Apple is having its annual developers' conference this week, and this always brings about some exciting announcements. While we wait to hear what's really coming up in MacLand, I thought I would cover some vocabulary that will help you stay up to date (more later this week when we find out the actual announcements).
WWDC-Apple Worldwide Developers' Conference is held each year in California (this year at the Moscone Center in San Francisco), and features workshops for developers and a keynote address that generally heralds new products and innovations. There are a few rumored announcements this year, among them...
OS X Lion- OS X is the Mac Desktop and Laptop operating system (equivalent to Windows 7 on the PC side) that gives the Mac its whole personality. Updates to the OS usually affect things like the look and feel of the Mac, its desktop and dock, and "native" applications like its web browser, Safari. Rumored improvements to Lion (lately, OS X versions are all named after big cats: Tiger, Leopard, Snow Leopard) include enhancements that will make Macs feel more like their mobile counterparts (iPhone/iPad/iPod) and the ability to update the operating system software over the Internet through the Mac App Store rather than via CD-ROM. New OS versions generally cost a few bucks if you want to upgrade (the last one was $30ish).
iCloud- "cloud computing" is the latest way to manage files, and involves syncing files to the Internet rather than saving to servers, on hard drives, on flash drives, or emailing files to yourself. If you use Google Docs, this is a form of cloud computing. The advantages of this innovation include not having to worry where a file is and greater opportunities for sharing and collaboration on files. Apple has sputtered a bit in this area but is rumored to be finally getting it right with a cloud computing service called iCloud that will replace its MobileMe service and allow you to sync music, video and (probably) files between devices.
iOS 5- iOS is the operating system for all the "i" devices- iPod, iPhone, iPad. It's like a mini version of OSX, and the two keep getting closer. It is expected that this new iOS will be announced this week and include over-the-air software updates (see, Apple is trying to position the iPad more as a stand alone device, so you won't have to connect it to a computer to activate, sync and update it) and extensive voice controls through a partnership with Nuance (who makes Dragon Dictation). iOS updates to your devices are important to make once they are available, and have historically been free.
Steve Jobs- Apple's ailing CEO, whose battle with liver cancer is making him even more legendary. He has been taking some time off from Apple but is expected to deliver the Keynote and announcements today at 10 am Pacific Time.
"Just One More Thing"- the teasing phrase that is often used at Keynotes to jokingly introduce something HUGE. This is how the original iPhone was introduced. People wonder what the "one more thing" might be, if there is one. It will likely involve a new iPhone model. I really doubt it will be a new iPad (better not be)!!! So we shall see...Here is a history of these courtesy of Cult of Mac:
For a great weekly discussion on how Apple Technologies can be used in education, I highly recommend the MacReach show hosted by Meg Wilson of iPodsibilities. You can also stream this podcast on Instacast in your car if you have an iPhone.
UPDATE: Check out some of my thoughts on the actual announcements related to mobile tech, over at TherapyApp411.