What Apple could possibly announce at WWDC 2012

Well, it’s official. Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference will be held from June 11 to 15 in San Francisco this year and it’s going to be a packed house; tickets were sold out two hours after availability when 5,000 anxious developers quickly coughed up $1,600 per ticket.

WWDC is one of the company’s biggest events –if not the biggest– of the year, and if you’ve followed past WWDC events, you’ll know that it’s usually where Apple announces new stuff. It’s where they announced the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, Mac Pro, and even iLife.

So then, what’s CEO Tim Cook and friends going to talk about this year? I went ahead and made a list of possible topics and products that Apple could likely announce and talk about at this year’s WWDC.

OS X Mountain Lion and iOS 6

We know for a fact that this will be a talking point at WWDC. Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, even said it himself. But what developments will we hear about exactly? It’s possible that they could be announcing and releasing a final version of OS X Mountain Lion, since it’s been through three developer previews already. However, it’s also possible they might wait awhile and take the time to test Mountain Lion against the company’s upcoming iOS 6 software, since Apple has been turning OS X and iOS into a more homogeneous effort nowadays.

As far as iOS 6 itself, there’s definitely been chatter going on, but very little substance to show as far what iOS 6 will be all about. It’s definitely in development and being tested as we speak, but rumors have been a little quiet in this area. WWDC 2012 will certainly be the place where we’ll see a little bit of iOS 6 light.

New Mac Hardware

The rumors of a newer-generation MacBook Pro lineup have been exhausting to say the least. There’s been talk that Apple will oust optical drives on all of their MacBooks, except for possibly the 17-inch model. The last time Apple announced anything Mac hardware related was in 2009 when they announced the 13-inch MacBook Pro unibody to replace the white plastic model. Honestly, I would say it’s very likely that Apple will announce something new in the MacBook lineup, whether it’d be completely new MacBook Pros or an updated MacBook Air; the push towards Ultrabooks by Intel is too much for Apple to ignore.

As far as desktop Macs, a new iMac is certainly possible and it will be interesting to see if they talk about their Mac Pro lineup, since there have been talks of getting rid of the Mac towers as of October 2011, but are rumored to be updated with Ivy Bridge chips and Nvidia’s Kepler graphics this year.

iPhone 5

This one’s a tricky one, but the current stand inside the rumor mill is that the next iPhone will come out in the fall, so for Apple to announce a new iPhone in June and wait all the way through the summer until the fall to release it just doesn’t seem like their thing. I don’t see the iPhone 5 making an appearance at WWDC 2012 at all.

Overall, this year’s WWDC will be all about software (it is a developers conference after all), so I honestly think that the only talking points will be OS X Mountain Lion and iOS 6, with possible announcements regarding Mac hardware, but that’s just me. Let us know what your predictions are for WWDC 2012 in the comments.

ShiftEdit: A Web-Based IDE for PHP, Python, Ruby and More

If you’re a programmer or developer that juggles several projects at a time, your code can sometimes be lost between multiple workstations, or worse, lost in some sort of catastrophic system failure. If only you’d had a chance to run a backup first! With everything going to the cloud these days, wouldn’t it make sense to have your valuable projects protected in the fluffy white stuff as you work on them?

ShiftEdit is a web-based development environment for HTML, PHP, Ruby, Python and more, and they’re adding new languages all the time. Like the usual desktop-based WYSIWYG counterparts, ShiftEdit offers ‘Code’ and ‘Design’ views for creating your applications, as well as syntax highlighting for their expanding portfolio. As you code, your projects are automatically saved, safe and sound in the cloud and accessible from any computer with a browser and internet connection.

Code, design, and split views

If you require FTP access and database connectivity for your projects, ShiftEdit gives you the ability to connect to one site for free with the option to add unlimited sites by upgrading to their Premier service ($5/month). ShiftEdit also gives you access to basic version control tools in case you’ll be collaborating with other users.

FTP and database connectivity

If you’re looking for enterprise-class tools that help you whip out projects at lightning speed, ShiftEdit may not be everything you need. The IDE currently lacks auto-complete functionality and only provides real-time syntax debugging for JavaScript and PHP. Combine that with a finicky FTP tool, and you may want to steer clear with your high-impact projects. That said, ShiftEdit is on the right track to being a feature-rich IDE with new things being added all the time, like Dropbox support.

With more and more production-grade development tools becoming web-based, don’t be surprised if you’re developing straight to the cloud in the next few years. Give ShiftEdit a try and put yourself ahead of the curve.

Facebook Unveils New Features at F8 Developer Conference

Today at Facebook’s F8 developer conference, Mark Zuckerberg announced some new features that will be making their way to users sometime in the future.

Most notable is something called the Timeline, which will take all the status updates from everyone and organize them in an iPad-style magazine of sorts. To keep it from becoming too cluttered, the Timeline will automatically hide and collapse what you don’t really care about while still making everything easily accessible. I’m not sure exactly how Facebook determines what you do and don’t care about, but I’m sure it probably has something to do with a learning algorithm of some kind.

As far as your specific timeline (a.k.a. your profile page), you’ll be able to choose exactly what you want highlighted and featured at any given time, such as a certain photo or status update. Also, any Facebook apps that you use and activity will be summarized in your Timeline (or not, if you so choose).

Facebook will also implement a couple of ways to cut down on the annoyances (finally!). They want to find a way to trim down those too-frequent updates from apps and display similar smaller updates in a way that isn’t too intrusive. Facebook feels that their new Ticker – a newly-released feature many of you have come to hate – is a great place for this.

Social apps were also the name of game at F8. Facebook is going to integrate different apps like Netflix, Spotify and various game and make them more social. You and your friends will be able to share what movies you’re watching on Netflix and listen to music together on Spotify. You’ll also know which movies and music are popular based off of what a majority of your friends are consuming at the time. These apps will begin rolling out right away.