• Last WWDC Rumors: New Xcode, Mac OS X

    In the last-minute rush to stay one step ahead of unexpected revelations at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, the rumor mill is coming up with a few possibilities. As Mike Essany reported, confidence is high that we'll see a new version of Safari at the confab. Additionally, a French site is claiming that the third update to Snow Leopard will be announced at the WWDC, and MacRumors is reporting that Xcode 4 will be demoed. And one longshot is appearing in the eleventh hour: the rumor that Mac OS X 10.7 will get a sneak preview in San Francisco this week.

    Mac OS X 10.6.4 build 10F564, the sixth beta release, was seeded to developers this week with no known problems reported by Apple. As developers were asked to continue focusing tests on graphics drivers, SMB servers, VoiceOver, VPN connectivity and USB compatibility, observers suggested that the final version was close, possibly close enough to be released this week. Macgeneration has specifically reported that Mac OS X Server 10.6.4 has already gone Gold Master, and that the desktop version was being distributed internally. In addition to VPN and SMB improvements, the update reportedly fixes an issue that prevents Adobe CS3 applications from opening. Which makes me wonder if I should have spent all that money on CS5...

    Meanwhile, MacRumors is reporting that they've "heard that a major update to Xcode (version 4) is in the works and will also be demonstrated at WWDC." The terse post gave no details, but given that Apple has recently required the use of Xcode for iPhone development, they are likely set to announce enhancements to induce devs to give up their familiar IDEs. An interesting speculation that's been floated in recent weeks is that Apple is not, in fact, using ARM architecture in its new A4 as has been assumed, but has instead implemented Power architecture that it picked up from its PA Semi acquisition. If so, devs who use Xcode to create iPhone OS 4 apps would be able to gain major speed improvements using Apple's native tools. The WWDC would be a natural venue for this announcement alongside demos of the new OS.

    Finally, amid increasing evidence of the next major update to Mac OS X getting wider usage inside Apple, suggestions have emerged that we'll see an announcement of Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion? Cougar? Puma?) at the WWDC. Jon Gruber's sources - having initially told him that the update would be released this year - more recently have indicated that the upgrade won't be out until 2011. However, that doesn't preclude a preview or a teaser at this event, which is clearly mainly focused on the iPhone OS.

    image via OSX Daily
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