WWDC 2014: What to expect

WWDC 2014 Logo

Apple's annual World Wide Developer Conference kicks off next Monday and here is what you should expect.

iOS 8

This time last year Apple completed reinvented its mobile operating system with iOS 7. Out went all the skeuomorphism and in came a much flatter, user-friendly design along with the slide up control centre.

The changes in iOS 8 will not be anywhere near the dramatic changes we saw in iOS 7, but some of the new features could prove more useful. Design wise it's highly unlikely that we will not see any difference whatsoever, iOS 7 was the most drastic design change since the beginning of iOS and we are not about to see another redesign just a year later.

It's been heavily rumoured that Apple will be releasing three new applications with iOS 8, the first of which will be called 'Healthbook'. As you can probably guess it will be a health based application and is likely to be compatible with the Apple iWatch. The iWatch is the much-rumoured smart watch that is believed to be in development.

It is understood that Healthbook will pull data from M7 motion co-processor in the iPhone 5s and the upcoming iPhone 6 to track the user's physical movement and sleeping pattern. Apple news website 9to5Mac has it on very good authority that the app will use a tab design very similar to Passbook. The site also confirmed the app will be able to track weight, nutrition, blood sugar, hydration, heart rate, bloodwork, respiratory rate and oxygen saturation.

The two other applications rumoured to be coming to iOS 8 are Preview and TextEdit. They are both already present on the Mac and Apple is apparently optimising the apps for iOS with the goal of pushing iCloud as the future of the filing system. Preview is an app for viewing images and PDF documents, and TextEdit is an app for viewing and editing text documents, however it's understood that user's will not be able to edit documents on either application.

iOS 8 should also bring further improvements to Apple's voice assistant Siri and its mapping application Maps.

OS X 10.10

There has been very little information released on the next big update of Apples desktop and laptop operating system. OS X Mavericks was introduced last year and with that brought new apps like iBooks and Maps to the Mac.

The next update is most certain to have a name change. Apple announced last year that they were changing the name from big cats to Californian landmarks and Mavericks was the first in the new cycle. The new naming system could last for up to 19 years assuming Apple keeps to its yearly update cycle.

OS X 10.10 should feature more of iOS 7's 'flatter' design. Again a 9to5Mac report suggests that the next Mac update will follow some of the design aspects as iOS 7. It's likely 10.10 will take on a much cleaner look with flatter icons and windows, but the overhaul will not be as drastic as what we saw with iOS 7.

Beats Electronics

With the purchase of Beats yet to be confirmed it has been reported that Apple could be waiting until its annual developer conference before it confirms the $3.2bn acquisition.

Billboard claim that that Jimmy Iovine and Dr Dre will take senior roles within Apple and they could both make their first appearance as Apple employees at WWDC 2014.

Apple TV

Rumours circulated earlier this year that Apple was completely redesigning their Apple TV set-top-box. Early reports suggested that an April release was a possibility but it has now been pushed back and it's possible we could see it launched at WWDC.

The new box could feature Siri as Apple looks to expand the use of its voice assistant to the living room, other new features could include game support, a full app store and iOS 7 controller support.

iWatch

The most rumoured and heavily anticipated product that Apple looks set to launch this year is definitely the iWatch. A recent Re/code report suggest that neither the Apple TV or iWatch will debut at WWDC but we're still keeping out fingers crossed.

The iWatch will be a smart watch capable of tracking the user's fitness and health. It will incorporate many of the features that will be present in Healthbook and the two will most certainly work in tandem.

There have been zero design leaks of the device so it's completely unknown what the iWatch will look like, although typing it in Google brings up quite a few exciting concepts.

Smart Home

The Financial Times yesterday reported that Apple will be launching a new device called 'Smart Home' at WWDC 2014.

The new device will allegedly allow the iPhone to directly control lights, security systems and other household gadgets. The report says Apple is set make a "big play" in home technology, and is planning on working with official household device makers.