

The biggest question is whether Apple will share any details on its television project. Chief executive Tim Cook recently said in an on-stage interview that TV is an area of “intense focus.” For a company that manages its message so carefully and strategically, that was no accident. I’d be surprised if there isn’t some mention of the iTV at WWDC, perhaps even an introduction of a software developer kit for app makers.

Whatever happens, I’ll be there to check it out and report back any hands-on impressions. I’ll be posting updates on Twitter and here after the event.