Apple's Enormous Year Finally Starts Today

Apple is typically a pretty tight-lipped company when it comes to future products.

But, with people getting antsy for the next big thing, its executives have become uncharacteristically talkative about what it’s planning.

Naturally, they’re not explicitly saying what they have got coming, but they’re hyping what’s in development.

“Later this year, we’ve got the best product pipeline that I’ve seen in my 25 years at Apple,” Apple SVP Eddy Cue said last week at the Code Conference. “I believe the products we’ve got coming are great.”

In February, CEO Tim Cook said, “There will be new categories. We’re not ready to talk about it, but we’re working on some really great stuff.”

Remember, Apple released the iPhone and the iPad in the past 25 years. Whatever it has in development is supposedly going to be better than those products. So, the pressure is now on for Apple to deliver.

Apple kicks off its year of exciting new products on Monday, June 2 in San Francisco at WWDC, its annual developer conference. At 10 a.m. local time, it will have a keynote to preview new software for the Mac and the iPhone. It’s also going to have some sort of new hardware, but don’t expect something like the iWatch.

Here is what everyone is expecting:

  • Total redesign of the Mac’s software. Apple completely changed the look of the iPhone last year, making it more colourful and (for lack of a better term) flatter. Apple will reportedly do the same with the Mac’s software this year.
  • iOS 8, the new version of the operating system for iPhones and iPads. This likely won’t be a huge upgrade like we saw with iOS 7 last year. Expect a few tweaks, bug fixes, and helpful new features. Plus…

  • A new fitness and health oriented application called “Healthbook.” This will be like Apple’s Passbook application which collects all of your tickets and passes. It will collect fitness and health information from apps.
  • Improvements to Apple Maps. We might finally get public transit directions included with Apple’s maps.
  • Some sort of smart home integration. At first, people were really geeked up for this one, and thought Apple had something special up its sleeve. Now, it seems like it’s going to be a small deal. Stacey Higginbotham at GigaOm reports, “It is a much simpler program that will basically certify a bunch of connected devices on the market or set to be launched as products that are certified under the Made for iPhone label.”
  • A new “hardware” product. People aren’t expecting something big like an iWatch or an Apple TV. So what can it be? We’re guessing some sort of new Mac to show off the new Mac OS, but it won’t be a new iMac.
  • Jimmy and Dre. The Beats execs are expected to be on hand, and they might even be on stage.

This will set up Apple for the rest of the year. In the coming months Apple will likely launch a big-screen iPhone, new iPads, and possibly the rumoured iWatch.

Mark this as the beginning of the next big Apple era.

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