WWDC 2013: My prediction roundup


With the WWDC keynote happening later today (instructions to watch it are here), this is as good a time as any to look at my recent Apple predictions. Fortunately, I wised up and started labeling with “Prediction:” on Twitter, and Twitter lets us download our full history, so my predictions are pretty easy to find. Here are my recent predictions that could come true at WWDC 2013.


  • Prediction: In less than a year, we’ll will forget Apple Maps was mediocre at launch, and wonder why it took them so long to make their own.
  • Prediction: iOS7 will drop August 2013 (ahead of iPhone 5S), will be a drastic improvement, including a possible overhaul of the entire UI.
  • PREDICTION: Third-party apps are coming to Apple TV in 2013. Multi-media, games, new app categories – this will be a game-changer.

Apple Maps

This was from September 2012, so I still have a few months. That said, Apple Maps has improved quite a bit, but is still not stellar. For my original prediction to come true, I really need iOS 7 (which is now all but confirmed) to include a major update to Maps. On one hand, this seems inevitable, but on the other hand it seems like Apple is throwing maximum resources at a UI redesign, so maybe they don’t currently have resources for the under-the-hood improvements needed to bring Apple Maps up to par with Google’s offering.

iOS 7 overhaul

Also from September 2012, this one is more or less a lock and doesn’t seem like much of a prediction at all, but the context is important here: Last September, iOS 6 was still fresh (released on September 19), Scott Forestall was still at the iOS helm, and there was no sign of a major redesign in the offing. iOS had looked the same since its initial release, five years earlier, and the look and feel seemed to be fully entrenched, with Apple adding more skeuomorphic touches over time.

But then Scott Forestall left in late October, and Jony Ive was given oversight of Human Interface design, sending a strong signal that Apple would redesign iOS this year. This is a substantial change: I don’t recall anyone predicting that Forestall would be out, and Ive would take this type of role. But once it happened, a substantially redesigned iOS 7 was virtually inevitable.

Third-party apps for Apple TV

Fast-forward to 2013, and I’m predicting Apple TV will support third-party apps this year. To be fair, I’ve basically made this same prediction every year since 2009 (implicitly in 2009, took 2010 off, 2011, 2012, 2013), so this isn’t an unusual prediction for me to make. But Tim Cook teased “exciting new product categories” on the previous Apple quarterly earnings call, so maybe this is finally happening. Seems like the most likely new categories are TV and wearable tech.

The thing I’m most excited about is the iOS 7 update. I can’t wait to see an iOS 7 demo.

Some stuff I got wrong last year

In the interest of full disclosure, these are two predictions I made that ended up being way off base. Those came and went a while ago, but they signal a pretty big shift in Apple’s release strategy. That change makes it tough for me to feel good about hardware releases, which is why I don’t have any hardware-related predictions for WWDC 2013. I don’t understand what Apple is doing with hardware release cycles, so I don’t feel good about making those predictions right now.

That said, I had a sneaking suspicion that I was going to be super wrong (this is one of several “I could be very wrong” tweets I sent leading up to the iPad mini announcement last fall):

Sometimes you eat the bear…