Last minute WWDC rumors: new iBeacon tech, smart home toolkit and more

WWDC 2014 (logo 001)

We’ve already given you a rundown of what to expect to see at Apple’s WWDC keynote. The event, which is in less than 12 hours now, is expected to bring about a redesigned OS X, and a familiar-looking iOS 8 with new apps and features.

But as usual, there are some last minute reports making the rounds regarding today’s big announcements. In addition to the above items, it’s now believed Apple could introduce new iBeacon features and a ‘smart home’ toolkit for developers…

From The New York Times’ Brian Chen:

Along with operating system updates for mobile and desktop machines, Apple plans to introducex a new health-tracking app at its annual developers’ conference on Monday, according to a person briefed on the product, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the plans were confidential. The app for mobile devices will track statistics for health or fitness, like a user’s footsteps, heart rate and sleep activity.

The health app will initially pull data from third-party fitness and health-monitoring hardware, the person said, but it will most likely be able to connect with a smart watch that Apple is widely expected to release this year.

In addition to confirming that the previously-reported Healthbook app will make an appearance during the keynote, Chen also reiterates a Financial Times scoop from last week claiming that Apple is going to dip its toe into the ‘smart home’ space.

While many smart appliances already exist, Apple could introduce tool kits for developers that would allow apps to more easily communicate with home appliances, which could make the connected home systems simpler to set up for consumers.

Separately, The Wall Street Journal reported last night that Apple also plans to unveil new iBeacon features. Apple unveiled the wireless tech— which allows for near-pinpoint geolocation—at last year’s WWDC keynote, and adoption has been good thus far.

Apple is expected to reveal more iBeacon plans at its World Wide Developers Conference in San Francisco starting Monday, where it also intends to preview new versions of its iOS mobile-operating system and Mac OSX software. To promote iBeacon, Apple will place beacons throughout Moscone Center and offer sessions for developers on how to implement the technology.

The speculation will end at 10AM PST today, when Apple kicks off its WWDC keynote. The event will be streamed live, and we will be covering it here on iDB, reporting on all major announcements, and providing additional information and commentary.

Stay tuned!