There is never any shortage of speculation about what Apple is set to announce at any given point in time. The rumors and the speculation tends to reach a feverish pitch around the time of Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC), set to run next week in San Franciso.
Instead of sitting on the sidelines while the rumors swirl, this year Apple has decided to pre-announce the main items set to be unveiled at WWDC.
Apple plans on announcing Mac OS X 10.7 "Lion" at WWDC. The Lion release has been in developer previews since February of this year. Lion includes a new dashboard interface called Mission Control which aims to provide a comprehensive view of what is actually running on the Mac. Lion also includes a new version of Launchpad for starting applications.
Apple has previously noted that the Lion release will be heavily influenced by the mobile IOS operating system used on the iPhone and the iPad. IOS is also getting a major update at WWDC with the announcement of IOS 5.
IOS 4 was released just under a year ago in June of 2010. Apple has issued multiple updates for IOS 4 over the course of the last year for feature, bug and stability issues. The most recent IOS 4.3.3 update was released at the beginning of May, providing a fix for a potential privacy issue which had enabled IOS devices to be tracked even if Location Services were turned off.
While Apple has announced that it will be taking the wraps off IOS 5 at WWDC, it did not indicate if it would be announcing new hardware in the form of an iPhone 5. The iPhone 4 came out in June of 2010. The iPhone 4 is powered by an A4 chip, while the new iPad 2 which debuted earlier this year is powered by the next generation A5 chip.
In addition to the Mac OS X 10.7 and IOS 5 announcements, Apple has revealed that it will be talking about its new iCloud service.
So far all Apple has publicly revealed about iCloud is that it is a cloud services offering. Apple already has a number of cloud services available to Mac and IOS users. Among them is the iDisk service which is part of Apple's broader MobileMe platform. The iDisk is similar to the popular Dropbox service in that it allows users to store files in the cloud that can be shared across multiple mobile device.
Apple's WWDC kicks off on Monday, June 6.