Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) annual Worldwide Developers Conference kicks off at San Francisco’s Moscone West on Monday, June 2, and fans of Apple tech are eager to see what new software, services, or even products the Cupertino-based company might unveil this year. Last year’s event was dominated by the introduction of the Jony Ive-designed iOS 7 that introduced a flatter, minimalist appearance to Apple’s mobile operating system. As usual, the introduction of new software iterations is expected to remain the primary focus of this year’s event.
This was confirmed by the iOS 8 and OS X banners recently spotted at the Moscone Center by The Verge. The image of the El Capitan rock formation at Yosemite National Park on the new OS X banner suggests that Apple will continue its recent tradition of naming its desktop operating system after geographic locations in California. According to sources cited by 9to5Mac, the upcoming version of OS X will be redesigned to make its appearance more similar to the minimalist design introduced with iOS 7.
However, while the debut of iOS 8 and OS X 10.10 is hardly surprising, the features found within these new software iterations may prove more exciting. Last week, a report from the Financial Times suggested that Apple was preparing a new automated home software platform that would connect products to create an “Internet of things.” Besides the Financial Times’ unnamed insider sources, there are also several prominent analysts that believe Apple might unveil a smart home software feature in the new iOS 8. Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster recently boosted his price target on Apple shares to $732 from $640 based partly on the potential for a new automated home software platform, while Goldman Sachs boosted its price target to $720 from $635 for similar reasons. There is also at least one patent filed by Apple that outlines a smart home system, although it should be pointed out that the company doesn’t always convert its patented inventions into actual products or services.