James Manning June 06, 2012
A video of an alleged iPhone part shows Apple's next smartphone screen could be longer. Photo: Macotakara
A plethora of new iPhone features, Siri for iPad, new MacBooks and 3D maps are just some of the predictions swirling around the rumour mill ahead of Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference next week.
Apple's sassy virtual personal assistant, Siri, will reportedly make the move from iPhone to iPad, where she will be able to execute all commands except those relating to making calls.
Siri for iPad is expected to take up a small portion of the screen, overlapping whatever app is open at the time rather than the full screen version on the iPhone, reports 9 to 5 Mac.
It is not yet known if Siri will be available on all iPad models or just the most recent model, released to lacklustre reception earlier this year.
While the iPhone 5 – with a larger screen and thinner body – is not expected to launch until October, Apple will reportedly announce a new operating system for iPhone and iPad at the San Francisco event next week.
The software, iOS 6, is expected to include Facebook integration, in a similar way that Twitter is currently integrated into the iOS 5 operating system.
9 to 5 Mac reports that Apple will redesign the apps for iTunes, iBooks and the App store itself. Following on from Facebook integration, the redesigned apps will be more "social", building on iTunes' 'Ping' feature, where users can view and interact with friends' purchases.
It has also been speculated that the Google Maps app will be replaced with Apple's own maps app that will include 3D graphics.
Features that have already been announced for Apple's new computer-based operating system, Mountain Lion, are also expected to appear in iOS 6, further signalling the convergence of the two platforms.
Mail VIPs will allow users to highlight important contacts from within the Apple Mail interface, a feature similar to Gmail's 'important' label.
Also from Mountain Lion, the 'Do Not Disturb' feature will allow iPhone and iPad users to switch off all notifications temporarily to focus on one task without distraction.
iOS users will also be able to take advantage of iCloud Tabs, which syncs tabs open in the Safari browser across different devices. Basically, any of the tabs you leave open in Safari on your computer will be available when you open Safari on your iPhone or iPad.
But the Cupertino company has not completely forgotten its roots in favour of the mobile platform, with major updates expected across its computer lines.
It has been rumoured that a renovated MacBook Pro will be revealed, which will include a faster processor, a thinner body and Apple's Retina display screen currently sported by the most recent iPhone and iPad models.
A photo of what is allegedly a specifications sheet for the revamped 13-inch MacBook pro was leaked yesterday on Chinese forum Weiphone, revealing a 2.5Ghz i5 Ivy Bridge processor upgrade, Intel 4000 Graphics and two USB 3.0 ports.
Both the 11- and 13-inch models of the MacBook Air are also expected to get a visual makeover with Retina displays and performance upgrades.
9-to-5 Mac also reports that Apple's desktop computing options, the iMac and Mac Pro will be updated. This was all but confirmed today after pulled stock of the Mac Pro from most of its retail stores ahead of the expected update.
Since the passing of co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs, Apple's product launches have drawn criticism for not living up to the hype they once demanded. If even a fraction of these rumours turn out to be true, the WWDC Keynote on June 11 is set to be Apple's biggest event in some time.