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Apple's WWDC Kicks Off Today With iOS 6.0 Beta Unveiling

wwdc_logo.png  Get your Apple rumor bingo card out, as the company hosts the 2012 developer event. Offering the latest developer news, tools and sessions for iOS and OS X, all eyes will be on the updates for iPhone and iPad. Here's what to expect.

All Betas Are Off

iOS 6.0 will definitely be shown off at Apple's keynote, no worries about that, maintaining the Apple tradition of showcasing the latest features for the OS. This year things will likely continue the trend of slow refinement, let's face it, iOS is pretty mature now and there's only so many tweaks and nudges Apple can add, without a complete rewrite.

While I'd love a whole new OS to play with, Apple can't risk breaking the millions of apps already in use, so that'll have to wait. What will be of interest is the split between the iPhone and iPad version. Many are expecting Siri to be fully realised on the iPad in this update, iPads are often passed between family members, so some sort of multi-user mode would be welcome.

Those along with the already discussed 3D maps, a dictionary app, a combined iTunes and app store are the likely highlights. Tweaks to the OS will include improved spotlight search, that will offer more information on generic searches, link to apps and web content. The addition of a do-not-disturb mode will be a hoped-for addition, keeping interruptions to a minimum, and an improved Siri is much needed if it is to keep pace with all those slick adverts.

Finally, expect Facebook integration to be improved, alongside Twitter, to make it easier to post social content from within other apps. With Facebook running amok with the recent Camera app and its own App Center, this sounds like a recipe for confusion.

Beyond iOS

There is almost no chance that Apple will show off new iOS hardware at its developer event, perhaps beyond showing off rumored new desktop Macs and MacBook upgrades (retina displays anyone?). But, you just never know, so we'll keep an ear open for a one more thing moment. The only hope on that front is that Apple might see the law of diminishing returns taking effect with iOS and feel the need to throw something else out there to wow the (media) crowd with.

The developers in attendance will be quite happy burying their noses in the new code and features of the beta, which will likely be made available today, or shortly after the keynote. Last year there were a couple of beta releases in the run up to the the October public release. Interestingly there will only have been two major versions of iOS 5.0, the original and a 5.1 release, down from four versions of iOS 4.

Either Apple is moving at a faster pace in development, or there is simply less need for updates due to the maturity of the OS. Or, the cynic might say that Apple just likes having a nice big new number to wave at users. Certainly,

We'll have another update later today on what was revealed at the keynote including updates to OS X and any additional nuggets Apple decides to share.The keynote kicks off WWDC at 10AM Pacific time.

 
 
 
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