This year, Apple has telegraphed the main topics for discussion at the WWDC keynote. iOS 5, Lion, and iCloud get top billing in today’s keynote. Of course, the devil is in the details, and here’s my list of questions for each of these technologies.
iOS 5: Notifications are most surely getting a revamp. I expect that a good bit of the main Springboard UI will be revamped as well, hopefully giving us something better than the icon view we’ve had now since 2007. Many are expecting iOS 5 to get over the air updates, which I think is a pretty good bet since iCloud is getting released at the same time.
The $64,000 question: Will 2011 be the year that iOS finally untethers from iTunes?
Lion: There’s not much left that is secret about Lion, except for the release date and price. We know that distribution via the App Store is a given. I expect Apple will have to make DVDs available for users of Mac OS X 10.5 or earlier who wish to upgrade.
The $64,000 question: When will it be released and what will it cost? My guess – June 14th and $49 from the Mac App Store, $99 on DVD.
iCloud: What we know is that Apple has signed all the major labels to allow their content to be distributed via iCloud. So iCloud will definitely be one part music locker, another part streaming service for tracks that you own. What we don’t know is whether iCloud will replace MobileMe. I expect that since MobileMe has been a complete and utter failure, that Apple will want to sweep away any mention of it and begin anew. So I expect all MobileMe services to become iCloud services, with the me.com domain serving as the main page of entry, along with iCloud.com.
The $64,000 question: Will iCloud be free? Will it come with all the perks that MobileMe features (email, syncing between Macs, storage space, document collaboration for iWork)?