If you’re an iOS or Mac OS developer, you don’t want to miss this year’s Apple Worldwide Developers Conference.
That’s according to a press release from Apple announcing this year’s annual WWDC event starting on June 6 in San Francisco. And while it might just be PR-speak (as if Apple is going to tell you its annual conference isn’t important), the release also claims that Apple (AAPL) will be unveiling the “future of iOS and Mac OS” at the event.
Last year’s WWDC saw the first announcement and demonstrations of the iPhone 4, and given the regularity of Apple releases, it’s a pretty good bet that the iPhone 5 could be shown off at the conference that’s full of tech demos and awards for apps. And this is around the time that new versions of iOS, Apple’s mobile operating system for the iPhone and iPad, and are announced -- they usually roll out with new iPhones.
Things might be different this year, though, according to some rumors, which say that Apple might be moving a lot of the timing of this year’s cycle back a few months to the fall.
According to anonymous sources cited by TechCrunch, Apple will be holding iOS 5 back when the iPhone 5 gets announced. The new iOS will focus on cloud services, those that are based solely on the Internet. Apple could supposedly be gearing up several new services to go with this: specifically, a “music locker” service in which users buy songs that are stored with their accounts online and then can be either downloaded or streamed to multiple devices.
Another big component to the rumor: the new iOS will be launched alongside a new iPad, one which we were hearing rumblings about coming in the fall back at the beginning of the year, but which seemed dispelled by the release of the iPad 2 and Apple’s general attitude about it. For me, the new iPad rumors seem a little fishy and throw much of TechCrunch’s story into question. Then again, I really didn’t think Apple would roll out that 30-percent-of-all-content subscription plan, and I was way wrong about that one.
Anyway, what do these potential iOS launch changes mean for the iPhone 5? According to TechCrunch, not a lot, and that seems to be the consensus around the Internet. Most tech outlets expect the new iPhone to pop up at WWDC, possibly alongside some talk of iOS 5 and even some demonstrations -- it’s just that the new iOS won’t be available in June and probably won’t be available with the new phone.
We’re also expecting Apple to talk more about Mac OS X Lion, its new computer operating system set to release this summer. That will likely see new features from all this supposed cloud-based innovation, as well. That could mean that Lion, rather than Apple’s mobile market, will be the real star of WWDC.