WWDC 2009: June 12-18 with possible Jobs keynote

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Chicago (IL) – It’s official! WWDC is
the new mecca for all things Apple, and it’s scheduled to run June 12 – 18 in
San Francisco. Expect exciting hardware and software updates and maybe
even an entirely new product announcement, like a Mac tablet/PDA. Steve Jobs should break his silence and treat us with the
keynote. Developers
should learn new tricks brought via the iPhone OS 3.0 and SDK 2.0. And we
the consumers will be formally introduced to OS X Snow Leopard and its
all-new “Marble” UI overhaul. 
Finally, there’s always “one more thing” to hang onto.
Let’s just hope it won’t be formal announcement of Jobs’ retirement.


Apple finally posted the details
of its upcoming annual developers conference. Aptly named the Worldwide
Developers Conference
(WWDC), this year’s conference will run from June
8 through June 12 in San Francisco at the Moscone Center West. Tickets are priced at $1,295 until April 24, after that add $300 more. Apple
said current ADC Student Members and student Team Members in the
iPhone
Developer University Program can apply for a WWDC Student Scholarship
to gain a free event ticket.

So, what’s there at WWDC 2009 for you and
me?

Major iPhone upgrades

For
starters, we could finally see Steve Jobs live since his six months
medical leave. Just don’t count on it — Apple has yet to confirm his keynote. If he does appear, it may easily be Jobs’ last public appearance, now that some
commentators observed the show, dubbed “one more thing”, will be the formal announcement of
Jobs’ retirement.

Product-wise, WWDC brings a major hardware overhaul
to the iPhone and iPod touch. We should see double storage capacity, 3G HSPA
support for “twice as fast”
cellular data, and custom-designed GPUs and CPUs aimed to leapfrog portable gaming devices like Sony’s PSP
to position iPhone as the best platform for mobile gaming.


NEXT-GEN iPHONES DEBUT AT WWDC
WWDC will serve as launchpad for not one, but possibly two new iPhones that already loom on the horizon. A number of tech sessions will focus on the new iPhone OS 3.0 and the SDK 2.0. It’s about developers, developers, developers.


Snow Leopard roars

Beyond
iPhone, Apple promised to take the wraps off OS X Snow Leopard. We
expect live demos to showcase its 64-bit multi-core abilities and,
more importantly, hailed OpenCL-based GPGPU acceleration. We might also get a glimpse of an alleged new UI dubbed “Marble” that features a subtly darker overall
theme — although Apple would want to closely guard such a possible product until the OS ships
an estimated two months after the WWDC.

In addition to Snow Leopard,
some watchers think there’s reasonable chance a Mac netbook/PDA
announcement could be had. Such a device would satiate everyone-but-Apple’s crave lately, and all
of the above together should keep consumers happy: New iPhones, possibly a
netbook/PDA, OS X Snow Leopard and Steve Jobs
.


SECRET NEW “MARBLE” UI IN SNOW LEOPARD??
Developers with access to beta builds of Snow Leopard claim that Apple has a new UI theme in place for Snow Leopard. Dubbed “Marble”, the new UI packs more subtly, darker appearance.

 

Mac, iPhone and IT tracks

When it comes to developers, there really is no substitute for the WWDC. Similarly to last year’s conference,
this year’s agenda includes hundreds of technical sessions and hands-on
labs separated into three “tracks” that serve as Apple’s distinct
platforms: iPhone, Mac and IT.

The iPhone track will cover
iPhone OS 3.0 and its associated SDK 2.0 that will have moved from
labs to stable releases by then. Developers will learn how to
monetize on in-app purchases and how to communicate with third-party
accessories, but the special emphasis is on gaming-related
topics. Things like harnessing the potential of improved graphics frameworks,
adding peer-to-peer gaming capabilities, and more. Apple is definitely looking to become a major force in handheld gaming.

The Mac track is
focused on Snow Leopard and its speed optimization technologies, like
the 64-bit computing, multicore and GPU programming/acceleration via
OpenCL, moving apps from QuickTime APIs to a newer QuickTime X
multimedia platform.

The IT track remains dedicated to sysadmins and
enterprise IT managers who want to integrate Mac and iPhone into
corporate environments.


WWDC’s BIGGEST PRODUCT LAUNCH:  STEVE JOBS
While Apple has yet to confirm Jobs’ keynote at WWDC 2009, his six month medical leave should end in time for the event. Some think Jobs will formally announce his retirement in the “one more thing” moment of this trademark keynote.

WWDC comes into full view

Initially
conceived as a conference for technically-minded Mac developers able to
share ideas between themselves and with Apple engineers, WWDC has
gradually evolved into the public’s focus. Apple has started using the
event as a launchpad for OS X iterations in recent years. The iPhone
SDK’s arrival last year brought WWDC into full view as hordes of iPhone
programmers joined the already strong Mac developer gang.

With Apple’s
Macworld exit this past January, and annual product cycles (with early summer
iPhone updates), WWDC has now become the most important Apple event. WWDC
meshes the best of both worlds: Exciting product launches for consumers
hungry for the magic of Steve Jobs keynote and technical sessions aimed
at die-hard iPhone and Mac developers.

WWDC: The most important Apple event

While Apple used last year’s WWDC to launch iPhone 3G and branch OS X
into two distinct platforms — Mac OS X for desktops and the iPhone OS
for mobile gadgets, WWDC 2009 arrives at the peak of iPhone
phenomenon.

According to Apple’s stats, the free iPhone SDK has been
downloaded 800,000 times. Of course, the reason for such a high
interest among programmers is the magic of Apple’s app bazaar. The App
Store has amassed 800 million app downloads and now features over
25,000 iPhone programs on its digital shelves, both in about eight
months since its inception.

Combined
with over 30 million installed iPhone and iPod touch users (data
provided as of the end of 2008), the App Store promises skilled programmers
reasonable chances at success. The ecosystem’s meritocracy rules allow even a small guy
to hit it big. Hence, it’s no wonder the iPhone lures so many developers. And more precisely, over 50,000 developers of individuals, big software companies, and everything in-between, have become registered iPhone developers
to date. These are serious numbers by any measure, so it’s no wonder
that this year’s WWDC is awaited with tingling expectations.


TECH’S SHOWBUSINESS AT ITS BEST
WWDC 2009 is scheduled to run from June
8 – 12 in San Francisco at the Moscone Center West. The conference won’t just show how strong the iPhone platform is, but will serve as launchpad for new products, like next-gen iPhones and OS X Snow Leopard. Yes, possibly even a Mac netbook.

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