With Apple's yearly pilgrimage for developers - the World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) - highly rumored to begin June 11 in San Francisco's Moscone West, speculations are rife that the Cupertino tech giant may take the wraps off its iOS 6 and it could be the sixth generation iPhone aka iPhone 5 during the event.
Many reports surfaced last month saying that the Moscone Center, a popular venue for Apple events, had been booked for five days, beginning June 11 for a corporate meeting. While no official confirmation has been made so far, this is most likely the day Apple will begin the company's annual Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC), where it typically announces new versions of OS X and iOS and other goodies, according to Appadvice.
Last year's WWDC saw the announcement of iOS 5 and Steve Jobs' final appearance at the event. Unlike past years, there was no announcement of a new iPhone at the 2011 WWDC and Apple fans had to wait till October when the company finally released the iPhone 4S. However, if rumors are to be believed, that won't be the case at this year's WWDC.
According to iOS 6 News Blog, WWDC has been the venue for the release of Apple's new iOS versions for years, making it quite easy to guess a general timeframe for iOS 6. Unless Apple really surprises us and decides to only release an iOS 5.2, we would expect to see the new iOS 6 in June.
The reports said that despite a number of speculative articles suggesting that both iOS 6 and the iPhone 5 could debut on June 11 and 15 of this year's WWDC, there are some other reports that don't agree to this theory.
Technology news website GeekSailor said that Apple won't release iOS 6 at the WWDC 2012. The website says that similar to the last year's conference where Apple focused its attention on Mac OS X, this year's event will also be dedicated to Apple's computer operating system.
Although many say that Apple will launch the new iOS version at the San Francisco-based conference, the last year's WWDC showed us that Apple wants to make the Mac OS X the headline of the event, thus I strongly believe that we won't be able to see the iOS 6 nor the next-gen iPhone in June, said the report.
The report also tried to relate the upcoming releases of iOS 6 and the next iPhone to what Apple did last year with the release of their predecessors - iOS 5 and iPhone 4S. The company released the iOS 5 beta at the 2011 WWDC, and co-launched it with the iPhone 4S after a 12+ week testing period. This is precisely what Apple will do again, the report said.
I am sure that Apple will showcase the beta version of iOS 6 at WWDC 2012, but the final version of the mobile operating system will only be published in Q3 2012, synchronized with the launch of the iPhone 5, GeekSailor's Silviu Serban wrote.
Another report in iOS 6 News Blog hit back and asked, Why are we quick to believe that the strange, disjointed release schedule of the iPhone 4S last year was a new, intended pattern for all future iPhone and iOS releases?
It is true that, because we have yet to hear of a beta version of iOS 6 being sent to developers, that we may see only iOS 6 beta at the WWDC. But it doesn't preclude Apple from releasing the iPhone 5 in June with iOS 5.1, the report added.
It doesn't matter whether iOS 6 and iPhone 5 debut at WWDC this year, one thing is certain that the update Apple OS will be a key feature to accompany the next generation iPhone. So what could iOS 6 have in store for us? Here's a wish list of features.
Handling The Apps
According to AppAdvice, ever since the App Store launched in 2008, handling of apps by iOS has remained pretty much the same. The apps are arranged in line across the screen, with positions determined by the user. Folders joined the party with iOS 4, allowing users to drag any two apps on top of each other and create a folder while in jiggle mode.
Although Apple is not expected to reinvent the wheel here, it would be nice to see some improvements to how iOS handles apps, said the report. For example, a folder for the frequently accessed apps, a weather splash for accessing the latest outside temperatures easily and alerts for new app updates offered by iOS itself.
Quick Toggles in Notification Center
One of the main reasons users want to jailbreak their iDevices is to get custom setting shortcuts on the home screen or on the notification tray as in the case of iOS 5. SBSettings is the tweak that helps you access the commonly used settings without shuffling through the menu. It allows you to add quick toggles for commonly used features such as brightness, 3G, airplane mode, bluetooth and more.
This features will surely be welcomed by many if Apple makes way for it in iOS 6.
App Store Shopping Cart
Every time you finish buying a new app from the App Store on your iDevice, iOS gets you back to the home screen. You have to visit App Store again in case you want another app to purchase.
If a feature like an App Store shopping cart is added to iOS 6, the user would be able to purchase several applications and download them at the same time.
Improved Siri For All And With Third Party Access
When Apple launched iPhone 4S, one of the most talked about features was Siri and the array of tasks the personal voice assistant was able to do. But the application was available only on iPhone 4S and has remained so till date, at least officially.
According to Jason Parker of CNET, with the iPhone 4S showing record sales compared with previous iPhone launches, Apple has become less worried about it being a selling point and will let the rest of the iOS users have Siri on older hardware (even if it's just on newer iPads and the iPhone 4).
Apple should open this up for other developers, said an AppAdvice report. For example, have ESPN tell use the baseball games scheduled for this weekend; or have the iTunes Movie Trailers app tell us what's showing at our local multiplex.
Recent rumors said that the Dolphin browser, a popular third-party browser for Android and the iPhone, recently launched a new voice command system called Sonar that could hint at new Siri developments for iOS 6. The feature can be activated by pushing a button or shaking the phone. It helps users to search websites, navigate the browser, or directly share a link on Facebook or Twitter with just a voice command.
The reason why the launch of Dolphn's Sonar is significant is that it may indicate that Apple will open up Siri to third-party developers, allowing them to leverage for other apps and functions, iOS 6 News Blog reported.
While Twitter joined the iOS party with iOS 5, Facebook didn't get the same treatment. Even in the preview release of Mountain Lion, Facebook integration was noticeably missing. With so many users of the social network out there, iOS 6 is expected to get the ability to quickly transfer photos, links, videos and more to Facebook at the touch of a share button.
Apart from these, there are some more features that are expected to be included in the upcoming iOS 6 - multi-user login, better multitasking, more inbuilt apps, turn-by-turn directions voice and more cloud integration, to name a few.