26 Apr 2015
3 minute read
My WWDC 2015 predictions
With WWDC around the corner and the just-released Watch we are living in exciting times. What comes next will either improve over the existing, or introduce something new and hopefully better. In this article I’ll summarize what’s possible to come out from this year’s conference based on rumors, news and a little intuition.
Starting with the latest gem from the fruit company - the Watch. Reviews are already all over the Internet and are mostly positive. One of the biggest cons over the many pros is the slowness in the communication with the phone. Stand-alone watch apps will easily solve this problem, making a much more solid and well-rounded product, not just an external and fancy iPhone screen. After the strong launch, with the quickly sold-out preorders and first day big app selection, this is the natural thing to follow - more capable and independent apps. This will possibly include access to the internal hardware and functionality. There’s a possibility for third-party watch faces, but given this is Apple we’re talking about, this isn’t a sure thing. Taking the iPhone as an example, we may get change-able wallpapers or background for the home screen and more custom watch faces, but allowing developers to write and publish watch faces is either unlikely or it will be a very strictly guarded process ensuring the submissions meet Apple’s design guidelines and ideology. Last but not least - we may see HomeKit integration, allowing control over your house from the watch.
As of the moment HomeKit is a little forgotten without much use. Only a couple vendors support it and there’s a lack of products and apps to make the technology worthwhile. It’s possible to see new APIs, vendors and products if Apple wants the technology to succeed.
A lot of rumors regarding the Cupertino TV box set have come out lately. Most of them suggest additional content added to the device like HBO GO. Another viable option to make it more usable will be the release of a SDK, allowing third party apps. While I can’t predict how this will go, it’s already proven that apps can make or break a platform.
OS X 10.11
Last year’s update to the desktop OS made it similar to iOS, which was nice and welcome. Adding consistency to the platforms is always nice. With the release of the Photos app, some developers noticed a new private framework similar to iOS’s UIKit. It won’t be a surprise if this thing goes public later this year. Writing similar code for all platforms will result in more OS X apps and will lower the barrier to entry for the platform. Another thing would be pairing or controlling of the mac from apple watch. Maybe like a remote control or with Handoff. All devices have Bluetooth built-in, so this is more on the possible side.
The next iteration of iOS. The best thing we can see here are some new APIs, functionality, but most importantly - bug fixes and stability improvements. After the big changes in iOS 7 and the newly introduces stuff in iOS 8 we can safely assume the focus of this version to be stability. It’s possible to see the new long-rumored music streaming service based on Beats by Dre’s technology. Something similar to Spotify and Pandora.
These are my predictions for the coming WWDC 2015. After the big changes from 2014 most probably 2015 will be watch-centered and we’ll see mostly stability improvements and less new features and functionality. Time will tell.