The rumor mill is exceptionally quiet this year, I’m probably more excited because of that. Quoth Fake Steve Jobs:
Arrive early, wear comfortable clothes, and prepare to have your mind blown. Because this one is going to be the most awesome WWDC we’ve ever had. Seriously.
I’m not expecting any new hardware. It’s too close to the iPhone release and there haven’t been any major recent hardware developments. The only potential outlier is some sort of ultra-portable based in part on Intel’s mobile Metro notebook or that new Dell ultra-portable. Even if that is coming, I don’t think it will be announced here. This show is about what can be made with software. Even the t-shirt says so.
I think it might be technically possible to convert an active drive from HFS+ to ZFS, in-place, without any additional hardware. The foundations are in place, Boot Camp has proven that HFS partitions can be dynamically resized. ZFS seems to be astonishingly robust and inherently malleable The process might take a few hours, but I think the shocking thing is that, if you have a few gigabytes of free space on your HFS drive, it will be possible to convert a drive from HFS to ZFS without reinitializing the whole thing. But I have no direct experience with ZFS, so I could be completely wrong here.
Core animation will prove to be central to the entire Leopard experience. Everything will have transitions, animations and eye-candy–however small and fast. Apple knew what it was doing with the Dashboard animations, and they’re going to run with it, not just in the iPhone, but throughout the MacOS. Apple isn’t competing with Aero here, the really amazing UI-candy to beat is mostly coming from Beryl/Compiz
An Apple virtualization product/feature doesn’t seem likely. Parallels Desktop and VMWare Fusion are providing a load of value in this area and it doesn’t make sense to shake up an already healthy competitive marketplace. Apple only benefits from those two companies trying to outdo one-another, providing an integrated virtualization product doesn’t seem to make sense from a business standpoint.
I really hope there’s some integration between some of the Google apps and the iApps. Especially read/write from iCal to Google Calendar, but I’d just settle for allowing multiple people to work on the same calendar with iCal via .Mac.
We might see a radical re-casting of the iLife and iWork components. The various applications have proven different levels of usefulness and some seem far more important than others. Personally I don’t even have GarageBand, iWeb or Pages on my machine anymore, I needed the space and they are all pretty big. iTunes is it’s own universe, there’s absolutely no reason it should be a part of iLife, besides it’s too tied to development of iPods and Windows. iPhoto is the gorilla of iLife, it should probably be rolled into Leopard and let iLife be a suite of creative apps, iMovie, iDVD, iWeb and Garageband. iWork is more coherent, but keynote is the component that I see getting the most use. Maybe Apple will finally introduce the long-rumored Charts, but this doesn’t seem like the place. Un-rolling iPhoto would cut into iLife’s sales, but it would fit in with the “whole package” idea that Steve mentioned last time.
- Developers will complain about the food.
- AAPL will go into the $130s, possibly as high as $135 if there’s good iPhone news.
- Developers will complain about not getting bussed to Cupertino for the annual bash
- More alcohol than just beer and wine will be served at the SF party, many people will get unpleasantly drunk and Friday morning’s sessions will be poorly attended and full of moaning.
Pie-in-the-sky hope: Apple will have iPhones on hand and offer Developers the chance to buy one and start using it this week, before anyone else gets them. Yeah, this is completely nuts and not going to happen. While it would turn several thousand developers into Apple indentured servants, completely cowed vassals ready to do Apple’s bidding. It would also piss off all the international attendees who wouldn’t be able use it yet.
Not a WWDC prediction per se, but I am certain that there will be several dozen articles and blog posts about errors typing with the iPhone. Someone (probably some apple-hater on c-net) will attempt to enter Jabberwocky, just like Robert McNally on his Newton in 1993, and try to hype the hell out of whatever comes out. I share some of Steven Frank’s concerns about the touch screen, that thing had better work.