Sunday, June 9, 2013

Anticipating WWDC 2013

WWDC 2013 is a little over a week away. We already know a few things; iOS 7 and OS X 10.9 will be unveiled, and iOS will be getting a visual overhaul. Here's what I'm anticipating.

iOS 7

  • Updated design.
  • Better inter-app integration. This will probably be based on the Remote View Controller technology used internally in iOS 6, but will probably not be as generic as allowing an app to expose any arbitrary view controller for presentation by another app. Rather, I expect we'll see targeted use cases: an app may be able to specify a controller to be used for accepting files from other apps, or to be used for providing access to files found in other apps.

OS X 10.9

  • Siri support and Maps apps
  • MapKit APIs for developers
  • Re-redesigned Safari web inspector. (You can already play with this in the Webkit Nightly; it's much improved over the Safari 6 design.)
  • Better full-screen app support.
  • The biggest question: What will it be named? Sea Lion?

Xcode

  • Modules, a new language feature designed to significantly improve compiler performance. Doug Gregor talked about this at the 2012 LLVM developer's meeting, so it's a fairly safe bet.
  • Big improvements for Auto Layout in Interface Builder. I'm not sure exactly what a better interface for Auto Layout would look like, but it's way too easy for constraints to get lots in the shuffle as things currently stand.
  • Lots of improvements to Xcode. I just don't know what they all are. Maybe enough to call it Xcode 5?

iCloud

  • Lots of talk about how they've fixed all the problems.
  • More ancillary services (Photo Stream improvements, etc.) 
  • No major feature changes to the developer platform; just lots of bug fixes.

Hardware


  • Spec bumps for MacBook Pro line. Haswell processors, longer battery life.

New Platforms

There are a lot of things pointing toward a new platform. The number of "To Be Announced" sessions on the schedule is a big one, and as I noted on Twitter, Apple's expecting a lot of people for some of those sessions. This screams "Big new thing that everyone's going to want to see". I'm hoping for third-party AppleTV apps, but there are the "iWatch" rumors too, so who knows. Regardless, I'll be very surprised if there's no new platform for third-party apps.


I should note that with the exception of modules in Xcode, I have no particular inside sources for any of the above predictions. I don't know anything. This is just based on rumors and my own feelings.