What The WWDC 2013 Logo Hints About The Future Of Mac & iOS

Screen Shot 2013-04-24 at 9.24.25 AM

This is the new logo for this year’s WWDC, which is scheduled to kick off on June 10th. WWDC logos tend to forecast in a round-about way what Apple thinks is the “kicker” of the conference: last year, it was the debut of the MacBook Pro with Retina Display.

So what does this WWDC 2013 logo mean? It features a bunch of rounded rectangles of varying colors, stacked a top each other, with a flat font reflecting WWDC into the year in Roman numerals. Here are our guesses:

Rounded rectangles — These are in the shape of app icons, so it’s possible these shapes indicate a new function of the iOS operating system. A literal interpretation could be that Apple is bringing OS X’s Stacks to iOS, but another possibility is this: all of those app icons are semi-transparent, and can be seen through each other. To me, this suggests iOS is finally getting Services, allowing apps in iOS to directly communicate with each other like in OS X. Apps are no longer sandboxes, but sandboxes with transparent sides. Get it?

Colorful icons — Killian thinks that these icons look flat to him, and suggests that it could mean some major visual changes in iOS 7, perhaps adopting a flatter, more contemporary style under the direction of Jony Ive. Another possibility is that rumors are true, and Apple intends on launching a colored range of iPhones in June. Previous rumors pegged this colored iPhone as the 5S, but Tim Cook in last night’s earnings call openly said not to expect major new products from Apple until fall, so if it were to be anything, it would likely be a colored iPhone 5 variant.

WWDC MMXIII — Killian thinks it is odd that Apple, which has used Myriad as a font in all previous WWDC announcements, is using an entirely different stylized font this year for the WWDC portion of the icon. He suggests it’s another hint that Apple is going to adopt a flatter, more modern design across iOS. I’m less convinced, but I do find the choice to make WWDC ‘reflect’ MMXIII interesting: to me, that implies second screen stuff, indicating to me that Apple might significantly beef up AirPlay, announcing new ways for your Mac, iPad, iPhone or Apple TV to communicate with one another.

Those are our best guesses right now. What do you think? Let us know your theories in the comments.

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  • Unis Zuurmond

    AppleTV (shape) with third party apps (colours)?

  • AlainFleitas

    Could show some kind of streamline between OSX and iOS notice how the colors over lay each other and sort of blend together, remember this isnt just about iOS. Could debut a new iOS for AppleTV laying the ground for a new top of the line full tv! (fingers crossed)

  • Unis Zuurmond

    Could show some kind of streamline between OSX and iOS notice how the colors over lay each other and sort of blend together, remember this isnt just about iOS. Could debut a new iOS for AppleTV laying the ground for a new top of the line full tv! (fingers crossed)

    I think you’re on to something. It’s the first time the year is shown in Roman, so the X and III could reflect OS X and iOS.

  • DrM47145

    The “squares” are not so “square”. Therefore, I don’t think they hint to iOS icons.

    See below:
    https://twitter.com/DrM47145/status/327083204127375362/photo/1

  • DrM47145

    A combination of Cyan/Yellow/Magenta or RGB? A hint to iTV? à la Trinitron WEGA Steve Jobs loved so much?

  • bdkennedy

    I’ll throw my hat in the ring and guess Apple is going to open up the App Store to the Apple TV. If Apple is going to introduce an AppleTV-ish product, developers will need a head start and now is the time.

  • daov2a

    This clearly, to me, indicates a merging of OS X and iOS. They will likely call it OS Xi or something or iOSx. Either way, they are definitely blending them and will be discussing it in addition to their colorful phones. This blending will no doubt bring touch to OS Xi possibly. The re-vamping to larger resolution screens, to me, indicated more of a hardware bump to allow for larger buttons with touch displays in future iterations of OS. High rez screens are awesome but Apple clearly has a gameplan for them beyond just more screen real estate. But we’ll see.

  • Blake_Erickson

    The use of Roman Numerals seems almost clock like. iWatch?

  • Aurmont

    WW/MM reflection could mean similarities/uniformity between iOS and Mac OS.

  • Timothy Williamson

    I like the watch guess below, but it also could hint at TV, and the roman numerals would be similar to the end of some TV shows where the studio and year information is displayed, and they typically use roman numerals.

  • ac1dra1n

    The invitiation itself is very different than what they usually do. Maybe that means that they are changing things up.

  • Markallen99

    It has so many relations to iOS iconography but it kind of reminds me of looking at an apple tv (top down). Maybe an Apple TV SDK will be released?

  • alexblack161
  • joeljupp

    Because of the Roman numerals, this was glaring to me: an iWatch with multiple color and configuration options. Users would be able to select the numeral and background styles. The “watch face” in the logo is a wonderful dimension for fullscreen apps. The logo also hints that apps could be layered and/or swapped. The vibrancy of the logo also suggests music capability (via bluetooth, of course).

  • joeljupp

    By the way, if I am correct, Erfon owes me dinner.

  • Rotten2Core

    I see the xxxx as 20, smaller xIII as 13, with a human torso above.

  • BlackMiniMac

    Im thinking MacMini in fruit flavours, think original iMac but square ;)

  • cfp

    I can’t believe nobody else has figured this out:
    The background of the WWDC logo is purple. What iOS-related feature has purple in it? The microphone graphic in Siri. This could hint Siri for Mac, a better iOS version for Siri, or both.

  • Felfac

    the new font reflected means that apple is going to take everything you know about IOS or/and mac and turn it on it’s head with a complete IOS 7 redesign also the iphone is then going to come in colours or it’s the super HD thing can’t believe i’m the only one to think that

  • zephyrhsu

    MMXIII is 2013 in Roman numerals. (MM means 2000)
    I found something interesting, not only MM is reflection of WW:
    1. XIII = 13 in decimal = 0×0″D” in hexadecimal.
    2. III = 3 in decimal => also means “C”, the third letter of the English alphabet!
    Isn’t it a “perfect” reflection?

    from: http://goo.gl/mUVN3

  • pcr23

    This is definitely hinting at an “iWatch”. Besides the roman numerals which have already been mentioned I see a couple of other hints.
    1. The letter “C”. Look at the shape. Definitely a bracelet or something that would go around your wrist.
    2. Look closely at the colorful “squares”. They are not all square. Some appear to be curved (left side) or stretched out (top right orange), but they still have transparency. Like flexible glass or something that would be able to bend around your wrist.
    3. The broken “W’s” where they connect. One part of the W is shorter than the other. Like an hour and minute hand would be. It may even be that W’s are not broken at all but it’s a drop shadow from the minute hand on the hour hand.
    4. The III in the roman numeral looks like it could be a watch band and the “C” the watch face.

  • Liam120

    Services NOT Hardware.

    Tivo deal with Apple, Apple TV opened to Devs (TV Puck outline within the colours) and Music streaming!

  • SnoreLab

    WWDC logo is the AppleTV box opened up to app developers with “non-mirroring” i.e. the apps can display a different image on the TV to what is displayed on the device. This will essentially turn the AppleTV into a games and entertainment centre which is controlled by iPhones etc.

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 girlfriend and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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