WWDC Predictions

by Bruce Stewart

It's become a bit of tradition in the Mac press to make public your guesses, predictions, and desires for what news will come out of every major Mac conference. Since WWDC is right around the corner, we rounded up some of our MacDevCenter bloggers and asked them what they'd like to see Steve unveil at next week's keynote.

Our curmudgeonly java.net editor Chris Adamson, started things off by simply offering up a repeat of his last MacWorld wish:

An end to .Mac. It's overpriced, it sucks, and it makes iLife suck.


Mary Norbury

I'd like to see a 12-inch laptop replacement - probably too soon for a tablet, though. Give iPhone some time then maybe. I agree that a complete overhaul of .mac would be nice. Couldn't possibly be worse.


Daniel Steinberg

I think we'll see a tower and new displays next week, and the more I look at the iPhone, the more I'm convinced that a tablet will appear at some point. The soft keyboard in the screen that could be there in landscape or portrait, the multitouch...


Todd Ogasawara


1. Instead of an end to .Mac (which I dropped last year)... A "good" .Mac service at a more reasonable price (say $5/month).

2. A 12" MacBook with a Flash drive (no hard drive), LED screen, and just as "cool" (temperature wise) as my old 12" iBook (which runs very cool).

3. A 6th generation full screen iPod (same size as current iPod but with a horizontal screen). I'd love to get an iPhone. But, I shudder at switching to AT&T Wireless with its higher data fees (I pay $29.95/month to T-Mobile for unlimited (slow) EDGE and unlimited T-Mobile HotSpot WiFi)

4. iLife '07

5. Leopard :-)


Tom Bridge

1. Details about the iPhone. Seriously. We're three weeks from launch, and we know very little about the details behind the iPhone. How's email work? Can it do IMAP(SSL)? Over the air syncing with SyncML servers for wireless contact syncing? How's it handle WiFi? Too many questions.

2. .Mac fixup. Overdue. We need a partnership with an online storage company for better data backups, something to keep those of us locked into a $100/year email address from rising up in the night and storming the barricades.

3. Leopard "hidden" features. Last summer we were promised that some features of Leopard were kept hidden because they were Sekrit. Now's the time to pull back the veil and show us the whole Macgillicuddy.

4. Server. We need to see what the new OSXS does, even if no one in the public really cares :D

5. A promise to move Multitouch to the Mac in a meaningful way.


Erica Sadun

I'm suffering from prediction burnout, honestly.

.Mac should die. Mac Minis should not. iTunes needs High Def video and a rental model. The iPhone needs games that take advantage of multitouch. Developers should be able to design widgets for the iPhone. The DVD is dead media walking--will we keep seeing iDVD? What about new High Def recordable media drives? Will iLife/iWork become part of Leopard--or is it time for an '07 or '08 refresh? What about that iSpreadsheet we've all heard about? And what about an iMac hardware refresh now that the laptop line has had its refresh? Oh yeah, and where's my iNewton?


David Battino

Two improvements for schools (I just ran into these yesterday in the classroom):

1. Native QuickTime MPEG-2 support -- One student brought in a home movie to incorporate into her class project. Her dad, a reported Mac-hater, had saved it in a .MPG format iMovie couldn't read. I had to take it home and use MPEG Streamclip (and Apple's $20 QuickTime MPEG-2 Playback Component) to convert it to a usable format.

2. A Fair Use exemption for classroom use of copy-protected media -- Another student used her iTunes account to buy a song to run under the credits in her group's movie. But the students became confused because iMovie wouldn't load the file. Instead of explaining why, iMovie said, "This computer is not authorized to play this file." After three rounds of showing the student how to authorize the file in iTunes and still being unable to import it, I finally realized that the error should have said, "This file is copy-protected and may not be used in iMovie."

Annoyingly, this usage is exactly the kind of educational situation Fair Use was designed to cover. So I downloaded Wiretap, played the song in iTunes, and recorded the first 90 seconds as an AIFF file. Then we dragged it into the movie soundtrack. I showed the students how to display the waveform so they could line up the beginning precisely, and they got excited to be back on track.

Oh, and like Todd said, a lightweight, flash-based MacBook to wean me off my AlphaSmart Dana. Anyone remember the name of the WiFi laptop Amazon is supposedly making?


Todd Ogasawara

After reading Tom's wishlist, I partially retract my "wish" for the 12" MacBook with flash drive. I now want a 12" MacBook TABLET with multi-touch display. I basically want a Star Trek: The Next Generation PADD. And, wasn't those ST:TNG consoles basically multi-touch displays? :-)


What's on your WWDC wish list? Let us know in the comments section.


17 Comments

Flip
2007-06-07 10:49:52
20" or 22" MacBook Pro.


I've been packing around a 17" PowerBook for the past 2 years and it is just too small.

Andreas Bachofen
2007-06-07 10:57:08
Like Steve said to Bill at the D:conference, basically we all just want Star Trek. So a 10" MacTablet (12" is too much, I am writing this on my 12" iBook) with MultiTouch, a.k.a. PADD would be my wish.
John Mayes
2007-06-07 13:19:48
.Mac does need improvement, but I like the personal relationship it fosters as a Mac user. .Mac should partner with Google to provide their online services with unique mac features. Merge .mac mail, groups, and storage features, with the same features on Google but with the extended capabilities of Google.


Then offer push email via a .mac email address hosted and managed by Google. I recommend google over yahoo because of the impending yahoo buyout by microsoft. Apple should forge a long-term relationship with Google to become their outsourced INTERNET services arm so that Apple can get back to software and hardware innovation and Google can focus on Internet innovation. Together they would be an incredible powerhouse.


Now with YouTube onboard for Apple TV, make it accessible through iTunes for download to local PCs and into iPods and unify your .Mac/iTunes account with your YouTube account for singular service through one .mac/google ID.


Google needs to also step up and provide a service similar to Plaxo that could provide the addressbook syncronization capabilities that Plaxo does, allowing the user not only to sync addressbooks between computers but to sync address information with the person referenced in the addressbook. I love the plaxo tool.


Merge Picasa online photos more closely with iPhoto on your local machine and it could become an only publishing powerhouse as well. The current .mac ability to publish photos leaves a bit to be desired. I want a simpler way to upload and share photos that my mother could do as a no brainer.


Simdude
2007-06-07 13:42:43
I never understood why people think ".Mac should die". All of us that use it would love improvements, but having a simple way to synchronize multiple machines, iDisk from anywhere, web email that has gotten pretty decent (IMO) are features I would hate to lose. Yes, you "can" do all of this without .Mac. You can also do everything you do on a mac with a linux machine. I chose not to use one for home because I like the more integrated way it works on the mac. Now, if like the suggestion by John, Google can take over and offer the same integrated experience with one company, I'll take it.


Ok, that being said, I predict Apple TV will add movie rentals. I know Apple hasn't like subscription type stuff, but that is because it's a model they don't think works for music. Rentals are perfect for movies on Apple TV. In fact, if they add it, I would probably buy a couple Apple TV's and drop my cable service to the bare minimum (only because I need cable modem access).

Rob
2007-06-07 14:03:59
iWork 07, with Numbers
Dreaming
2007-06-07 14:29:09

  • Leopard: "Where's the spots??!!"
  • Update iLife apps; Come on, already! Would really like a spreadsheet of some kind;
  • .Mac : maybe I am the only one using it? Needs some serious, sustained, devoted attention. All areas; They have forgotten about it;
  • Some h/w refresh: Mac Pro, iMac ?
  • More studios/tv shows on iTMS
  • iPod refresh. Come on already. I know the iPhone is the "Best iPod they've ever made" but what if I just want an iPod with some improvments?
Dale
2007-06-07 14:34:54
.Mac won't be retired. Steve said at D5 they are about to improve it.


I can't see a Tablet happening. They don't sell well enough as it is. Steve said at D5 that he expects single purpose devices to be the next big thing. So I think the first tablet we see will be a smaller, specific device and not a general purpose computer.


WWDC is a Mac developer conference. So there won't be any iPod or iTunes updates. Nor will there be iPhone news except for the rumoured iPhone SDK. I'm predicting we'll only see Mac-related stuff: Leopard, iWork and iLife demoed with Leopard features as an example for developers, and possibly an iMac update.

Randy Smith
2007-06-07 16:27:52
I find dotmac too useful to die. However the way Apple treats it I am sure it is not far from the chopping block. The used to have lots of freebies and really pushed it. When Tiger came out they were touting dotmac dashboard widgets that were "coming soon". Well we are still waiting for those to show up. It seems like one person at Apple works on dotmac and has most of the month left over to do other things. Apple needs to vastly improve it or drop it and refund subscribers money!
Jim
2007-06-07 18:50:49
I want a MacMini with a Core 2 Duo and HDMI.

2007-06-08 00:07:44
Why do people want Apple to kill .Mac? If you don't like it, just don't subscribe to it. I like it, I can afford it, I want to keep. What's it to you?
Anonymous
2007-06-08 07:12:16
Predictions or wishes?


Predictions: iPhone mania, Leopard features, possible MacBook teaser.


Wishes: Full line of MacBook Pros, Towers and Xserves complete with all solid state drives (yeah, I'm a sysadmin), MacBooks with touch screen (this would solve all kinds of headaches), announcement that Leopard has been code-optimized and can run on 64MB of RAM :-)....iPhone for $299 available on all cell providers. Games games games....

pauldwaite
2007-06-09 05:17:53
> "where's my iNewton?"


Er, it's out 29th June? They changed the name to iPhone?


> "Like Steve said to Bill at the D:conference, basically we all just want Star Trek."


Word.

Chris Adamson
2007-06-09 05:54:18
A Blu-Ray site speculates that the HDCP compliant nVidia GeForce 8600M GT graphics card in the new MacBook Pros presages a Blu-Ray MBP announcement next week. So why would the one model be held from last week's release? It makes sense only if there's a bigger Blu-Ray story at WWDC (announcements related to authoring, API's, BD disc burning, etc.). Seems highly speculative, but given the choice of an HDCP video card and Apple's membership in the BDA, it's not unreasonable either.
Paul
2007-06-10 08:07:01
I hope and think that Core Animation turns out to be Multi-TOuch for the Mac.


New iMacs with multi-touch screens in october??

omen
2007-06-11 04:16:29
1. GPU update on Mac Pro's - I'm surprised on how no one think's that current GPU dinosaurs need replacement - plus HDMI, SLI/Crossfire...
2. Core animation eye candy - It's time for GUI to become alive.
3. LED displays
LKM
2007-06-11 07:36:04
Yeah, let's kill iDVD so nobody can see the media you're creating anymore! DVDs will be here for 10 more years at least.
10668844
2007-08-09 06:30:39
Multi touch everything, no more mouse!!!!


Get me into a machine with quad core processors, 4gb ram, 1tb h/d, 2 512ram video cards and two 22 inch monitors for under $2500.00


If Apple were to do that for me, I would become the biggest cheerleader ever and the amount of market share they command would be huge.


You say it can't be done, I say b/s. I say that the cost to manufacture the parts have become so cheap that they could do it in a heart beat if they wanted.