Apple WWDC 2014: What to expect – Healthbook, iWatch, iOS 8, connected home

Apple’s annual developers’ conference (or WWDC if you’re in the business) kicks off this evening (Monday the 2nd of June), and it’s a week long event notorious for revealing exciting, unexpected and, let’s face it, sometimes pretty lacklustre details about the tech giant’s plans for the next 12 months.

If Apple’s recent statements to the press have been anything to go by (check out this OTT quote from Apple’s SVP, Eddie Cue), then this year will be juicier and more innovative than ever. In fact, Mashable believes the fact anyone can live-stream the opening keynote means there are bound to be some awesome new announcements this time round.

You can check back to throughout the keynote this evening, because we’ll be covering the news from the event. But until then, we’ve collected together our top predictions from rumours on the web that paint a very exciting picture about what to expect from WWDC.

iOS 8: a new mobile operating system

At WWDC last year, Apple revealed a big overhaul to its operating system with iOS 7. This year iOS 8 is expected to be unveiled with much more subtle changes, like Siri improvements, a Maps refresh and a huge focus on health and fitness.

Healthbook: a health tracking app to rival the market leaders

Remember when Healthbook screenshots were leaked back in March? Well WWDC could be the event where it’s officially revealed.

Rumoured to track everything from sleep to fitness to hydration, given Apple’s current hold over the smartphone market this new app could be game-changing for the connected health movement and, interestingly, will integrate with a whole host of already popular third party apps.

Some believe that if Apple plans on unveiling the iWatch later in the year, Healthbook may remain under lock and key until then, but it makes sense for developers and third party companies to find out about it as soon as possible so they can begin preparing.

Connected home: a new vision for our households

It’s not just the connected, mobile health market that Apple plans on disrupting, but our smart homes too.

Rumours have been circulating for years now that Apple plans on revealing a new vision for the way we interact with our homes, whether that’s a range of appliances or just a certification system.

Back in March 9to5 Mac reported that a software platform to “turn the iPhone into a remote control for lights, security systems and other household appliances” would be unveiled today, which many believe would be similar to Apple’s current “Made for iPhone” programme. Of course you can already control appliances with certain apps, but Apple may want to make this process much more streamlined going forwards.

OS X 10.10: a new Mac operating system

Although updates to the Mac operating system aren’t often as exciting as Apple’s other announcements, many are expecting a revamp that’ll mirror some of the key, flat-design features of iOS 7, like similar icons and a more minimal look with added white space.

iWatch: a wearable gadget to rule all wearable gadgets

We’ve excitedly been reading every rumour about Apple’s highly-anticipated iWatch wearable device, which is tipped to keep you notified about everything that’s going on on your smartphone AND track a whole host of stats about your health and fitness.

Although many don’t expect the iWatch to be unveiled or even alluded to tonight (this is a conference for developers after all, not fan boys and girls), it’s not totally off the cards given recent rumours suggesting the wearable is already in production.

Music streaming: to make the most of the Beats deal

In reality it’s early days for Apple to make a new music-focused announcement, but given its recent deal with Beats it wouldn’t be surprising if the tech giant unveiled a new streaming service or even a standalone app that might integrate Beats’ software, development and products further down the line.

However, any mentions of Beats are more likely to just be further announcements, some suggest Dr. Dre might even be making an appearance.

Becca Caddy