One of the expectations for WWDC 2013 is that Apple will refresh iOS with version 7. Revamping the stagnant interface of the mobile operating system in conjunction with refreshed devices is always the expectation at Apple keynote events. At the same time, it’s expected that Apple will also announce OS X 10.9. Rumors are stating that OS X 10.9 will be named Lynx.
It’s speculated that 10.9 will be an incremental update, much like iOS’s firmware updates rather than massive changes to the existing user interface. As iOS becomes the dominant operating system for Apple, its desktop operating system will become more and more influenced by iOS. Like Android, Chrome, and Chrome OS, communication between mobile and desktop is becoming common.
Apple already took some steps toward integrating its mobile and desktop operating systems with iMessage and the Notification Center in OS X 10.8 and 10.9 should continue with this trend.
Siri and Maps
Since iMessage and Notifications play a big part in iOS, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Siri come to OS X. The question is how will users activate Siri? If Siri can be activated via voice or some keyboard shortcut rather than activating it on the desktop, Siri could become a useful tool. If Apple added Siri into OS X 10.9, would it expand on the functionality of Dictation and connect with iOS to learn your voice? There are a lot of questions about how Apple could include Siri to be fully functional and not a gimmick.
9to5Mac also reports that early builds of OS X 10.9 are supporting Maps integration. There hasn’t been a lot of news about Apple Maps on iOS, other than a small update. It’s questionable how Apple Maps will integrate with OS X other than native integration with Safari. Apple could also allow developers access to the API to launch Apple Maps within their apps on desktop.
Tags and tabs in Finder
9to5Mac think that Finder will be getting an update to support “tags and tabbed browsing.” A lot of features that 9to5Mac mention are focused on improving usability for power users. It does appear that casual OS X users may not need some of these tools, but advanced users will appreciate these features.
A faster Safari
One of the smaller updates found was a new Safari that would get a redesigned backend to improve speed. While this is appreciated, there are a lot of other options like Chrome or Firefox. Apple could try to beat Google Chrome by adding adding interesting features that compete with Google Now.
More iOS and OS X integration?
There is already some cross platform integration, but iOS and OS X don’t communicate much with each other. With a big focus on iOS 7 this year, the incremental backend update to OS X 10.9 could include some cross platform communication. Unlike Google apps that can communicate through Android, Chrome, and Chrome OS, Apple takes a different approach. Cross platform integration could help Apple tie usability on devices by allowing developers who have desktop and mobile devices to communicate with each other natively.
iRadio, which is expected to make its appearance at WWDC, is a good example of cross platform possibilities. Listening to iRadio on an iOS device, then opening iRadio on the desktop to continue listening to music would be beneficial for Apple and this new music service. Other streaming services have mobile and desktop/browser apps that can communicate and iRadio can’t leave this out if Apple wants it to be successful.
A slight improvement
From what’s been discovered by 9to5Mac, OS X 10.9 sounds like a smaller update to add more features desired by advanced users. There hasn’t been much talk about Apple’s main apps and if there will be any updates to apps in iLife, Mail, and others, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see some minor updated features.
WWDC 2013 should be more focused on developers and the rumored changes in OS X 10.9 are primarily for advanced users. iOS 7’s expected reveal could also reveal more cross-platform integration.