WWDC 2013 Roundup: iOS 7, OS X 10.9, MacBooks, ‘Genius-like’ Radio app (plus new tidbits)

Photo by Nick Thulin

Photo by Nick Thulin

By this time in 2012, Apple had taken the stage and dominated the news cycle multiple times to announce products like a new iPad, Apple TV, new Mac operating system, and various other software for both iOS and OS X. However, the first half of 2013 has been low on Apple product introductions as the company, coming off of a big fall, has focused on minor tweaks to existing products.

Even though Apple has been out of the limelight, the Cupertino company has been hard at work on a slew of new hardware, software, and services products, and the company plans to introduce new versions of iOS, OS X, and the MacBook Air at its WWDC conference next week. Apple will be holding a keynote on 10 AM on Monday to talk about these new products.

Below, you can find our much-anticipated WWDC 2013 roundup along with many new tidbits about what Apple is preparing:

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Apple debuts WWDC 2013 app for iOS, will feature session videos, Passbook support, more

Apple has rolled out its WWDC 2013 app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch (via MacRumors) this morning as WWDC quickly approaches. Apple has promised to push out session videos much quicker this year and will be available online as well as via its WWDC 2013 app for iOS.

Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference kicks off a week from today in San Francisco where we’ll be covering the event.

Apple is set to preview new versions of its iOS and OS X operating systems at its keynote, which we’ll be live blogging from location, and has already promised to deliver beta releases of both operating systems to developers so they can prepare their apps for the new operating systems:

“We look forward to gathering at WWDC 2013 with the incredible community of iOS and OS X developers,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “Our developers have had the most prolific and profitable year ever, and we’re excited to show them the latest advances in software technologies and developer tools to help them create innovative new apps. We can’t wait to get new versions of iOS and OS X into their hands at WWDC.”

WWDC attendees can use the app to organize their session priorities, navigate around Moscone West, and save their registration information in Passbook.

Check out the details below: Read more

Apple said to be closing music deals in order to launch ‘iRadio’ at upcoming WWDC

Update: Bloomberg adds more to WSJ’s report from earlier claiming that Apple’s new radio service will be tightly integrated with its iAd business. The report says Eddy Cue is currently making changes to the iAd business to support the new radio service scheduled to launch later this year alongside iOS 7:

Apple, based in Cupertino, California, has been negotiating with advertising companies including Omnicom Group Inc (OMC).’s OMD to secure brands that will run campaigns on the radio service, one person said..The company has taken steps to be more flexible with advertisers to get more business. Apple has required marketers to pay a fee for each 1,000 times an advertisement is placed in an app, plus an additional $2 for every time a customer clicks that ad. In some cases, Apple has eliminated one of those charges, one person familiar with the company said.

Apple also has cut prices so that media agencies can spend $1 million and use the purchased space for different advertising clients. And Apple started taking ad business from companies that sell alcohol, something Jobs resisted after creating iAd, said one person.

We’ve heard no shortage of rumors on the rumored iRadio streaming service from Apple that has taken on some new urgency after Google released a similar service at Google I/O last month (and plans to launch it on iOS soon). The latest comes from the NYTimes, which says Apple is rushing to close deals as days wind down to WWDC’s kickoff on June 10th.

After months of stalled negotiations over its planned Internet radio service, Apple is pushing to complete licensing deals with music companies so it can reveal the service as early as next week, according to people briefed on the talks.

It would appear that Apple wants to announce the service at WWDC, but the company needs to overcome issues with closing some of the deals. CNET reported earlier today that Apple had closed the deal with Warner, one of the bigger labels.

Apple has signed a deal with the Universal Music Group for its recorded music rights, but not for music publishing — the part of the business that deals with songwriting. Over the weekend, Apple also signed a deal with the Warner Music Group for both rights. It is still in talks with Sony Music Entertainment and Sony’s separate publishing arm, Sony/ATV, whose songwriters include Taylor Swift and Lady Gaga.

In a strange irony, the music service Apple offers is, again, said to be free and supported by ads (like Pandora/Spotify/Slacker/etc). This is in contrast to Google’s service, which is sold via a paid subscription.

I would have guessed the opposite, but this may be why Google was able to close the deals with the labels and Apple is still at the table.

WSJ adds that Apple will pay Warner 10% of ad revenue, about twice as much as Pandora, and that the service will be integrated with iAd.

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WWDC 2013: Slimmer Retina MacBook Pro w/1080P camera and MacBook Air microphone improvements expected

specs_camera_2xIn a report this morning, one of the better Apple analysts, Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI securities listed his forecast for MacBook Pro and Air updates expected at WWDC. Apple’s annual developer-centric conference begins on June 10th with a keynote. The biggest change is Apple will move to Intel’s Haswell processors. These chips dramatically reduce power consumption, which in turn could allow Apple to need fewer batteries in the Retina MacBook Pros:

We expect the new MacBook, featuring an upgrade to Intel’s (US) Haswell processor, will be in the spotlight for Apple at the upcoming WWDC from June 10. Along with the new processor, we expect the following modifications to each product line:

Retina MacBook Pro to be slimmer slightly, along with a camera upgrade. We expect the 13” Retina MacBook Pro will have a slightly slimmer form factor for increasing its portability. Also, we think the camera spec will be upgraded from HD to full HD. This will improve Facetime and video conference quality in the high resolution Retina display.

The 1080P camera would match the capabilities of the rear-cameras in recent iOS hardware, but this would represent the first time in which Apple shipped a 1080p-capable front-facing sensor.

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If Apple does choose to keep the same batteries and size of the Retina MacBook Pro, the new Haswell chips could push battery life up over 10 hours – an outcome I’d personally prefer. Additionally, how can you make the 13″ Retina MacBook Pro any thinner?

It is so thin that the ports+ fan outlets barely fit now. It would also be an uncharacteristically short sub-1-year duration for the current design.

As for the MacBook Air, at least one improvement is expected by Kuo: Read more

Apple confirms WWDC keynote address scheduled for Monday, June 10th

Screen Shot 2013-05-23 at 9.47.05 AM

Apple has confirmed to AllThingsD that this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) will kickoff with a keynote address on Monday, June 10th. Apple typically kicks off its WWDCs with keynotes.

Apple previously said that it would debut new versions of iOS and OS X at WWDC. The conference runs from June 10th until June 15th. We’re expecting Apple to debut a redesigned iOS 7 with improved in-car integration, more social network connectivity and OS X 10.9 with an improved Finder and power-user features.

We will have live coverage from Moscone in San Francisco during the keynote.

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