Today kicks off The Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC 2015) – THE event every iOS programmer looks forward to in June. Each year we expect Apple to announce its biggest innovations. Tickets aren’t cheap – but even at $1,599, only 5,000 lucky attendees will receive tickets through the lottery system.
- In 2006, the launch of the Mac Pro was announced and developers got a preview of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard.
- 2007 debuted several developer tools for the iPhone, a feature-complete beta of Mac OS X Leopard and garnered a record-setting 5,000 attendees.
- 2008 was the first year the event completely sold out. That year also saw the launch of the iOS App Store, the iPhone OS and the iPhone 3G.
- 2009 saw the launch of iPhone OS 3, the 13in MacBook Pro and the announcement of the iPhone 3GS.
- In 2010, Apple announced the iPhone 4, renamed the OS as iOS and unveiled FaceTime and iMovie.
- 2011 gave us a look at Mac OS X Lion, iOS 5 and iCloud. The conference also sold out in less than 12 hours!
- 2012 sold out in TWO hours! Highlights include new models of the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro and the MacBook Pro with Retina Display, as well as looks at OS X Mountain Lion and iOS 6. It was also the year the standalone Maps app launched.
- 2013 would prove to be one of the more exciting events, unveiling OS X 10.9 Mavericks, iOS 7, iTunes Radio, iWork for iCloud, the new Mac Pro and the newest MacBook Air. It also sold out in two minutes!
- Finally, in 2014, Apple announced iOS 8 and OS X 10.10, iCloud Drive and Mail Drop, an update to iMessage and more. It also was the first time Apple randomly selected 5,000 attendees out of the thousands of developers who entered the lottery for tickets.
So what do we expect to see at WWDC this year?
The list most in-the-know bloggers agree on includes:
- A much less buggy iOS release (iOS 9).
- Updates to the Mac OS X (OS X 10.11).
- Apple’s streaming music service, bought from Beats last year (for $3 Billion!!!).
- An overview of HomeKit, its home automation platform and maybe an app called “Home” as part of iOS 9.
- Apple Watch is bound to get some attention, just having reached the public in the last few months. Developers can expect a preview for third-party native app development, something that has not been available previously.
- “Proactive,” a competitor product to the task-management app Google Now according to 9to5 Mac.
- Split-screen multitasking for iPad (The Verge thinks there is a possibility this may not announce today either, though many know it is in the works.)
- Updated Apple TV box and the ability to write apps for it (though many, including The New York Times, think this may get held back for release later this year).
- Public transit directions included in Maps, starting in major cities. This feature would include augmented reality and a “Browse Around Me” points of interest feature according to Mac Rumors.
- Apple Pay may start offering perks to users. Also possible that Apple Pay will expand to additional countries starting with Canada.
- Perhaps even an update to iTunes Radio.
I was excited to see Tim Cook refer to Apple’s commitment to diversity yesterday on Mashable – today we can expect to see the company take a cue from Google by including women in its keynote. According to this article from The Independent, Cook expressed dissatisfaction with the company’s record on diversity. I think the conference is a great platform to begin changing that record – even though real change will have to come from within the organization with more women reaching leadership roles.
Luckily we don’t have long to wait until we see what in the above list actually gets airtime. Let’s go #WWDC15!