UPDATE: Be sure to follow our WWDC live coverage of the keynote!
The theme for this year’s WWDC, “The Center of the App Universe,” is all about the iPhone. When Steve takes the stage on Monday, we can expect to hear a lot about the next release of iPhone OS and the next generation hardware. But what else can we expect to hear about during the keynote next week?
iPhone OS 4.0
I do not expect many surprises beyond what is already listed on the what’s new page but it will be nice to get some more details on the iAd program and Game Center. My money is on a GM release available in the Developer Center later on Tuesday as soon as the keynote is over. The software might be available in an iTunes update on Tuesday as well.
iPhone OS 4.0 for iPad
Steve has already said that it will be available in the fall, but I expect we will hear about the imminent release of developer betas of iPhone OS 4 for iPad. I will go out on a limb and guess that iPhone OS 4 for iPad will be available on CD’s at the event and will appear on the Developer Center sometime next week.
New iPhone Hardware
The fourth generation of the iPhone hardware will not be called the iPhone 4G. No way. It would be too confusing to market a mobile phone as a 4G device when it does not speak 4G wireless protocols (LTE or IMT Advanced). I think it will be called the iPhone HD. That HD moniker is going to be popular this season.
The only big question remaining is to see if Steve brings G.P. up on stage with him to introduce it.
AT&T already announced that tethering on the iPhone would be available on Tuesday this summer when iPhone OS 4.0 is released. If the software is not available to customers then, it would make AT&T look foolish and incompetent… wait a second.
Apple Design Awards Winners
The winners of this year’s Apple Design Awards for iPhone and iPad apps will surprise no one. Sure, I mean, it will be a surprise and all but there will not be a single app on the list that you have not heard of. I expect a few of the iPad showcase apps from the January event to get a nicely lit cube to take home.
There are quite a few rumors flying that the next Apple TV will be based on the iPhone OS and the A4 processor in the iPad. The idea of running apps on the Apple TV, even with a non-touch, remote control interface, is exciting. Pandora would be amazing. I am a little concerned that the iPad can only do 720p video, so the Apple TV would need a little extra oomph to get to 1080p. If it does 1080p, it will be called the Apple TV HD.
Mac Pro Update
I think we are all ready for new Mac Pro hardware. New six-core Xeons would be amazing. You know, sometimes you just need a big truck to do some heavy lifting.
OS X 10.7
This year is all about the iPhone. I think the only mention that 10.7 might get is to remind everyone that they are not going to hear about it this week.
Other U.S. Carriers
So many people want this that I figured I had to put it on the list even though I don’t think it is going to happen in the next week. If you are waiting to get an iPhone on Verizon, T-Mobile or Sprint — keep waiting.
App Store Approval Process Q&A with Apple Executives
Hehe. Just having a bit of fun there.
I Can Dream, Can’t I?
Gruber dropped a hint the other week that an extension framework for Safari might be coming. Extensions are one of the few things that keep me on Firefox and Chrome. While Safari extensions would certainly be welcome on the desktop, it could also be amazing on the iPhone and the iPad.
I have heard the arguments for Apple to make MobileMe free, but I do not think that will happen. What I am hoping for is a cloud file system that makes sense for the iPhone and iPad.
It would be nice to hear about a cloud strategy for iTunes, especially if the next Apple TV is primarily a streaming device. Surely that big, fancy, new data center is going to be used for something. That said, I am not holding my breath.
What Do You Want to See?
What are you expecting (or wishing) to hear about next week? Sound off in the comments below. And don’t forget to check out our live coverage of the keynote!
For those interested in cloud computing or data centers, check out our Structure conference in June.