My expectations for WWDC ’09

June 3rd, 2009
Filed under: Apple, iPhone, iPod, Mac OS X, Macintosh | Huibert @ 2:29 pm

On Sunday I will fly to San Francisco to attend WWDC. This will be my fourth WWDC in a row. From what I see, most of the sessions will be a rehash of what we saw last year. That isn’t too bad as it will allow me to focus on what is new in Snow Leopard and iPhone 3.0 and spend more time at the labs.

People seem to have very high expectations from this WWDC, which isn’t unusual. Most expect new handsets and a hopeful handful still expect the mythical Apple Tablet to be finally announced. I am not that interested by new hardware. New handsets will come at some time, that we know, and since we know that they will be running iPhone OS 3.0, which is already available for current devices, I really don’t care if they are announced at the show or two months from now. As for the tablet, my guess is that we will have to keep waiting.

However, most people seem to be much less interested by Snow Leopard. That is probably a mistake. Apple has deliberately set low expectations for this release and is probably set to over deliver in several areas, even though nothing has been announced. Regarding the new features that we know about, like Grand Central and OpenCL, we have no exact idea what kind of impact they will represent in terms of performance gains. I hope to be pleasantly surprised. Like last year, I will keep my finger crossed for Windows and iPhone versions of iChat which would make the Mac version more useful.

On the iPhone front, I have high expectations for significant third party hardware device announcements that can be controlled from the phone. Building a strong ecosystem around the iPhone is key to its long term success and Apple has been very clever to open the development of non-trivial hardware extensions to third parties. It would be nice to see Arduino work with Apple to allow hardware geeks easily create new hardware gadgets for the iPhone. That would open a new market for the phone in universities all over the world.

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