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What will Apple pull out of its hat later at the WWDC keynote?

It doesn’t take a genius to see that they will be showing off the new features of the next versions of iOS and OS X, expected to be iOS 7 and OS X 10.9, respectively. They’ve been doing it every year at the WWDC for the past several years.

With Jony Ive having taken over design responsibilities for both software and hardware, I expect a lot of cosmetic changes for the better (elegant, minimalist designs in place of the garishly fake leather and felt design elements), and I’m hoping for a lot of under-the-hood changes as well for iOS. The jailbreak community has certainly shown that iOS could use a lot of tweaks to improve usability (one-touch toggles for WiFi, Bluetooth, 3G/LTE, and other controls; the ability to start or reply to an SMS within a small app window that doesn’t take you away from the current app, for example).

As for OS X, I’m not too excited about what Apple has to show, as I feel that feature creep is becoming the hallmark of new OS X iterations. OS X is elegant, clean, stable, and relatively secure, and many new features (they usually say “200 new features!”) feel more like just additional bells and whistles. I’m more interested in a revamped iWork suite, since Pages, Numbers, and Keynote haven’t really received a major update in years. Oh, and I’m curious to find out which cat gets naming rights to the new version. What if it’s called Cheetah and the main feature would be speed improvements in all operations? Now there’s a thought.

The big guessing game, of course, is whether Apple will make hardware announcements at WWDC. Tim Cook already said that 2013 would be the year that the Mac Pro will finally get some attention, and with the Mac Pro traditionally being a developer’s machine and the “D” in WWDC standing for “developers” it makes sense that a new Mac Pro would be announced later today. But’s that’s me just making an educated guess.

With Intel having just launched the new Haswell processors, and with PC makers releasing Haswell-based Windows laptops right away, it also makes sense for Apple to update its MacBook Air and MacBook Pro lineup with the new chips. Whether they will get a design refresh as well is another question. My guess is that the non-Retina display laptops, whose current design dates back to 2008 (the first and only aluminum unibody MacBook) will get a new design, probably looking more like their svelte new Retina-display brethren.

Whatever Apple will eventually announce, we’ll bring you the news as soon as we can.



Jason de Villa is teacher by day and a geek at all other times of the day. When he’s not teaching, he’s reading and writing about technology, looking for ways technology can help in education. His favorite noodles: Pancit Malabon Express.

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