We're down to the last few minutes before the kickoff of one of Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) biggest events of the year, so all the speculation about the World Wide Developers Conference is about to be tested. Based on everything we've seen up to this point, here's what Apple will announce at the WWDC this week:
iOS 8: Apple’s next mobile operating system. Expected features will include Heathbook, a health-and-fitness app center similar to Passbook; an update to Apple Maps with integrated transit options; split-screen functionality for iPad; and, perhaps less likely, Siri for Apple TV.
OSX 10.10: Apple is guaranteed to talk about its Mac operating system, but whether it will be an incremental update or a completely new operating system, possible called OS 11, is still to be determined. News will come out of this arena.
Beats by Dr. Dre/iTunes Radio: It’s a sure thing that Apple will address its new purchase of Beats by Dr. Dre, the premium headphones maker. While Apple has said that iTunes Radio will remain separate from Beats Music, the streaming service, expect something to come out of the event.
iBeacon: Apple’s proprietary wireless connection similar to Near-Field Communication technology, or NFC, received heavy press earlier this year. Expect to hear how CEO Tim Cook will move iBeacon into retail and the future.
Hardware: Though WWDC focuses primarily on developers' and Apple’s software, there could be some hardware in the mix, too. It’s possible that Apple will announce a new MacBook Air with Retina and MacBook Pro/Mac Pro incremental updates. It's unlikely that Apple will announce a new Apple TV, but we'll just have to wait and see.
Other expected announcements include next-generation operating systems as well as software updates and new apps showing the future of the iPhone, iPad and Mac.
The premiere developers conference kicks off at 10 a.m. PDT/1 p.m. EDT with a keynote address delivered by Cook. The tech giant will live stream the event on Apple devices or QuickTime for Windows.
Watch the keynote address here.
Viewers of the event will need to have Safari installed on Mac OSX 10.6 or later, iOS 4.2 or later, or QuickTime 7 for Windows. The Cupertino, California company will create a WWDC channel on Apple TV, but users will need to have a second- or third-generation Apple TV with iOS 5 or later to view the content.