So now that Apple has already announced the ship date for the iPhone (June 29th) and they went and announced some nice updates for the MacBook Pro already, we’re all left wondering just what they have up their sleeves to announce at WWDC ‘07 next week.
Since my wife just dozed off when I brought up the topic on our walk tonight, I’ll pose my guesses here (for posterity’s sake, since this is my first official post and I suspect there will be exactly zero people who will run across this blog before WWDC actually takes place).
My first and strongest gut feeling guess is that Steve will announce and make available a new version of XCode or some other development tool that can be used by third-party developers to build iPhone apps. Probably not the first person you’ve seen suggest the same, however, I’ll go one further and suggest that the only official way to distribute iPhone apps will be through the iTunes store, which will also allow Apple the ability to require that all third-party apps go through some kind of approval process before being placed up for distribution on the iTunes store.
This will allow the platform to stay as safe and stable as possible without locking it down completely as most have understood Apple to say up until recently.
While I have seen others suggest that Apple will eventually open up the iPhone to third party apps at some point, I haven’t seen (or have missed) seeing anyone suggest the possibility of this “blessing” process and the restricted distribution for apps that I believe will happen.
Other predictions discussed elsewhere are not so exciting, but include things like a newly redesigned iMac., the retirement of the Mac Mini (and, as a result, the possible introduction of the now mythical XMac or whatever label you care to give the long begged for “more powerful, slightly bigger and more expandable than a Mac Mini but not as powerful or as expandable or as expensive as a Mac Pro” Mac.).
There will obviously be some previously unnanounced Leopard features that will have the sheets ripped off them to the delight of thousands of awe-struck developers. I have no guesses here and don’t even care to guess. The ZFS file system will apparently be playing a big part in Leopard, if not as the default file system. Some cool things will no doubt come of that if it is the default file system though.
I’d like to know what you think, particularly regarding the iPhone third-party application blessing/restricted distribution prediction. Comments after the predicted announcement of the same is welcome too. Good? Bad? Indifferent?