The banners have started going up in preparation for Monday's World Wide Developer's Conference, meaning it's time to decipher what they mean with regards to goodies Apple will announce at the show. Like WWDC's before it, this one will likely introduce the world to a brand new iPhone operating system, a new Mac OS and possibly new hardware. It's a very exciting time of year for Apple fanboys everywhere. Here's a rundown of what announcements to expect out of the conference in just a few days.
Flat iOS 7
These banners pretty much confirm we will see the dawn of iOS 7:
The seven, of course, indicates the coming of that new "flatter" operating system. For what exactly that means head here and here for background reading. Or just look at that banner design last year and all that shiny type:
We shouldn't read too much into banner designs, but practically, those two banners represent the supposed shift in Apple's thinking. As for release date, rumors had said the software wouldn't be ready for release by WWDC and phone users would have to wait for a new iPhone announcement in the late summer or early fall.
The light-as-air computers will get makeovers on the inside only. 9to5Mac's sources say that the computers will retain their looks but get better Intel Haswell chips, faster WiFi, and dual microphones, which are good for FaceTime chats and stuff, according to this video. In addition, these sources say the Macbook Pro with Retina Display will slim down and get a refresh, too. Though that rumor sounds a little less likely than the new MacBook Airs. It sounds like all these new products will come in with better parts at the line's current prices:
Very legitimate rumors say Apple's Pandora competitor is nearly a done deal, making WWDC the perfect time for its debut. In fact, just today AllthingsD's Peter Kafka reported that Apple had signed Sony, the last of three major music labels: Warner Music Group, Sony, and Universal. These deals, or the lack thereof over how much money to pay companies per song, had stalled the service completely. But now that that's all squared off Apple can announce the service — and that's probably all we'll get come Monday. It's not likely that we will get to use iRadio right then, but at least Apple will let developers know it's on the way.
The service will work more like Pandora than Spotify, relying on similar technology to Genius to surface random songs based on a genre, band, or song.
A New OSX Animal
Along with the new iOS, Apple will likely introduce an upgrade to the Mac operating system. Per usual, the name will follow the animal pattern, replacing the current Mountain Lion model. More banner reading of this image with an X (for OSX) on it has led some to guess Sea Lion is next in line, which, while a very adorable thought, would be the end of only using kinds of feline animals (Tiger, Lion, Jaguar, Leopard, etc.) for the last 12 years. Though some have suggested that Apple was running out of cats.
As for the look, OSX will not include the same flat design as the phone. (Computers aren't really a company priority anymore for this good reason.) It will have some features for "power users," like changes to finder, and multi-screen capabilities, according to 9to5Mac. The OS might get that same new notification center that iOS is reportedly getting, too.
Like all things Apple, these rumors should be taken as no more than that. (Though that seven is pretty convincing on the phone software front.) For the real news we'll have to wait until Monday's event. Check back here for full coverage.