What To Expect At WWDC 2011

Apple’s annual World Wide Developer’s Conference is fast approaching and already rumors are running rampant about what will be debuted during the conference – here’s what to expect.

OS X Lion

The newest version of OS X, dubbed 10.7 Lion will more than likely make its debut during the conference.

Last previewed during Apple’s Back To The Mac event in October last year. The next generation version of OS X revealed a merge between iOS and the desktop OS. IOS interface elements such as scrolling functionality and multi-touch commands have been developed for Lion and includes the Mac App Store, the OS X equivalent of the iPhone’s App Store.

Betas have been sourced to developers over the previous months but a Gold Master release has yet to be distributed by Apple. Lion’s official release date will most likely be reveled during WWDC. I wouldn’t doubt the Gold Master of Lion being released the same day as well.

However, Apple has yet to detail how it plans to distribute the OS. Betas have been released through the Mac App Store so Apple does have the structure in place to release an OS online but may stick to physical media for a while.

iOS 5

Despite rumors the iPhone 5 won’t be released during WWDC and will be sold in Fall, I wouldn’t rule out at least a preview of iOS 5.

New features on iOS 5 have been scarce but the biggest have been integration with Apple’s forthcoming cloud service which will stream music to devices. Other purported features include possible Dashboard integration which will finally bring OS X Widgets to iOS, smart voice control and a possible loss of support for the iPhone 3GS.

Apple not debuting a new iPhone during the summer gives more support to iOS 5 being released during WWDC. A new OS to refresh a 1-year old phone will help sales and stave off consumers worried about iOS only running on next generation hardware.

iCloud & MobileMe Revamp

A MobileMe revamp has been rumored for quite some time and it may finally come to fruition during WWDC.

MobileMe’s initial launch was plagued with uptime problems and eventually became displaced amongst other cloud services that offered equivalent functionality for free. To make MobileMe more enticing, Apple may offer more features to justify the annual $99 price.

Such features are scarce but the most popular and likely feature is dubbed iCloud. This feature would allow users to upload the entire music library to Apple’s servers and stream it to their iOS devices. To provide support for hosting and streaming large amounts of data, Apple has been hard at work on developing a data center in North Carolina.