Thursday, June 3, 2010

Almost WWDC

Posted by Hidayat Hidayat at 9:15 AM
wwdc-2010.pngWell, it's the Thursday before WWDC and, as always, I'm swamped yet super-excited. The Pre-WWDC Pilgrimage is all planned. If you expressed interest, you should have received an e-mail with the details about how to pay if you want to take the bus.

I shy away from making predictions before big events because I don't have any inside information and I'm likely to be more wrong than right with anything but the safest predictions (like a new model iPhone being announced). However, I do think there's something big this year that hasn't leaked yet. Something completely unexpected. Chances are, if there is, it will leak the night before the keynote. The number of people who find out about new projects increases exponentially in the 24 hours leading up to the actual presentation, and leaks become nearly impossible to prevent at that point, but I have a gut feeling there's something we haven't heard about yet, but I haven't the foggiest idea what it might be.

Of course, I think a new iPhone model is almost a foregone conclusion, and perhaps some moderate hardware refreshes on the Mac side, though I think the focus of this WWDC is clearly going to be the iPhone OS. We might see a price drop, speed bump, or something similar on the Mac side, but I don't think we're going to see any Mac line completely refreshed or much time devoted to the Mac in the keynote. It's within the realm of possibility that the Mac Mini, which is sorely overdue, or the Mac Pro, which is also sorely overdue, to get revamped, but probably not. I expect Steve to spend a fair amount of time giving us details about how many iPhones and iPads have been sold, how many applications have been downloaded, and whatnot. I expect to hear more about GameCenter and to see some silly montage about some developer's success story with the App Store.

I've seen rumors about a iPhone OS-based AppleTV. Maybe. Steve's comments at D8 might have been the sort of mis-direction he's known for, and the AppleTV is definitely in need of a refresh if it's going to continue being sold, but I think Steve was telling the truth about the subsidized TV box market, so if there is an AppleTV refresh, it's going to be combined with something else: a partnership, new business model, or something that will make it a viable, profitable product.

Steve will almost certainly have us watch a new commercial, either for the new iPhone or some other new product. If he's really excited about it, he'll make us watch it twice.

For the most part, I really don't care what gets announced. The incredible interest in the iPad and growth of the iPhone as a platform already provide me with more to explore than I have time for. I'm looking forward to sitting in the RDF on Monday with 6,000 other Apple geeks. It's an extraordinary experience watching Jobs work, especially in person. He's a master showman, and my only complaint about the last few Stevenotes has been all the time he's given to third party developers who lack his presentation skills. I really do hope there's more Steve and less awkward third-party developers on stage this year, though I suspect the format will be similar to previous years.

Last year, I didn't do the Keynote line-thing. I visited with people in the line much of the morning because I was still on East Coast time, but then I went back to my hotel and had breakfast, then went back over to Moscone West just before 10:00. This year, however, I'm going to do the early-morning geeky wait-in-line thing. My fellow Martian Rob is attending his first WWDC and I feel like the line is something you have to do your first time, and I don't him to do it alone. Besides, it is fun. And, hey, maybe there will be strippers again, because strippers never seem out of place at a developer conference, especially walking around at 6:00 in the morning in 55° weather wearing bikinis and high heels, right?

If you're going to WWDC and want to say hi, the best way to find me is to follow me on Twitter. I spend most of the day at Moscone West and am pretty easy to find. If I'm not in a session, I usually park at a table to work and tweet my whereabouts.


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