One Week until WWDC Keynote!

It's been a long, long wait, Apple fans. But the end is near.

Next Monday, at about this time, we'll be settling in for the first Apple Keynote in about 8 months. What can we expect?

1. iOS 7 Preview

This is obviously the big one. Apple has had a tumultous 8 months, in more ways than one.

AAPL stock price went into a freefall, at times stretching the limits of logic. It has bounced back, but some of the shine of Apple's invulnerability and infallability is gone.

One primary reason for that lost luster - iOS 6 and Apple Maps had a rough launch. Apple Maps' failings reached the point that Tim Cook personally apologized for its accuracy, and recommended alternatives.

In the Maps aftermath, Scott Forstall - widely credited as the visionary behind iOS - either left, or was forced out, of the company. Jony Ive - widely credited as the visionary behind Apple's hardware, assumed the reins of iOS.

So where does that leave us? Most analysts (and most leaked rumors, to the extent they can be believed) expect an Ive-led iOS to take on the minimalist aesthetics of Ive's beloved hardware.

Personally, I can't wait to see what iOS 7 will look like.

If history is any guide, I expect the reaction to be the following:  
"iOS 7, while superficially updating and streamlining the user interface, represents more of an evolution than a revolution for iOS."
Seriously - mark it down now. iOS 7 will bring a much-needed refresh to the iOS UI. It's been 6 years - it's time for some updating and evolution.

But there's no way that Ive is going to completely walk away from what makes iOS so popular. Don't expect fully-customizable, widget-filled, Android-type experiences.

Don't expect Ive's iOS 7 to go all Windows Metro on us and completely abandon "real life" iconography. After all, Apple is the company that brought the "desktop" and the "trash can" to the personal computer. Real-life iconography is kind of what they do.

Expect the cutesiest touches of iOS (i.e., Game Center's green felt, the leather fringe on Find My Friends) to be smoothed out, though. And expect the various parts of the UI to fit into an overarching design theme.

2. New Macs

We aren't getting new iPads, or even new iPad Minis with retina screens.

Those aren't far off - but Tim Cook is NOT going to make the same mistake - overloading one keynote to the point Apple has nothing to introduce for 8 months. - twice in a row.

Expect thinner MacBook Retinas, with more power and better battery life. Because that kind of improvement has happened every year since forever. 

3. iRadio?

This is going out on a small limb - but Apple has been making some noise with regards to starting a music streaming service.

The leaks have been oddly specific - i.e., meetings between Tim Cook and Jimmy Iovine of Interscope... the proposed price points (and counteroffers!) for streaming, and the various labels that have already signed on.

There's the possibility that Apple will wait until it has all of the major labels on the dotted line, and then make iRadio the subject of its own iTunes/iPod centered Keynote.

But if the service is ready to launch, they may just wrap it into Monday's Keynote, potentially as a part of....

4. OSX 10.9 Teaser/Preview?

If Apple is talking new Macs - and I'll bet that they are - then they're going to want to show off something new that those Macs can do.

iRadio fits the bill - but that will be a cross-platform service, largely (even primarily) consumed on iPhones.

What would really get people talking would be a sneak preview of Mac OSX 10.9 Housecat.

(Okay, maybe not Housecat. Maybe it will be Bobcat. Regardless, it's probably time to move away from felines and onward to dogs or bears or birds of prey or something.)

Some brand new features - such as AirDrop integration with iOS devices - would be cool to see. (Although, granted, a nightmare for the corporate eDiscovery attorneys out there, like me.) 

Bottom Line

So that's what I'm expecting for next week's big show. iOS 7, new Macs, and potentially iRadio or OSX 10.9.

In the interim, design work for the AAAD household summer projects continues....

Coming later this week - finally, the step-by-step Weber Genesis 300 Series refurbishment!

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