One of the most exciting parts of being a Mac user is that there are frequent upgrades and improvements to hardware and software that improves the usability of Apple products. These improvement are often highlighted at the WWDC conference. The expectations this year are high, and I doubt that we will be let down. The improvement of arguably one of the most effective, and fun cell phones ever created, will headline the conference. Apple's ability to improve upon what has already been a huge success is very important to a customer base that loves their iPhones. The iPhone 3.0 software upgrade is expected to provide features that will improve a number of capabilities of the phone. There are a few improvements that should be especially interesting mappers. The addition of a built in compass now gives users the ability to not only know where they are through GPS coordinates, but we can now know which direction we are pointing. There are compass apps available for the iPhone, but none of these apps have especially good reviews from users, with the highest being about 3 stars out of a possible five. I expect the new compass to be more effective and to be better received by users. The other feature that should be exciting to mappers is the integration of GPS location to Safari, which provides many potential opportunities for recording information (more to come on this later). The expected release date has not yet been made available, but Mitch Wagner makes a great point that Apple will likely not wait long to release the new iPhone because people will wait to purchase iPhones that are already available in anticipation for the release of the new phone, which would cost Apple a lot of money. So I agree with Mitch Wagner that it seems the new iPhone will be available at the end of the month or in early July.
The other exciting improvement expected to be presented at the conference is the newest version of Mac's operating system 10.6 (Snow Leopard). According to Thomas Claburn of Information Week the new operating system will be designed to improve the speed and stability and set the stage for more program and application development in the future. Claburn quotes Apple's Senor VP of software development as saying "In our continued effort to deliver the best user experience, we hit the pause button on new features to focus on perfecting the world's most advanced operating system." This is exciting news for Mac users because we have already seen an explosion of new features, but we can now expect the software backing up those features to improve, which will only provide more advancements in the future. The expected release date of Mac OS X 10.6 has not yet been made available, but rumors are that it is expected to be released in about a year.