Apple’s big annual developer event - the Worldwide Developer Conference, or WWDC - is less than two weeks away and it’s where we expect to see iOS 8 for the first time.
The iPhone maker will also be showing off the latest build of Mac OS X for its computer range, which will no doubt continue the recent trend of borrowing its design - and even some apps - from iOS.
iOS itself will see an update from version 7 to version 8, but Apple is very unlikely to show off any new mobile hardware at WWDC - that’ll come later in the year, with the iPhone 6 expected to break cover in August or September.
For now, we expect to see Apple make a major move in the growing fitness and exercise tracking market, currently lead by the Nike+ Fuelband, Jawbone Up and Samsung’s Gear range of smartwatches-cum-pedometres.
iOS 8 is expected to include an application called Healthbook, which will let users track their exercising, walking, diet, and even statistic like their heart rate, blood sugar levels and more. Of course, an iPhone can’t do all of this, which leads many to believe now is finally the time Apple will admit to working on a wearable device, thought to be called iWatch.
Competing against the Samsung Gear 2 and Gear Fit, the iWatch might not be shown at WWDC, but its presence will almost certainly be felt, as developers will be encouraged to create applications for it ahead of a release later in the year, probably alongside the iPhone 6.
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Apple has been quietly hiring a wide number of executives from the worlds of fashion and exercise over the last 12 months, and the culmination of this - plus CEO Tim Cook’s constant claims of working on “exciting new product categories” - has to be realised, or at least clearly outlined, at WWDC.
The company will no doubt be feeling the pressure from consumers and investors alike, having not offered a new product category since the original iPad arrived in 2010. Many feel this is the year Apple will enter the wearables market, but with arch rival Samsung struggling to make its Gear smartwatches a success, it will be no walk in the park.
We also expect to see Apple’s Preview and Text Edit appls make the jump from Mac OS X to iOS 8, along with an application to control the iWatch - although this might not be seen until later in the year, depending on how secretive Apple is about its wearable project.
Away from mobile, there is talk of Apple revealing a 12-in MacBook Air, possibly featuring a high-resolution Retina display. Finally, the Apple TV could see a long-awaited update.
Apple has confirmed it will provide a live video stream of the WWDC keynote, which kicks off at 10am Pacific/6pm London time on 2 June. Be sure to visit Mobile Choice to catch up with all of the WWDC news.