Kevin Fox expects Apple to unveil huge changes at WWDC

Kevin Fox –– who leads design at Mozilla Labs and previously led the design of Gmail 1.0, Google Calendar 1.0, Google Reader 2.0, FriendFeed, the Facebook Games Dashboard, and more –– writes, “I get the feeling that the announcements at next week’s Apple WWDC are going to represent the same kind of fundamental shift in Apple’s offering that the iPod did in 2001.”

“I don’t have any inside info, and I make a point of not trying to pry secrets from my friends who work at Apple, but the rumblings are huge,” Fox writes. “In no particular order, here are some thoughts about where Apple may be going. These are not based on any inside info, and they certainly won’t all be right:”

• Seamless remote access to any data kept in your Documents folder, and synchronization across machines.
• Universal login using your Apple account: Walk up to any Mac, sign in as a guest using your Apple account credentials and you’ll be brought to the same desktop you get on your personal machine.
• Realtime, continuous syncing of iOS devices will mean never having to plug your iPhone or iPad in to your computer again, or even the need for a computer for syncing at all.
• iOS runtime within Mac OS to allow iPhone apps to run as Dashboard widgets and iPad apps as first-class desktop apps.
• Your canonical music library exists in the cloud. Your Mac, Windows, or iOS device can sync with all or part of it in the same way that your iOS devices sync with your computer’s iTunes library today.
• Unification of the App Store to encompass Mac, iPhone, iPod, Apple TV and iPad apps.
• Stripping out the App Store from iTunes. iTunes will be the media storefront and the App Store will be the resource storefront.
• Apple TV + App Store updates probably aren’t there yet, but I wouldn’t be surprised to hear announcements in order to get developers building apps.

More of Fox’s thoughts in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Jax44” for the heads up.]


    1. Same.
      And able to sync via wifi… If true this would make my day.
      iCloud.. The music part means nothing to me. But that’s just me.
      iOS runtime they mention…. YES please.

    1. Me too. Surely the online Mac media would have uncovered evidence of this if it was being worked on. I also wonder if the current Apple TV would be updated with this capability or if Apple will sell a brand new model with more on-board memory for storing apps; the current model is supposed to have 8 GB that is not officially mentioned on its tech specs.

  1. The family plan will have to be greatly enhanced, if we all have to have a personal Apple account. Currently we all have a personal account on the Mac, but we share the iTunes and Apps using my main account. My kids will not be using my account to get onto computers or syncing there iPads.

  2. be careful here MDN. Having been assimilated by google and shmidts philosophy, this could be another scripted bashing of apple. Watch what happens the day after the wwdc. I see a scripted response of “expected more” fromnthese same folks.

      1. Similar to “40/45 million iPads this year” “goal”, which was never mentioned by Apple, nor any of Taiwanese source could be actually aware of (since Apple has several manufacturers for each component, there is no way to get leak about actual plans).

    1. Fundamental shift??? Meh… Rather fancy words for an overpriced cloud service. Why pay $25 a year when Amazon offers it for free? If even one of those rumored features is left out of iCloud, the disappointment will be immense. The entire computer industry has already decided that Apple, the toy company, doesn’t know a damn thing about cloud services. All the press will be focused on is how ghastly Steve Jobs looks. That’s the only thing Wall Street is concerned about with Apple.

      Now will be an excellent opportunity to short Apple. This whole iCloud nonsense has been building up for months and anything Apple delivers can only be a letdown to the tech press and Wall Street. Apple’s share price will resemble a deflated balloon. iCloud will be as long-lived as a puff of cigarette smoke.

      1. You seem to think that the cult of “free” would in the end liberate the masses from tyranny. Disabuse yourself from such notion.

        “Free” is the ingredient that future tyrants like Google and Amazon would alway use to realize their final agenda. “Free” is such a loaded word that always blind the masses to ignorance and perdition.

        Let’s me give you an example of how “free” would finally enslave you. The pharmaceutical industry by giving free samples and paid holidays to doctors and donations to politicians have made the medical profession into a nightmare of high cost and inefficiency. Doctors are no more doctors in the true sense but are glorified servants of the pharmaceutical industry. Doctors don’t educate the masses anymore. This duty is taken over by the sales rep of the pharmaceutical companies. The pharmaceutical industry is not interested in a cure but to control.

        The cost of production of a drug, if broken down by its component parts, is very cheap in comparison to the cost to the consumers. The consumer price can go over a few thousand percent of the actual cost of production and labour.

        The donations given to politicians by the pharmaceutical industry is one of the worse forms of corruption ever practiced by a democratic state. Politicians and regulators choose to close their eyes to the shenanigans of the pharmaceutical industry and let the consumers suffer the consequences. The medicare systems is the US is broken because people choose to overlook the deleterious side of the “free” slogan of the pharmaceutical industry. This “free” mentality has seriously seeped into the general psyche of the US.

        1. Excuse me sir, but I take exception to your obvious and blatant blanket statement. I usually sit on the sidelines when reading commentary, but when some uninformed individual decides to discredit my profession, for which I have spent many years in training and delayed gratification for many years in order to serve my patients I feel I must respond.

          Yes, it is true that a small number of physicians have done what you have stated – taken many gifts, holidays etc., from drug reps, but that is a small number compared to the actual number of physicians delivering care to patients. The majority of us, even if we have a lunch with a drug rep, do not pander to drug reps or become influenced in using one drug over another based upon how the drug rep looks or what wonderful “goodies” they are passing out. Our decisions are based upon scientific principles and patient selection. They are also based upon past experiences and a gestalt (or the art of medicine) for the treatment option presented.

          Unless you walk in our shoes; take 4 years of college and 3-7 years post college to continue studying and then get paid minimum wage, giving up family and friends to do a 3 – 4 year residency, or for some of us, tagging on another 3-4 years of specialty training – during each step of the way taking board examinations (3 before you even get to take your specialty boards), and then every 7-10 years taking your boards again to maintain certification -I do not think that you have the ability nor the right to condemn us. No matter what you do, both my peers and I have taken an oath to save your life and to do no harm to you.

          I cannot speak for the pharmaceutical companies, nor can I speak for the politicians whom you have mentioned, but please do not place the 99% of physicians who are working hard to keep you healthy into a basket of filth. We continue to teach and practice preventive medicine as well as save lives.


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    2. Oh for pete’s sake. I left Google three years ago, have been an Apple fanboy since my Mac 128K in 1984, and have been writing speculative Apple articles for years before I started at Google.

      Example: Me predicting the iPad back in 2001:

      Another example: Me predicting all kinds of relevant stuff in 1989 (22 years ago): (the ‘I invented the Internet’ stuff is tongue-in-cheek)

      Seriously, if you’re looking for a cabal of FUD, look in the mirror.

      1. If you are the real Kevin Fox….
        I’m not siding with Frederico here, but one does have to take a little precaution anymore when the media praise’s Apple with predictions.

        I wouldn’t take it too seriously.

      2. You seem to have great credentials and I do hope you are neither a fanboy nor a hater. I would appreciate a fair minded assessment of a real product.

        Far too often the shsyters of WS plant so many spurious articles just so they can give their MMs cover for the manipulation they do to apple’s stock price. In this case, even if you are truly legit and have nothing to do with these shsyters (which I now believe to be the case), they will still cite your article if any one of your expectations are not met. The shysters hate Jobs and the disruptive technology he is heaping on their corporate friends who provide them with liquidity and fees at the expense of the stockholder.

        Just look at all the buybacks that do nothing for the long term stockholders but do wonders for management by maximizing profits from their options and the shytsers thru the fees they collect managing the buybacks.. Look at loans that are made despite having bundles of cash just so these shsyters can collect on fees. Chinese wall they say between their businesses? My derrière.

    3. You got it. But in an effort to torpedo the announcement, he also offered a helpful suggestion list!

      I’m not worried. Apple’s doing amazing things, and whatever the experts and markets say, the masses get it. Even if expectations are too high, there’s no denting no one else even comes close.

  3. So how does this iCloud work if I have 150G of downloaded music on an external hard drive for my iTunes? A very small percentage was purchased through the app store. I saved my very extensive cd collection so as to have a ginormous jukebox available. I can’t imagine that being free. & don’t even get me started with my movie collection… (1.5TB)

      1. That would make iCloud too limited for most users. Even people who buy regularly from the iTunes Store would have many tracks ripped from their CD collections in their library.

    1. Some rumors say that as long as iTunes can identify it (eg. ripped from a CD), you’ll be able to access it through iCloud. My guess is that this will pan out AND that you’ll be able to upgrade the file to a better quality through iTunes.

      That’s the bonus zinger!

    2. audiogalaxy does it on my iphone now for free; uses battery life when played hours on end, but gives me over 70 gigs of my music when out and about. hope to see Apple do it as well, is a great feature.

    3. You have to think about it laterally.

      So long as iTunes can recognise your music and retrieve album artwork, it probably means that the track is part of the iTunes store.

      So, for those tracks, all (!) iCloud would need to do is have an iCloud-savvy version of the XML file that we all have in our iTunes music folders (mine is around 26MB for about 11500 items) and Apple streams everyones music from a multiple shared copies of the music which presumably still exists on Akamai’s CDN.

      The “gap” is all of the stuff in your library that Apple doesn’t know about because the labels have deleted it (like most of Robert Palmer’s original albums for Island, which UMG have deleted for reasons passing understanding).

      For that, Apple (and the labels) are probably hoping that you’ll either pay again for those tracks that exist in “greatest hits” form (that they may have) or Apple will probably have a data storage rate card for you.

      I rip at quite a high quality, so it isn’t going to apply to me: but most people probably have 128-160 kbit MP3s and possibly have libraries of 150-200 albums. That’s not nearly as much storage as you’d think, especially if you’ve developed some smart technology that discovers dupes and eliminates all but the best quality version.

  4. Maybe the TimeMachine backup on your TimeCapsule can ALSO sync to the iCloud giving you: an offsite backup, a sync server to multiple TCs (TC at home and work) and very fast access (by the time you get to work your home TC will have synced to Apple then down to your Work TC then easily to your Mac when you connect).

    My MobileMe family plan gives the rest of the family 5G (email, Backup app and iDisk) which is insulting – this needs to increase massively.

      1. I read about a dozen or so articles about Apple a day and well aware of what is going on with the company and the good out-weights the bad 3-1, so what’s the deal? Manipulation to the extreme, can’t wait to see some people hang for that.

      1. What – so your current version of iWork is holding you back somehow? Has it stopped working? What’s the problem – why can’t you be satisfied with what you have for once in your life?

        1. Because Numbers is horrible. Pages and Keynote are great. The fact the Numbers sucks is the only reason I still have MS Office on my Macs.

          Here’s hoping the next version of iWork allows me to free myself.

        2. Why?

          What’s wrong with Numbers?

          Admittedly, it doesn’t have a macro-programming language or goal-seeking, but – for most people – that’s not an issue.

          If it is, you use Excel and you pay the appropriate cost.

        3. It’s just unusual that they released iLife ’11 so long ago and there isn’t even a mention of an updated iWork yet.

          And my question for you – who pissed in your Wheaties?

  5. It would be great if it provides real time syncing of whatever is on your devices.
    I would alsonlike to iCloud facilitate Face Time calls between any device connected to a free iCloud connection and also facilitate voice only calls- new international communication network.

    I think Apple could also produce and broadcast it’s own TV Chanel with movies, drama, news, sports etc.

    My off the map off of the planet wish would be that Apple sets up
    a satellite system that can transmit a wifi system.

  6. One thing I’m going to enjoy:
    An update to the buggy POS Mac ‘App Store’ app. It has to be the worst piece of crapcode Apple has let out of the barn in years.

    Oh and 64-bit QuickTime Player v10. When the HELL does that get an update to something as capable as ye old QuickTime Pro 7.6.x? Neglected much Apple? Get the picture? Have a clue? Get the drift? Anyone home? Can we take down the ‘Vacancy’ sign yet?!?!?!

  7. Kevin, all if the changes you mention above are necessary and hopefully a matter of time. The more integrated the platform becomes, the easier to sell to my non-mac friends. It’s just getting them to take a small bite and then they’re hooked. Thanks for sharing. As usual we’re all getting excited.

  8. From a purely marketing point of view, it doesn’t make sense – looking from the outside – for the app store to be moved out of iTunes. Presently, even if you are specifically looking for an app, you can’t help but also get a sampling of the other “products” in the iTunes store. I’m sure a substantial number of app seekers end up also buying something else in the iTunes store. This is a tried and tested marketing formula – to tempt the customer with your other offerings. Whether that is the case in reality – that cross-marketing in iTunes boosts Apple’s bottom line – only the company knows.

    1. It might be for the best to extract the iTunes Store from the iTunes App. After so many iterations, iTunes has become bloated with features and lacking in some ways, like the way internet radio stations are presented in its interface.

  9. Ugh! People, people, people.. it’s the NETWORK!!!! Until we all have super fast internet access to both download AND upload data, none of this is going to work as planned.

    To borrow a phrase from the ’94 election, “It’s the NETWORK, stupid!”

  10. One of the things I would endow iCloud with as a massive upgrade to MobileMe would be a shared persistent data/compute engine that developers could use across both Mac and iOS.

    Each developer could get their own space for a wholesale rate and sell the value-added access on to individual or corporate customers: having data stored in a consistent manner with a set of consistent APIs would accelerate the development of apps that work together across multiple vendors.

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