Your one-stop WWDC rumor shop -- iOS 9 features, music streaming, and more

What hath Tim wrought for his chosen people? Find out next week.

We're now just a few days away from Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference. So as usual, rumor-mongering is reaching fever-pitch. WWDC 2015 seems set to be a riot of color, including the iOS 9 release, Apple's new music streaming service, some new Watch stuff, and much, much more.

Here comes Tim Cook's keynote. Time for one of Richi's rumor roundups, n'est pas?

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers get themselves epi-centered in San Francisco.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.

Let's see... Where shall we start? With Hayley Tsukayama, perhaps:

Apple's top brass will take to a San Francisco stage next week to show off the company's plans for the coming year.

Apple's biggest announcement is expected to be the launch of its new music service, which reports indicate will cost $10 per month and compete with both Spotify [and] Pandora. ... Apple may seem like a latecomer here, but carries the advantage of being able to bake its music service into the iPhone, iPod and Mac.

Apple's kept pretty tight reins on...the Apple Watch, but...reports [say] the company will release a new tool kit for developers to give them a little more room to play with the device.

Other than the music service, updates to iOS and Mac OS X will probably be the company's main product announcements. ... Many are expecting this to be a year devoted more to polishing and refining both systems.  MORE

Lucas Shaw and Tim Higgins have more on that streaming idea: still negotiating with record labels over terms. ... Both sides want to complete a deal before Apple’s June 8 annual event.

Apple’s new music app will be home to the subscription service, downloads and a revamped version of iTunes radio...people familiar with the negotiations said.  MORE

But Ewan Spence tells us what not to expect:

One piece of consumer hardware that is not expected to be updated at WWDC is Apple’s set-top box. ... Apple TV has been the perennial bridesmaid, with expectations ahead of every event that ‘this is the event where Apple TV grows up’.

With no new hardware, this likely means that an Apple TV SDK for new experiences in the home will not be announced.

There are a number of hardware lines that Apple could refresh this year, although I feel it is unlikely that we’ll see any. ... The Mac Pro and the Mac mini are likely to remain untouched. ... I’m fifty/fifty on the appearance of the twelve-inch iPad Pro. ... It fails to answer any mainstream problems. [And] I don’t expect [a new] make an appearance at WWDC.  

What? Heresy! Jason Parker wants iOS 9 to be more like Android:

There have already been several rumors about what we're getting in iOS 9 such as an improved keyboard, more comprehensive searches from Siri, backward compatibility for older devices, and support for Force Touch. ... I have a few ideas of my own for iOS 9 that I'm hoping to see.

iOS 8 introduced the option to use...SwiftKey and Swype. But as exciting as it was...they were really glitchy and didn't work as smoothly as I hoped. ... If Apple has a way to make using these keyboards easier [I could] send messages faster. I still dream of using my Android-using friends do, but until it's a smoother experience, I'll stick with the default.

One thing iOS FaceTime lacks is the capability to do group calls. ... There are already other Google Hangouts...that let you do group video calls, mostly in business settings.

Since the release of Apple Maps users have wanted to be able to choose which apps handle different types of media. As an would be great if I could designate that I want all addresses opened on the iPhone to open in Google Maps. ... This would also work in other app categories like messaging, your Web browser, your email client and even photo management.

Some apps eat up more battery than others, so what I would like to see is maybe a list of the top 10 battery hogs on my device so I could shut them down when I'm trying to hold my charge.  MORE

As does Chris Smith:

iOS reportedly adding one iPad feature that Android tablet users have had for years.

Starting with Android October 2012, Android tablets started supporting multiple users. ... The iPad multi-user mode will let users share tablets without sharing content. Each account will have access to its own app and files, including messages, mail, contacts, calendar and others.

[But] apparently, multi-user support is still in development, and might not be unveiled at WWDC.  MORE

Meanwhile, Darrell Etherington delves into the nether regions:

The iOS update, the 9th major version of Apple’s iPhone and iPad operating system, is thought to be bringing a lot of stability, performance and security enhancements...similar to OS X Snow Leopard, which was largely meant to refine the experience of OS X Leopard.

[The] pace of new feature releases...can be at cross-purposes to providing a stable, bug-free experience. [iOS 9] might be able to improve the general consistency and quality of user experience.  MORE

You have been reading IT Blogwatch by Richi Jennings, who curates the best bloggy bits, finest forums, and weirdest websites… so you don't have to. Catch the key commentary from around the Web every morning. Hatemail may be directed to @RiCHi or Opinions expressed may not represent those of Computerworld. Ask your doctor before reading. Your mileage may vary. E&OE.

Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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