The 2012 Apple Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) is scheduled to kick off at 19:00 SAST tonight (11 June 2011, 10:00 Pacific Time).
iOS 6 to drop support for iPad 1 and iPod 3
iOS is the mobile operating system (OS) that powers the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. The latest version of the OS is expected to be announced at this year’s WWDC, along with a slew of changes.
One of the more recent rumours to emerge comes from the WeiPhone forum where a user going by the name “Tide” claimed to have the list of developer releases for iOS 6.
According to this list, Apple will be dropping support for the first iPad and the third-generation iPod touch in iOS 6.
However, CNET points out that it is possible that the forum list is incomplete or that Apple hadn’t generated links for all the supported devices yet.
iOS 6 switching away from Google Maps?
The iOS Maps app may be doing away with Google Maps in favour of Apple’s own mapping service, 9to5Mac reported, citing “trusted sources”.
Three mapping companies Apple has bought over the last few years, namely Placebase, Poly9, and C3 Technologies, have been highlighted in reports to justify this rumour.
These acquisitions have made it possible for Apple to not only switch away from Google Maps, the report argues, but to include its own street view and 3D view functionality.
Following 9to5Mac’s report, BGR ran a story showing mock-ups of what the new Maps app would look like based on information from a source and photos it received. This seemed to corroborate the rumour of a 3D mode.
BGR also suggested that the iPhone might be getting a new colour scheme, with the updated Maps app sporting a silver bar rather than a blue one.
iOS 6’s new lick of paint
The app released for WWDC 2012 by Apple itself seems to support the rumour of a colour-scheme shift from blue to silver.
Both OS X and the iPad have silver-based user interfaces, lending further credibility to the rumour.
iOS 6 Facebook integration
Another rumour doing the rounds is that iOS 6 is to add Facebook integration to the Twitter integration that already exists in iOS 5.
TechCrunch reported earlier this month that Facebook has been baked into the latest iteration of iOS, meaning that an announcement to that effect is expected tonight.
This isn’t the first time Facebook integration has been predicted. Earlier this year iMore reported that it had found mentions of Facebook in the iOS 5.1 beta 3 firmware.
Siri and iCloud
Siri and iCloud are also rumoured to get a mention at this year’s WWDC.
In particular, 9to5Mac’s “trusted sources” said that Apple’s voice command assistant, Siri, is being tested on the iPad 2 and 3.
An API for Siri, which will allow developers to integrate with the natural language processing service, is also said to be on the cards.
Apple won’t just be talking software, if the rumours are to be believed.
There’s talk of a refresh of the MacBook Pro line, the dropping of the 17-inch MacBook Pro, and the revival of the MacBook range that Apple killed without much ceremony last year.
These new notebooks are rumoured to include Intel’s latest range of Ivy Bridge processors. Should Apple announce new notebooks, Intel Ivy Bridge CPUs are a pretty safe bet. The company typically uses the latest Intel processors whenever it announces a refresh to its PC products.
However, there is less certainty around the MacBook rumours. Rather then re-introducing a third range, it seems just as likely that Apple might drop the “Air” or “Pro” from its other MacBook lines when it announces the refresh.
It was also reported that a refresh of the iMac and Mac Pro are on the cards, with the iMac set to boast a “Retina” display and anti-reflective glass.
According to MacRumors, the MacBook Pro range is set to get at least one model with a 2880×1800 “Retina” display.
Earlier today, 9to5Mac reported that the Mac Pro, Apple’s high-power desktop workstation, will be getting a long-awaited refresh.
Any PC hardware getting refreshed is also expected to support Apple and Intel’s Thunderbolt port if it doesn’t already, as well as USB 3.0.