Macworld SF 2006

We can only wonder what Steve Jobs can announce at Macworld tomorrow, but it will be interesting to find out.

For starters, rumours of Mactels making an appearance over the last few months seem too strong to ignore. Once it seemed these wouldn’t show up any time appear before Spring, but it’s perfectly possible for them to be previewed now and made available later. New iBooks and a new Mac Mini perhaps?

A preview of Leopard? I would say probably not. Leopard isn’t expected to be released until the end of the year or the beginning of next year, with Apple keeping plenty under its hat until Windows Vista makes it out into the world. If it ever does. It would make more sense to save Leopard until WWDC in the summer, particularly as you have to wonder how much of it would be ready to be shown.

We know there will be iLife ’06 – every year this suite gets an upgrade and a mention of this appeared accidentally on the iLife support pages last week, along with mention of iWeb, which sounds like a new desktop application that will work with .Mac. Certainly .Mac appears to be woefully lacking lately. It just doesn’t do the things people want to do on the web these days.

If Karelia‘s hunch is right and iWeb is a desktop web authoring application like their own Sandvox (which they released as a public beta today in response to the rumours), it would also have implications for RealMac Software’s excellent RapidWeaver. I downloaded the public beta for Sandvox today, I’m not sure what the differences are between these two apps yet.

Anything for podcasters? Well, iWeb could incorporate podcast-savvy blogging and it would be surprising if GarageBand didn’t gain something in that department.

There is also speculation about an upgrade to iWork, which wouldn’t be suprising. iWork is nice, but hardly set the world on fire thanks to the lack of a spreadsheet application. Saying that, spreadsheet applications hardly set the world on fire anyway, so I don’t see this as being a major thing.

Then there are these rumours, which may be premature, about Front Row 2.0 becoming available for every Mac and having the ability to stream, with some nifty caching, full movies and the like from your iDisk. As .Mac is due to go down for scheduled maintenance from 7:00am to 12:00pm PST tomorrow, it certainly seems like something big will happen there – but maybe that’s just to support iWeb.

Considering the impact of iPods on Apple’s bottom line it would seem like some announcement there would be mandatory. The iPod Shuffle has been around a while now and seems the most likely candidate for an upgrade, considering the nano and everything. Or maybe they’ll do away with the Shuffle and just do cheaper, smaller nanos.

One more thing? Who knows! Often there is that surprise element, the one that made it under the radar, something nobody even considered. Certainly with all the other rumours on the web, there has been enough smoke and fog to conceal a surprise.

Have I left anything out?

Whatever happens, we can look forward to a great show from Apple. Macworld is an excellent way to kick of another new year as a Mac user!

Comments are closed.