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WWDC predictions

It seems everyone is doing WWDC prediction posts at the moment so I might as well take a shot at it.

Obvious stuff…

  • OS X 10.5 Leopard previewed and Select and Premier ADC members get given a preview copy.
  • Mac Pro announced.
  • iPod update of some kind because it’s overdue, sales are slowing and Apple wants to one up Microsoft’s Zune.
  • DashCode will be released. (IDE for creating Dashboard widgets, already leaked but never released.

Pure speculation, developer fantasy stuff

  • Leopard will sport a refined Aqua UI, which will see the unified look spread to everything – well almost, there will be some niggling inconsistencies to piss off GUI freaks like me, just because they’re becoming something of an OS X tradition at this point. (Which means someone important at Apple doesn’t care about this issue and isn’t willing to commit the man hours to rectify it).
  • Brushed metal will die and be replaced by something that looks similar to the darker unified look used by iTunes and iLife ’06, but it won’t be quite the same (see above point about consistency), the difference may be purely to prevent existing brushed metal apps from breaking too horribly. Also note that Apple likes to differentiate its products by using custom UI styles (e.g. Aperture).
  • The black transparent info panel will become a standard AppKit widget.
  • The Finder will only receive cosmetic tweaks and superficial new features and will continue to suck. However Spotlight will be revamped to the point where it makes the Finder almost obsolete. Again my justification for this is fixing the Finder at this point probably requires a ground up rewrite and I don’t think they’ve got the resources to do that, it’s more likely a small team has been charged with creating a killer Spotlight UI that will suitably distract from the Finder.
  • More lovely Bindings and CoreData goodness will be squeezed into Xcode and InterfaceBuilder.
  • Leopard will feature a version of Mail which doesn’t make your eyes bleed.
  • Steve will announce a new version of iTunes with eBook support (yay) and downloadable crappy quality DRMed to hell and back movies (meh).

The it will never happen but I can dream bit:

  • Widescreen, wireless iPod with mobile version of Safari and eBook reader.
  • Apple opens the iPod so it can run 3rd party code – specifically specially tailored dashboard widgets. Think justification for developing an IDE purely to build something as pointless as news tickers and clocks.
  • Apple stops using graphics for the buttons in all their apps and actually standardises a set of buttons to use across all its applications which are part of the standard AppKit set.
  • The Finder is rewritten from scratch in Cocoa, has sane icon spacing and generally doesn’t suck.
  • Apple stops gouging for QuickTime Pro and makes the standard player capable of doing those special features only pros use like full screen video 😛
  • All Macs ship with 1GB standard from now on.

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