Everything We Expect Apple To Announce Today At WWDC 2012 [Feature]

Everything We Expect Apple To Announce Today At WWDC 2012 [Feature]

Workers are already getting ready for WWDC 2012, and so are we.

Today at 10AM Pacific, Tim Cook will take the stage at the Moscone Center in San Francisco for Apple’s annual WWDC keynote, and if the rumor mill is to be believed, he’ll be hard pressed to fit everything Cupertino is ready to announce into its 90 minute presentation. We’re looking at massive upgrades to the entire Mac line, the official unveiling of iOS 6, loads of new apps, and maybe possibly even our first glimpse of the iPhone 5 and Apple HDTV.

Here’s what we think Apple will (and won’t) announce today, ranked in order of likelihood.

Almost Definitely Happening

New Ivy Bridge Macs: It looks almost certain that almost every Mac out there will see at least a minor update at WWDC. Intel has finally released its next-generation Ivy Bridge chips, and there’s a chip that is perfect for almost every Mac model, from the venerable iMac to the MacBook Air.

New, Slimmer MacBook Pros: Expect Apple’s MacBook Pro line to undergo a major revision, ditching their antiquated optical drives in favor of a slimmer form factor and better battery life.

USB 3.0 Coming To Macs: Steve Jobs may have been skeptical that USB 3.0 would ever take off, but the new Ivy Bridge processors Apple is using will finally support the protocol. It’s a given the new Macs will be updated accordingly.

iOS 6 Unveiled: See our guide on what we expect from iOS 6 for more details, but in short: Apple will ditch Google Maps, rebuilt most of the core apps from the ground up, slap on a new silver coat of paint, add Facebook integration, and upgrade Siri, amongst other improvements.

Mountain Lion Release Date: The next version of OS X, Mountain Lion, has already been scheduled to release in late summer. Expect Apple to name an actual date.

The Resurrection Of The Mac Pro: The Mac Pro line hasn’t been updated for two years, but Apple’s not going to kill it. They know they need it: losing the Mac Pro means losing the video, audio and graphic professionals who helped establish OS X to begin with. It topples a domino that could reverberate through the entire Mac line. Apple will finally update the Mac Pros, but don’t expect Ivy Bridge. They will use Sandy Bridge Xeon E5 series processors because of voltage and yield problems in the Ivy Bridge server class line. In addition, the new Mac Pros will feature SATA III/SAS compatibility, and will be upgraded to Thunderbolt and USB 3.0.

Probably Happening

Retina Display Macs: OS X has supported ultra high-resolutions for a while now, but it’s widely believed that at WWDC 2012, the Mac line will get ultra high-res displays, similar to the iPhone and iPad. Many predict that ppi in the Mac line will double across the board, but Apple doesn’t need to update their Macs nearly that drastically to achieve Retina resolutions in its Mac line.

Entry-Level MacBook Pro: The MacBook Pro is definitely getting updated, but what if you just can’t live without an optical drive. It looks like Apple might still sell a slightly beefed up version of the existing 13-inch MacBook Pro.

Retina Display Thunderbolt Display: If Apple’s releasing Retina display Macs at all, they need to offer the ability for Mac minis and Mac Pros. Here’s where an updated, Retina-capable Thunderbolt display comes in.

Thunderbolt / USB 3.0 External Optical Drives: Apple will need to sell an external optical drive if the new MacBook Pros lose theirs, and it makes sense these would end up supporting either Thunderbolt or USB 3.0.

iCloud Upgrade: Apple unveiled iCloud exactly a year ago, and reports from the Wall Street Journal indicate that iCloud will, at the very least, get an upgrade to its video and photo syncing abilities. You’ll be able to share photos and albums outside of Photostream, get comments on video, and videos will start syncing with Photostream (or its equivalent, Videostream).

Maybe Happening

Apple TV Gets Supercharged: We’ve heard murmurs that the Apple TV will get the ability to run apps, and this will be announced at WWDC 2012. The idea here is that this is a bridge move to get apps ready for the rumored Apple HDTV set, which could be unveiled as early as later this year. The remote might also be supercharged to allow other entertainment devices to use the same remote (and Remote.app) as Apple’s.

iPhone 5 Unveiled: Consider this a big maybe. We don’t really expect the iPhone 5 to be unveiled until late September or early October, but if Apple is, as some expect, going to change the screen dimensions of the iPhone to accomodate a longer, 4-inch display, they may give developers a heads up at WWDC so they can prepare their apps in time.

No iPhone 5, But Apple Still Tells Devs To Get Ready For Larger Displays: John Gruber at Daring Fireball has some great thoughts on how Apple could signal to developers they need to make their apps vertically flexible (ostensibly to better accomodate Notifications) without actually saying anything about the iPhone 5.

Almost Definitely Not Happening

Apple HDTV Unveiled: Some analysts like Peter Misek have suggested we’ll see the Apple HDTV unveiled at WWDC, to go on sale later this year, but there’s zero rumblings of this outside of analyst speculation. If production were ramping up, we’d be hearing things from the supply chain at this point, and anyway, the HDTV industry tends to release all of their TVs earlier in the year. We think we won’t hear word of the Apple HDTV until late 2012 or early 2013.

iPad Mini: There’s been a lot of empty talk about an iPad mini, and we’ve even seen a couple of laughable “leaked” components, but frankly, we’re really skeptical Apple even plans this, let alone plans on unveiling it at WWDC. Not only did Steve Jobs hate 7-inch tablets, but there’s pretty much zero market for them. They just aren’t biting into Apple’s market share.

Did we miss anything? Agree or disagree with the way we placed anything on our list? Let us know in the comments, and stay tuned for Cult of Mac’s all-day coverage of WWDC 2012 next week, including our keynote liveblog.

Related
  • Barton Lynch

    PLEASE have redesigned MBPs!

  • Tallest_Skil

    The 6th iPhone (idiots) will be out in September/October. They can’t show it without the months-long preview of iOS 6 first.

    Thunderbolt on a standalone optical drive is stupid. Who would waste their Thunderbolt port on that? Yes, Apple would have a port through, but that kicks the price up insanely high. It doesn’t need an update at ALL. Drives can’t write fast enough to saturate a USB 2 bus, even.
    And we’ll have to see about the Mac Pro. Not getting my hopes up.
  • Jaime Santana Ruelas

    So you do not expect 802.11ac wifi in the new MBP or iMacs?

  • AdamFC

    Why is a Thunderbolt display under “probably happening?” I hope it’s true, but that is a ridiculous amount of pixels to a) manufacture and b) for a Mac mini, MacBook Air, or even low level MacBook Pro to drive.

  • Alexander Mugford

    I’m expecting iLife and iWork updates. 

  • Tallest_Skil

    Why is a Thunderbolt display under “probably happening?” I hope it’s true, but that is a ridiculous amount of pixels to a) manufacture and b) for a Mac mini, MacBook Air, or even low level MacBook Pro to drive.

    Nowhere does it say anything about a Thunderbolt display. Retina displays are impossible right now.

  • AdamFC
    Why is a Thunderbolt display under “probably happening?” I hope it’s true, but that is a ridiculous amount of pixels to a) manufacture and b) for a Mac mini, MacBook Air, or even low level MacBook Pro to drive.

    Nowhere does it say anything about a Thunderbolt display. Retina displays are impossible right now.

    Retina Display Thunderbolt Display: If Apple’s releasing Retina display Macs at all, they need to offer the ability for Mac minis and Mac Pros. Here’s where an updated, Retina-capable Thunderbolt display comes in.”

  • Jose Salgado

    The 6th iPhone (idiots) will be out in September/October. They can’t show it without the months-long preview of iOS 6 first.

    Thunderbolt on a standalone optical drive is stupid. Who would waste their Thunderbolt port on that? Yes, Apple would have a port through, but that kicks the price up insanely high. It doesn’t need an update at ALL. Drives can’t write fast enough to saturate a USB 2 bus, even.
    And we’ll have to see about the Mac Pro. Not getting my hopes up.

    Then how did Apple release the iPhone 4S with iOS 5?

  • drblank

    First off, Apple Keynotes at WWDC usually run no more than about 1.5 hours, MAYBE 1.75 hours.  OS X, iCloud is part of it, so they’ll announce anything with ICloud as part of OSX and iOS.

    To discuss OS X, iOS, Laptops, Desktops, and a overview of what Apple has done so far, I don’t know if they can cover everything.
    I think there might be something with regards to the developer tools for iOS, just a hunch, but there has been rumors on that level.
    I don’t know if they will make ALL of the desktop/laptop announcements, they might do some first, let that settle and then make another announcement at a later date.  That’s a lot of ground for them to cover in less than 2 hours.
  • Tallest_Skil

    content

    Bah, they added that after posting. Thanks.

    It’s under possible because the panels don’t exist.

  • Tallest_Skil

    Then how did Apple release the iPhone 4S with iOS 5?

    … By showcasing iOS 5 MULTIPLE MONTHS BEFOREHAND at WWDC.

    Apple shows off a new version of iOS. Previews go to developers. Months pass. Then the new iPhone launches WITH that software.
  • Lane Jasper

    I’d LOVE a 7″ iPad…bummer.

  • Paul Lloyd Johnson

    iPhone 5  (6th Generation) FFS!

  • Alex Marques

    I can’t wait to hear the Facebook news. I use it more then twitter, and I want to sync correctly with my Address Book & iPhoto (along with other standalone Apple Apps) then the 3rd party means of syncing info like that.

  • Boris Terekidi

    When did Apple EVER release so much stuff in 1 day? Last year at WWDC they old talked about iOS, OSX and iCloud. I can bet you anything that this year we’ll see the final version (and release date) for Mountain Lion, new APIs and features of iOS and MAAAYYYBE a few updates to Macs. But i highly doubt they will talk about the entire line of Macs, iPhone, iOS, OSX and AppleTV.

    Lets get our hopes at a reasonable level, so we don’t get disappointed when WWDC actually comes.
  • Nirad Kant Acharya

    what about upgrading the iwork suite?

  • JackJones

    Does any of these pieces of hardware play Crysis maxed out on 5760×1080 resolution (with 3 full HD displays) smoothly or should i go with Alienware or FalconNW or the likes for that ?

  • Marshall H

    My 2007 15″ MacBook Pro is finally starting to show its age. The screen ribbon has completely deteriorated so im left using it only hooked up to a diaplay, (currently my 50″ TV :P ) 

    The only thing I absolutely want is a new beast of MacBook Pro, with new form factor!  Been excited about that for a while now and works out with the slow death of my old MBP.   I heard there’s a possibility that the new MBPs will have solid state drives standard. Anyone else have any clues to that?   
    Iphone 5 would be nice as well.   I’m a student and have been holding onto my old iphone 3g for a while now and its really starting to chug….
  • Westerley

    I think you meant iPhone 6!!! Why would a sixth generation phone be numbered 5? Fools

  • RmcTech

    It’ll be cool if they hint the screen stuff to the developers without actually announcing anything! I also do believe they WON’T be talking too much about the New iPhone. 

  • Solowalker
    Why is a Thunderbolt display under “probably happening?” I hope it’s true, but that is a ridiculous amount of pixels to a) manufacture and b) for a Mac mini, MacBook Air, or even low level MacBook Pro to drive.

    Nowhere does it say anything about a Thunderbolt display. Retina displays are impossible right now.

    Quadrupling resolution of a Thunderbolt display like they did with iPhone and iPad Retina displays may not be possible, but it’s not impossible to increase the resolution drastically though it’s too expensive to be practical. However, you don’t necessarily need to quadruple the resolution to make something Retina calibre. Any updates that may be coming to Macs and Thunderbolt displays may not be what people are thinking, but any increase in pixel density would be welcome to my eyes.

  • Solowalker

    Why is a Thunderbolt display under “probably happening?” I hope it’s true, but that is a ridiculous amount of pixels to a) manufacture and b) for a Mac mini, MacBook Air, or even low level MacBook Pro to drive.

    Not with Ivy Bridge it’s not. The new processors can handle up to 4k displays.

  • Matthew Gonzales Landry

    Come on, guys, there is a market for 7″ tablets.

  • SingletonDennis

    like Cheryl explained I am shocked that any one able to get paid $8782 in four weeks on the internet. have you seen this webpage(Click on menu Home more information) http://goo.gl/PlCl6


  • technochick

    The only ‘almost definitely happening’ items should be OS X, iOS 6 discussions. those are the things that the developers need to know about because that is why they came to the developers conference. iCloud could also be include on that list given that it affects both other systems and here could be some new features in the works. 

    Everything else listed is a maybe. 
  • Tallest_Skil

    Come on, guys, there is a market for 7″ tablets.

    No. There isn’t. As evidenced by their absolutely pathetic sales.

  • Nikola Kuhar

    Am I the only one who is hoping Apple will release the Airport extreme with 802.11ac & the express with 802.11ac and gigabit lan? 

  • Aidan Taylor

    iphone 6? LOL

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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